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Xbox 360 Review: Black College Football Experience: Doug Williams Edition

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Black College Football Experience uses the Unreal engine, although you wouldn’t know it. Here is a graphics powerhouse known for its realistic, if color-subdued, locations in Gears of War. Yet, in BCFX, it can’t even manage to place a camera flash correctly.

During the halftime band face-offs, the terrible flat sprite-based crowd begins clicking away at their cameras, and apparently some of them have found a way inside the concrete of the stadium steps. Flash bulbs are lit in a completely random nature, so while the steps are an odd result, it’s good to know the guy in the back holding the tuba still has a free hand to snap a picture too.

While yes, camera flashes seem minor, they are part of a larger problem with BCFX, an odd moniker that seems to be purposefully hiding the game’s full title. On the field, BCFX feels like a throwback to an era of gaming where football titles were published by random developers, even those who didn’t produce sports games.

It is rather hard to forget the disasters of Emmitt Smith Football, or Sterling Sharpe’s End 2 End, and now Doug Williams has his own on the Xbox 360.

Probably the biggest crime of BCFX is its failing to educate players about what it means to attend these schools. A first-person museum of black college football highlights a small section of the history available, and a brief video on the disc that seems to be more concerned with promoting the video game than the sport.

On the field, the marching bands and drum lines are embarrassed by the limited track selection, and painfully unoriginal Guitar Hero knock-off halftime show/mini-game.

For all of its technology, BCFX is an archaic football title. Physics have not been programmed, letting players turn on a dime and outrun the miserable AI defense with ease. Clipping is prevalent, letting players tackling each other so hard, they find a way to go through their opponent, literally. Robotic movements fail to capture the human nature of the sport, or have no movement at all.

You have to love that wide open receiver stands there as the ball hits his chest and falls to the ground. Suddenly, he decides to show some emotion after the play by putting his head into his hands in shame. Maybe he shouldn’t be so frustrated with himself though. It’s not his fault his hands weren’t programmed to move.

BCFX is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for mild suggestive themes. This game can also be found on: PS3, PC.


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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.