Review by SCStunner316

Reviewed: 04/14/06

2K Sports Adds Yet Another Great Title to Their Lineup

(Note: This is based off of the XBOX Version, so some things may be altered due to that.)

While it took me a little while to purchase College Hoops 2K6, it was definitely worth the wait. It brings a lot of exhilaration to any College Hoops fan and the replayability, makes it even harder to let go. I'm not going to waste any time, so let's get down to it.

In-Gameplay: 9/10
You feel like you are the floor general in College Hoops 2K6. With the right to "Oop" it, give and go, run an offense, or just drive the lane to cause a foul, you feel a good ounce or two of realism. CH2K6 has a somewhat unique tip-off to begin the game. Just before the ref tosses the ball up, each side has to mash the "X" button to get the "X" icon on their side. Whoever is in favor of that, will wind up winning the tip.

2K Sports has added a unique way of shooting the ball is well, but isn't exactly permanent accept on the "Charity Stripe" (Free Throw Line). Instead of pressing "X" to pull up for a J, you can pull down the right analog stick on your controller, and release it at the top of the shot's peak and that's one way.

Layups/Dunks have been given a little attention this year. With the right analog stick, you can perform different styles. While this could definitely be changed for the future games, with what specific types they are, it's a good base to start off on.

This year also brings the "Dual Player Control". This allows you to send a certain player in any direction, while still maintaining control of the ballhandler.

Outside of Game-Play: 10/10
For the true College Hoops fan, this has a great Recruitment system. You can talk to kids as young as about 14 years old. No, this isn't a Michael Jackson game, but what I meant by that statement is that coaches or you, have the ability to talk to High School FR-SR, Junior College kids, pretty much anybody to maintain interest in your program. You are even allowed to go to high school camps to watch or even play as the high school recruits.

But do know, that being the Coach of Army will be harder to bring in the Number One Recruit, if not impossible, as say being the Coach of Duke.

Not in-game play greatness continues, with a great attempt by 2K Sports, to providing a "Selection Sunday", "Season Preview" and "Season Review" shows. Hosted by Clark Kellogg and none other than Greg Gumble.

The Season Preview show has Greg and Clark issue the Official Top 25, their 1st Team All-Americans and their 2nd Team All-Americans. Selection Sunday is probably the greatest aspect of this new feature of having like an in-studio. With this, each bracket is literally ran down. Before they say them, they say who are on the bubble, which later on, after the brackets are done through, they say who of those bubbles made it, and didn't. Say you are a school, get a #1 Seed in the Tourney, and it was the first time in their school's history, Greg Gumble will make note of that, by replying with "This is [insert team name here]'s first time in school history being the #1 Seed. Other lines said would be "This is [insert team name]'s 11th tournament appearance." The Season Review obviously reviews the season after the Championship is determined in the 65 Team Field.

Graphics: 8/10
This current generation has shown that its capabilities are running short, but it's still very nice. Especially when compared to NCAA March Madness 2006. The arenas are set up nicely; Clark Kellogg and Greg Gumble don't look as bad as they could, even though it isn't perfection. The downfall of this though is the limits on the Create-A-Player and editing of the coaches. While I feel it should be a lot more in-depth, it's ok, for how it is. Another thing to nit-pick about is, something that may be less noticeable. It is the backboard when "0.00" is read on the scoreboard. You usually see the backboard light up in red when it hits zero, but that lacks it. Of course it doesn't kill anything, but it's just one of those little things that people who love realism, like me, nit-picket about.

Sound Effects: 7/10
Now, a few reasons for the sound effects. All Fight Songs aren't in the game, which would of been nice had they were, so you could see the bands playing in the arena, but you don't really have that. The menu music isn't anything to enjoy to the fullest, like NCAA Football 2006 was with the VAST variety of fight songs in that game. That's why I thank Microsoft for giving me the "Custom Soundtracks" feature, with the use of downloading music into the harddrive, and I listen to that instead. For any PS2 readers reading this, sorry for the lack of that feature.

The "Custom Arena Music" feature is ok, if you have MANY songs to go from, but if you just put 4 songs on the list, you are going to continuously hear them throughout the game, that's why I avoid this feature.

The announce team which is new this year, due to the lack of an ESPN license, but if you are a Happy Gilmore fan, you should find a voice very recognizeable on here. Alongside Bill Raferty, who in my opinion sounds like Mr. Spacely from the Jetsons, is Verne Lundquist. Verne Lundquist was the play-by-play announcer on Happy Gilmore when there were tournaments going on. They provide sub-par announcing. I don't mind them, but Bill can somewhat get annoying especially with the "Their playing a 2-3 zone with m-m-many principles!" line. I play a 2-3, so I have to hear that probably 3-4 times a game.

And for any fans of the NFL 2K series, you can hear Dan Stevens and Peter O'Keefe, the announcers from that game, in the "Training Videos" in this game. It brought a tear to my eye, hearing the guys I heard, when I first popped in NFL 2K on the Dreamcast.

Realism: 7/10
Now the realism on here, is somewhat fair, but it's hurting in some areas. First of all the NCAA Tournament bracket isn't in the right order. The #2/#15 game is in the middle of the bracket or so. The next complaint on this comes from the Tournament as well. Upsets seem more likely to happen. I've heard a few people have #16 seed wins, once, maybe even twice in the same tournament. Seriously...when will Colgate beat Duke?

But on the good side, the recruiting system plays out realistically. Playing with someone like Army in Legacy, and trying to recruit someone who isn't God awful is very hard to do, and you end up losing them to an ACC or Big Ten team...

Also, watch out for what you do to sliders. Even 3 or 4 ticks can change many things. Joe Krabbenhoft who is a Freshman at Wisconsin, was dropping dimes, like he was J.J. I turned up the 3 Point Notch up about 3 or 4 ticks, and I had about a 60%+ 3PT shooting game. I do suggest notching the layup slider up about 2 or 3 ticks as the default setting provides in my mind, too many missed layups that could be made. Note that those layups are sometimes changed shot-layups.

And, for those who like having rosters with their REAL names, instead of the computer generated ones, which is a nice feature....many names are included in the database. MANY. Some I never knew came close to being existed are on here. Also, top college coaches like Roy Williams, Tubby Smith, Lute Olson, and many others are already named. Sorry, Dukies...Krzyzewski has to be manually put in. His name is under the database so Lundquist will say "Coach Krzyzewski."

Replayabilty: 10/10
Legacy mode is a must in replayability to move on to a better school. And just getting into the tournament is half-the-fun. Trust me, those pre-Conference games maybe boring and long before conference play comes in, and brackets are just about ready to be decided, but it is worth it. One day I was sick and found myself playing about 6 or 7 games.

Should I Buy it?
This should be renamed, "Why shouldn't I buy it?" As the back of the case says...this is the "#1 Rated College Hoops Game". Of course, rent it first, to see if it fits your likings, but, if you are a true college hoops fan, you will probably fall in love with it, just like I did. In a basketball game sort of way. I'm not here to tell you what YOU should do, I'm just trying to influence it. College Hoops 2K6 will provide you a lot, that March Madness will not. It's a 30 dollar buy if you skip renting, which I did. It's worth every penny spent.

Overall: 9/10 (After being rounded up from 8.5)

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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