NCAA Football 07
EA's collegiate leader comes up a bit short for the PSP.
NCAA Football has been a longtime staple in the EA Sports line-up, wowwing the college football crowd to no end with each new entry in the series. Now comes the latest edition, NCAA Football 07, and it continues to shine in the best way possible for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, with plenty of modes, online play, and other goodies. However, the series hits a snag in terms of its expansion. The Xbox 360 edition left a lot to be desired, according to our friends over at GameDaily, and, sadly, the same situation goes for the PSP version.
This is the first time that the series has made an appearance on Sony's handheld platform, and by all means, it's never really a bad thing to have a football game for it, especially one as popular as EA Sports' offering. In this game, you have plenty of options available to you, including choosing from a staggering number of schools, lots of modes to engage in, and even online and wi-fi play. Unfortunately, some items get in the way that force it to underperform, kind of like a kid who's unsure of football's the way he wants to go in life and soon finds himself swamped with linebackers while he's whipped the ball.
The first thing that's bound to nag everyone about this game is the awful running glitch that's present. See, you're basically given and taken away from yards unrealistically because of this glitch,due to positioning on where the ball-runner landed or a mismarking of where they ended up. This throws some problems your way, even with the momentum system, new to the series. The system has its moments, but seems to be too up and down for its own good, as you can earn it with skill but then lose it on a defensive play gone bad. This just leaves the passing game, which is pretty well implemented, and the kicking game, which seems a lot more strugglesome than it needed to be, with backwards and forwards motions that call for utter accuracy with the analog stick. Some may like it, but it just didn't do a thing for me.
Then there's the lack of items that are in the console versions. There's still a Dynasty mode present here, but the drills and mini-games are gone, the weeks have been limited in prepping your team, and some of the actions come up pretty short. There's even glitches that come up during home games, where crowd noise gets a little weird and it just doesn't feel like you're getting the whole college vibe. There's also no sign of create-a-school or Campus Legend, nor any hint of that running for the Heisman that we did in previous console versions. There is a cool Rivalry mode and some other Quick Play options, but that's really it.
Online play via infrastructure also feels a little broken, with some frustrating lags and glitches also coming into play during a game. Wi-Fi games seemed to work OK, allowing two players to take each other on head-on, but the game still missed a major opportunity here. Online play would've made it more appreciated.
The game does have serviceable graphics that manage to capture the excitement of college football. The players look realistic and most of the collision detection is on target. Kudos to EA for also paying some attention to their outdoor arenas, making them lean into striking details, along with their fans. The sound is also pretty adequate, aside from that crappy sound issue with the crowd noise. The commentary team of Lee Corso, Bill Nessler, and Kirk Herbstreit is excellent, nailing down many details, including small items with the momentum meter. And some band numbers are also present, including some familiar fight songs.
I don't hate NCAA Football 07. It's got a packed playbook for each team, a nice presentation, decent Wi-Fi options, some good modes, and a fine passing game. But too many flies have run into the ointment and forced this game into an also-ran position, when it easily could've been a championship contender. It's still somewhat recommended to football fans, but there's a few who are already saying, "I guess there's next year." I can already hear them.
What's Hot: Solid presentation; fun Dynasty mode; playbooks aplenty.
What's Not: Glitches cause trouble for gameplay; many modes and extras are missing.