Why you should buy it: The best college football game out there; Campus Legend and Super Sim add hours of replay;
Why you should rent it: Not much has changed since last year; presentation looks average; Lee Corso is VERY annoying.
July 24,2007 - Last year’s NCAA 07 title may have been the best college football game in a few years, but it still lacked that one key component to make it the truly best college experience around. While NCAA 08 expands the gameplay to offer deeper and richer customization options, the lack of any notable changes for the on-screen options or presentation make this addition feel almost similar to last year’s version, which is fitting on both ends of the football spectrum.
Playing the game is still relatively easy for fans of the series, but newcomers may find it hard to grow accustomed to all the buttons. While executing plays on the offense is quite a simple feat, the AI never truly feels adequate to cater to your specific difficulty. Constantly the computer will pick off throws that are impossible to catch with even four hands, let alone two. Even on offense the computer exhibits almost near perfection in passing and shutting them down is literally impossible. The high jump from All-American to Heisman difficulties seem rather unbalanced as well, with games making veterans feel like rookies after dominating a perfect season beforehand.
A new mode called Super Sim allows you to take full advantage of your time by allowing you to skip through sections of the game you find irritating or tiresome. Hate trying to guard that wide receiver on defense? Simply simulate over your next defensive stand to make things easier for you. This new feature not only allows you to skip over series of downs, but also quarters, halves, and even entire games. You can even pause the Super Sim at any moment to regain control in case your team starts to play on autopilot and you need to regain composure. Utilizing Super Sim correctly can turn inevitable hour-long blowouts into short twenty-minute games.
NCAA 08 is definitely more hands-on than previous games as there are plenty of things to keep you entertained for a good while. You can still set up a game and hike the ball any time you please, but with the new ability to personally call recruits on the phone, as well as build up your own custom character from the high school gridiron make replaying the game an incredibly high factor. One of the best new features is called Campus Legend, in which you literally live out your college fantasies through a muscle-clad football player. Starting out as a high school player, your career ends during the State finals in which you play to impress scouts of various college schools. If you manage to do well, you will get offers to different school at the end of the finals and how well you will be positioned on their team (some higher ranked schools may make you a third string player or lower).
Dynasty Mode is still well intact in NCAA 08 and a few new things make this addition better than ever. Like Campus Legend, you have the chance to participate in recruiting, but instead or picking a school of your choice, you set your sights on 25 various players all of which have admirations of playing at your college. You can start off by sending them memos in the mail that you are interested in their attendance, and if they happen to respond, you can even schedule meetings, phone calls, or scrimmages with your team. Once you narrow it down to a few worthy players, you can set-up practices and interviews in which you discuss campus life, such as pep rallies, games, and even girls.
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