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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

NCAA 2005 Review 

And i swear that I'll get back to political blogging soon...

Anyway, as you would expect, I really do like this game, even more so than the 2004 version.

The defensive AI has improved, which makes running your offense more of a challenge. Money plays don't decide close games anymore, at least not as much.

I haven't played enough of a dynasty yet to get a feel for the discipline feature, but some of the guys on Hornfans.Com have cited that as an annoying function. Apparently players can also transfer, so I've tried to get PT for my reserves. Again, I'm not nearly far enough into the season to see how this new function affects gameplay.

Two of the the big changes, home field advantage and the matchup stick, are a little underwhelming. HFA is a great concept, but I haven't noticed it make much of a difference, save for a botched chip-shot FG that I missed against Florida in The Swamp. The screen shook a lot, but I'm not great at kicking anyway. The matchup stick tells you who's rattled or who's composed, but who cares? Again, I haven't noticed the "composed" guys playing that much better than the "rattled" ones.

The biggest change, I think, is with online play. You can see much more detailed stats about a potential foe, meaning that the cheeseballers can't surprise you with their booty ball. You can scout opponents and see how often they throw Hail Mary's, what percentage of plays they run no-huddle, or how many times they scramble with the QB. You also have the option of playing 32-, 8- or 4-team online tournaments, as well as quick Overtime rules games.

All in all, the guys at EA didn't just recycle last year's games. There's a lot of new stuff worth checking out, and I'm sure that as we approach football season, gamers will spend a lot of prep time exploring its many features.



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