Review by jbb37
I would like to start by saying that this is a VERY good game, and it is no doubt worth the money. Now for some details:
GAMEPLAY: The gameplay, in my opinion, is absolutely great. The home-field advantage is a great addition. However, if you don't like it, you can always turn it off. I have heard some complaints about passing, but I got used to it after a few games. It is mainly based on timing, and on the harder levels of the game, you have to be able to read the defense. The gameplay, of course, can be altered to the way you like it by adjusting the game's sliders. There are some good sets of sliders posted on these message boards.
GRAPHICS: As always, the graphics are good. The sun and lights reflect off the players' helmets. The sky darkens as your game lasts into the night. The player graphics are better than those of the past. They are more fluid when moving and when they come into contact. Sometimes it can get a little sloppy, like when running the no huddle, if players get stuck together for a few seconds, it can hurt you.
COMMENTARY: This is the part of the game that hurts. It is virtually the same as last year, and the year before, and the year before, etc. They can become somewhat repetitive. Another thing is that they show little emotion. You could throw a game-winning 80 yard TD pass and Fowler would just say, "The pass deep, he's got a man, caught, and he will score. And the game is over." Notice how there are no exclamations. It is kind of bland. The only new thing is when they talk about the crowd noise.
GAME MODES: There are many to chose from. They are mainly the some as last year though. You have your regular Play Now mode, with the Rivalry Games and Mascot Games as well. There is Practice mode, where you can hone your skills without competition, or against someone's defense. The College Classics are almost exactly the same as last years, with only minor changes to a few of the games. Campus challenge is basically the same, with some new pennants. You can still create a team and import them into dynasty mode, and you can also create a player and a playbook. One of the new features is Create a Sign, which is pretty creative and fun to play around with. The big thing in Dynasty Mode. This is the main reason why some people buy this game. It is great. Very realistic. Same features as last year, where you can be any 1A, 1AA, or created team and turn the into (or keep them as) a national powerhouse. The recruiting is good. It can be challenging with a team that isn't so good, but with the powerhouses, it can be pretty much take your pick. The game still has Sports Illustrated, but now with the top 25 places to play each year. The new Dynasty feature is discipline. Your players now have lives away from football, and sometimes they cause problems. You can either suspend them, or risk having the NCAA investigate. You can be put on probation, which means losing scholarships, and many other bad things. This makes it all the better. Like many other games, NCAA Football 2005 has Online Playing. I am just going to say it is great when you can play against people who don't cheese and cheat. This is not a big factor in my ratings, however, since I am mainly focusing on the console game itself.
NEW FEATURES: The new features are great. The Home-Field advantage is a great addition because it creates a very, very realistic college football atmosphere. The create a sign feature is pretty fun, and you now see fans do a number of different things, from holding up you created sign to leaving the game in disgust. Since celebrating has become more popular recently, you can do this after a big play. You can celebrate with your players, fans, or mascot and cheerleaders. Some excessive celebrations do draw penalties though. This year there are on-the-fly audibles, where you can quickly change your audibles from the playcalling screen. Another big new feature is discipline in dynasty mode. I have already covered this in the GAME MODES section. There are numerous other small features you will find in the game also.
OVERALL GRADE: 9.5/10 The average of all 5 categories is actually 8.9, but this is only because the Commentary is low. The commentary nearly as important as the other features, but it would be nice if it was a little better. That is the only thing keeping this game from a perfect 10/10. In conclusion, if you are debating whether or not to get the game, GET IT. You will be satisfied.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/26/04
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