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Platform

PlayStation 2

 

Genre

Sports

 

Developer

EA Tiburon

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q2 2005

 

 

- Still the best college football title, regardless of owning the exclusive
license or not
- Race for the Heisman mode is a great addition that will have you completely
immersed in the quest to capture the trophy
- Graphics not quite as good as the Xbox version
- Rosters (including historic ones) for practically every college football
program, no matter what the level, in the country
- Good online play setup

- PS2 analog controller perfectly suited for the game

 

 

- Way too long load times compared to the Xbox version (with its hard drive)
- Pumping up the crowd with the crowd meter at home contests more of a
novelty act than a useful, game-altering advantage
- Long passing game takes a lot of time to develop

 

 

Review: NCAA Football 06 (Xbox)

Review: NCAA 2004 (Gamecube)

Review: NCAA 2003 (Xbox)

 

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<< Return to Page One of NCAA Football 06 Review >>>

 

Another addition is all-year recruiting, and mini-games that serve as a practice mode. Also, more teams and their rosters, including historic teams, are available for nearly every single college football program, no matter what the level, playing today.

 

ncaa-football-06-5.jpg (60758 bytes)         ncaa-football-06-6.jpg (55892 bytes)

 

Controlling the action on the field is generally problem-free as is usual for an EA sports title, and the PS2 version, with the use of the PS2 analog controller, definitely has an advantage over the Xbox version. Gameplay remains tight once again, especially on the offensive side. The passing game definitely requires some practice, particularly long passes, which require a
deft touch on the throw. Even after you learn how to toss the ball with the proper touch, opposing defensive backs play the deep ball tough. They make you earn every long toss you complete.

 

While it's certainly not visually stunning, NCAA Football 06 is a good-looking game, more so in the highly-detailed stadium environments than the player models, although the PS2 version is noticeably less attractive than the Xbox edition. It's the stadiums and the frenzied college crowds that make each college game a special occasion, and EA recognizes the need for creating virtual stadiums that match the real-life stadiums as close as possible.

 

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Helping bring the stadiums to life is not only the visuals but the sounds of the stadiums, including the college bands playing fight songs and the rumbling roar of the crowd that gets louder and louder at home games with the pump-up-the-crowd control. By pressing the "pump-up" button, the crowd gets more raucous and the stadium (and the game screen) literally starts to shake, rattle and rumble. It's supposed to fire up the home team and disrupt the visitors, but it is 

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really hard to see any difference in the results of plays with a rowdy crowd versus a sitting-on-their-hands gathering.

 

If you can resist the temptation of playing the Dynasty and Race for the Heisman mode for just a while, get online and experience a great online football game. Although it's tough if you play someone online that uses the option play a lot (and racking up a lot of yards unless you can shut it down), for the most part, there's smooth-running online gameplay requiring
solid football strategy for consistent winning.

 

ncaa-football-06-7.jpg (51802 bytes)         ncaa-football-06-8.jpg (55284 bytes)

 

Only one complaint in the PS2 version: the long load times it takes the game to get going. If you're a PS2-only gamers, you're probably used to long load times, but stacked up against Xbox (and its hard drive) load times, NCAA Football 06 on the PS2 fumbles.

 

Even when NCAA Football had competition, it easily came out on top and with the good controls and plethora of the famous EA immersive modes, it was destined for greatness even before the addition of the Race for the Heisman mode. There's no doubt that NCAA Football 06 lives up to the pre-release hype and keeps the dynasty going by staying on top and garnering yet another title as the best college football game around.

 

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(August 24, 2005)

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