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Forum LockedFirst Impressions: NCAA Football 06 (PS2)

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JasonSGN View Drop Down
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Joined: 01-25-2006
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JasonSGN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: First Impressions: NCAA Football 06 (PS2)
    Posted: 01-25-2006 at 9:00pm
NCAA Football 06 PS2While I've owned this game for a few weeks, it wasn't until last night that I developed a definitive first impression of the game and realized how good it is.

Note: All of my games have been played on Varsity level with NO slider adjustments and HFA off.

First and foremost, I haven't run any "experiments" on the game or put it through a rigorous "test". This impression is based solely on gameplay and how much I enjoyed the game while playing. I've come to the conclusion that no game will ever be perfect and that there must a balance between realism and fun.

Having said that, I believe that NCAA Football strikes a good balance between the two. Offense and defense are both enjoyable and satifying to play while not feeling like you're playing NFL Blitz. The controls are tight and responsive and EA has fine-tuned the control scheme. For instance, the X button is used for sprinting on both offense and defense by default (there was an option for this in previous games) and you no longer need to press  to bring down your passing icons to run with your quarterback. It may not sound like much but it does make a difference during gameplay.

A nice new feature on defense is the ability to change the defensive line and linebacker assignments while on the line of scrimmage by using the shoulder buttons (L1 & R1) and R3 (right analog stick), making the number of pre-snap defensive adjustments quite impressive this year. Defensive line and linebacker shifts are still available and work the same as last year's game. Swin/spin and bull rush moves have also been moved the right analog stick this year.

The offensive side of the ball has seen some improvements too. Right analog stick controls have been added to the running game and the offensive lines seems to do a better job of blocking this year. While "mario-running" still exists in the game, it can almost be eliminated by covering up the ball (pressing the right analog stick up). The option is also easier (and more fun) to run this year. There has been talk of the deep ball being a money play this year and there is some truth to it. Fortunately this problem can be solved by taking control of the DB and swatting the ball down.

NCAA's most touted gameplay feature this year is the addition of Impact Players. Each team will have certain "Impact" players (indicated by an icon underneath them) that can make a big play at any time. While at first I doubted how much this would add to the game, I've come to appreciate what it brings to the game. For instance, last night I had a hard time getting my running game going even though my halfback is an "Impact" player, but by sticking with my running game, my halfback broke a few nice runs and got "In the Zone" (indicated by a pulsing icon underneath the player) and started getting more consistent runs after that. So far, it doesn't appear that "In the Zone" Impact players become too invincible, but I like the idea of getting a player into a groove.

The graphics have been slightly improved, but nothing that will blow you away. The animations, on the other hand, seem to have been given a nice upgrade. I've noticed quite a few new animations and still see more each time I play. The play-by-play has also been improved quite a bit. My biggest complaint so far is that there is a limited amount of slowdown on certain plays. It's a shame since past versions on the PS2 have never had this problem. It's not enough to hurt the game, but enough to be slightly annoying.

As you can probably tell, I'm pretty happy with this year's game. Is it perfect? No. Is it the ultimate sim? No. Is it a lot of fun to play? Absolutely, and that's all that really matters.

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