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Q3 2006




- Great new Campus Legend Mode enhances the whole ďcollegeĒ experience Ė including ďsocialĒ events and testing: you actually have to take midterm and final exams
- Gameplay raised to an even higher level of realism with new game mechanics such as Jump the Snap and Slide Protection
- Spring Drills and Spring Game additions give extra opportunity to practice your skills and evaluate talent on your team



- Graphics still havenít improved much from two years ago
- Although itís innovative, some may not like the third-person camera angle returning kickoffs and punts



Review: NCAA Football 06 (PS2)

Review: NFL Head Coach (XB)

Review: Madden NFL 06 (360)



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NCAA Football 07

Score: 9.5 / 10


Itís a little difficult for me to get excited for the upcoming college football season, seeing that Iím an alumnus of Temple University, one of the worst college football programs in history, which didnít even win a single game last year. But while Iím not looking forward to another inevitable Temple Owlsí losing campaign, the harkening of a new college football season brings with it another rendition of the best college football video game, Electronic Artsí NCAA College Football 07.


ncaa football 07          ncaa football 07

Gameplay remains at the same high level thatís always been with a few new enhancements that bring even more realism to a game already soaked in college football realism, as NCAA Football 07 is simply the best college football video game you can get (even if itís the only college football video game around). The upgraded Campus Legend mode brings to your Xbox the whole college experience Ė including partying, studying and taking tests Ė and another excellent online option helps NCAA Football 07 once again take home the hardware as the champion of college football video gaming.

After all these years, EAís college football has honed its gameplay to mirror that of the actual game of college ball, so much so that it even bests the Madden franchise as the most realistic football game around. Adding to the already near-perfect gameplay choices are a few new touches that add to that acclaimed gameplay. Most notable is line adjustments on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, you can use slide protection along the offensive line to counterbalance a heavy defensive load on one side of the line. Sliding your protection allows you 




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to maximize your protection where itís needed, especially in running situations. Jumping the snap helps gain an advantage on defense. If you time it correctly, you can jump perfectly with the snap of the ball to get through the line quicker and get your big tackling mitts on a ball-carrier or quarterback quicker. These move instill even more realism to the gameplay that was so highly regarded already for its realism.



Once again, NCAA Football 07 has an impeccable control schematic mapped to your Xbox controller, including using the ďAĒ button for running with the quarterback. Along with great gameplay, stellar controls have a large role in creating the outstanding college football simulation title that is NCAA Football 07.

What Iíve always enjoyed in NCAA Football is how immersed in the whole college gameday atmosphere your gaming experience is. I love hearing the school bands playing school songs reverberating throughout the stadium. While before you could pump up the crowd, that has been changed slightly this year. You can still excite the crowd and alter them into a screaming, yelling, cheering mass of rabid fanatics rooting loudly for their favorite team with the stadium decibel pulse booster.

The crowd cut-scenes that happen after a big play still arenít as good as they could be, but thatís made up for with dead-on replication of the intensity of the college football frenzied crowd and the true-to-life stadiums. Thereís also a Momentum Meter, which you swing wildly back and forth depending on turnovers or big plays. It can establish momentum for one team or take it away from others, having either an extremely positive or momentously negative effect on your or your opponentís final outcome in any particular contest.

A good way to build up your skills to get that Momentum Meter swinging in your direction is in the new Spring Drills mode, where you can practice plays and get used to your on-field personnel by playing and practicing 11 mini-games. Thereís also a new Spring Game that lets you practice in a ďliveĒ game situation.


ncaa football 07          ncaa football 07

The Race for the Heisman mode has been transformed into this yearís Campus Legend mode, where the basic goal is the same: become a star player while pursuing the Heisman Trophy, lead your team to a national championship, and get yourself in position to be an instant millionaire by becoming a NFL first-round draftee. But NCAA Football 07ís Campus Legend mode augments your college video-gaming experience.

Now, you can actually enjoy social events or skip the partying and study for that upcoming midterm or final exam. And yes, you really must take a real test with actual questions (10 total). I chose U.S. History, and had to recount my school days to get some of the questions right. Although the questions arenít much harder than what a high school freshman may encounter, donít think the testing aspect is just a throw-in feature. If you donít do well in a test, you actually become academically ineligible to play in the next game. Now thatís something no college football game has had before (and may take off some of the heat from politicians that say video games have no educational value).

Only one area could NCAA Football 07 stand to improve, and thatís in the graphics. While it still has a better visual flair than Madden does, it still looks like NCAA Football 07 is using the same graphics as were around from two or three years ago. But graphically, for a soon-to-be-previous-generation title, it certainly isnít that bad, just noticeably unimproved from past renditions.

Although the on-field camera remains unchanged during games from previous NCAA Football games, one new angle is the third-person camera that takes effect while youíre returning kickoffs or punts. Instead of getting a wide camera angle that covers the entire field of oncoming would-be tacklers, this yearís third-person perspective puts you more in the shoes of the returner than ever before.

You donít have the advantage of seeing the side onrushing opponents, instead having an almost actual view of the action, just as if you really were catching the ball on the gridiron. It makes returning kicks much harder, but much more realistic and even more satisfying if you can break off a big return by finding daylight in a gap and head for the end-zone. However, I didnít really warm to the whole third-person camera, although Iím sure many gamers will see it a welcome and innovative new gameplay feature.

Another facet where NCAA Football 07 stands pat from the past that is actually a very good thing is in its excellent online play. As with all EA Sports titles, NCAA Football is relatively new to Xbox Live, but you wouldnít know it by its magnificent online setup. Smooth-playing online play has become the norm with EAís football titles, and NCAA Football 07 continues in that tradition.

With so many amazingly awesome features and the gold standard of college football gameplay, NCAA Football 07 is without doubt the ultimate college football game for the college football fan (even for a Temple University football ďfanĒ). Online play, new features, and completely perfect gameplay once again show everybody why NCAA Football 07 is always considered one of the best sports video games year in and year out.

- Lee Cieniawa

(August 21, 2006)


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