Review by Hannibal222

"College Football's only game, thank god it delivers"

NCAA Football 2005 has been consistently the game to buy in regards to college football, and every year it seems to get more and more fun. This is no exception, but there are a few things that could make you angry, annoy you a bit, or make you happier, depending on what kind of game you're trying to play.

Graphics: 9/10

Last year, everything was a little too colorful, one-shaded, and edgy. This year has tons of small upgrades, that lead to a crisp overall look. The player models are basically the same except for small changes in uniform, but the real change comes from the atmosphere; the sky, the ground, and the stadium all look more earthy and heavier. Everything just looks a little better.

Gameplay: 9/10

While you may have bought Madden like I did, NCAA may very well end up getting more playing time than Madden. The gameplay is more realistic, the momentum upgrade works great, and the game just seems to pack a whole lot more punch. The difficulty is pretty easy on default, but even with a great team you'll find yourself being challenged at least once in a while. The only real problem is unavoidable, and that's the lack of player names. Since the NCAA players have no union and cannot accept money, they cannot get names of players into the game. Also the new additions of home field advantage and big hits are nice.

AI: 10/10 for me, 7/10 for some others

This is where most people complain. Everything is great of offense (except for dropped balls, since it now encourages you to switch over to the receiver and catch it yourself), but a whole lot of people can't seem to figure out how to pass the ball. Last year the game was all about offense, and you could pass just about anywhere. Now you need to be patient and find your open guy, or you'll get your passes batted all the time, or worse. You also need to get used to your playbook, what plays are open against the zone/man, and your players, which offensive linemen you can run behind most assuredly. Patience is the name of the game. If you've got it, you can still light up a D.

Sound: 8/10

The gameplay sounds are terrific, weighty, and just have a lot more oomph to them. You'll hear a large pop when you nail a guy, and you'll hear a ball go into your hands and you'll hear helmets hitting pads and such. The commentary is much better than Madden, with the 2 main guys being Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit, but if you run an option offense or an offense that preaches a certain type of play, you'll hear the same thing a lot of the time. Also sometimes in the menu of the game, the college music will just sort of die, and there's a sort of eerie silence that takes you out of any kind of football mood.

Overall: 8/10, but 10/10 for me. It's hard for me to imagine a game that's a better college football experience than this.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 08/29/04

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