www.whyville.net Sep 12, 2006 Weekly Issue

Whyville Columnist

The Gaming Gazette

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There are several ways to play football on a fairly high level. Option 1: You get arrested and play the prison guards in a football game, next to Adam Sandler and/or Burt Reynolds. Yeah, have I watched too much of The Longest Yard or what? Option 2: You are born insanely incredible abilities at the game of football. You work hard to develop these abilities and BAM, you're spiking the ball into the endzone for say, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Or Option 3: You can step back into the pocket as a pixilated Chris Leak, and get the ball intercepted by a computer-generated Myron Rolle, who returns it for a touchdown, and does incomparably lame dance moves to celebrate. Bingo we have a winner!

Yep, it's that time of year again. The time of year where everyone's favorite software megacorporation, EA Sports churns out the latest installment of the ever-popular (but still not as well-selling as Madden) NCAA Football.

Perhaps a little bit of background is in order for those of you who are puzzled as to what a football, the NCAA or a video game is. NCAA Football (insert name of upcoming year here, which in this case would be 2007) is yearly updated by EA Sports, and features all the bone-crunchin', pigskin-throwin', tailgatin' excitement of college football!

This year's latest installment features improved onside kicking, (plays celestial music) all 119 Division-1 teams, all of the Division II teams. (about 75 or so teams, which is amazing compared to the original game in the series, Bill Walsh College Football, which featured all of 25 teams. Yeah, not much variety there. But give 'em some credit it was released in 1993) It also has Campus Legend mode, which has supplamennted last years Race for the Heisman mode. In Campus Legend, you attempt to be enshrined in your school's hall of fame, by excelling in performance on the field and off the field. (By getting good grades, attending parties, etc.)

But undoubtedly the most exciting new addition is the Momentum Meter. This affects your players' abilities to make good plays. You can build up your momentum meter by throwing some big passes, putting points on the board, or converting on that big 3rd down. However, throw an interception, or fumble a kickoff, and watch the momentum swing right back the other way. This heightens the intensity and emotion of college football, without injecting testosterone. Yay!

Other new features are EA Sports' new partnership with ESPN, as a result, ESPN the Magazine is now featured on the main screen, which displays constant goings-on around the football world. Also, if your game is particularly memorable, or just with a close score, it will be branded "An ESPN Instant Classic!"

On the other hand there are a few microscopic complaints. The fans are still basically cardboard cut-outs shaking randomly. (supposedly to simulate clapping) Not to mention the irksome Impact Camera. The Impact Camera will zoom in on a big play (An interception, a touchdown pass, or just a big hit) and slow it down. It's annoying and unnecessarily interrupts game play. But, these are only minor problems, and you'll quickly get over them and dive right into the collegiate fun. Who knows? It may actually make you want to (gasp) go outside and start a pickup game of your own.

This is gamer37 signing off to massage my dolphin.

Authors Note: NCAA Football 2007 is available for PC, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, and PSP. (No Nintendo version so far) However Campus Legend mode is not available on the Xbox 360 or the PSP versions. This game is rated E for Everyone on all platforms. Restrictions apply, results may vary. Oh, and by the way, my Myron Rolle interception (which you may have noticed above) helped Florida State take the lead and triumph over the Gators. Go Seminoles!


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