Wednesday , April 24 2024
EA covers all areas of the court in this latest college basketball installment.

PS2 Review: NCAA March Madness 07

College basketball comes alive with great game play ranging from training camp to tournaments. Electronic Arts does a great job creating a complete sports experience full of extras, options and excitement.

Some decent improvements from last year’s counterbalance some long cut scenes (during key plays), fatigue challenges and clipping issues (arms going through backboards, etc.)

You get the standard slams, tip ins, tip slams and mid air rebounds plus the momentum meter. All this activity inevitably causes fatigue, which is hard to balance. It seems players get tired too quick or not at all, so it’s takes some effort to find the correct balance.

The arena pulse (present in the top 25 toughest team’s home) can shake up any opponent for a startling advantage.

The familiar lockdown stick boosts the defense and lets you draw charges. This feature works surprisingly well (once you get the hang of it), especially against the A.I.

The real focus of the game quickly becomes your “go to guy” choice – floor general, senior leader or star player.

If you want more control, then use your “floor general” coaching powers like running set plays and set substitutions.

The role playing elements expand as well with off season strategies, player violations and maintaining an acceptable academic progress rate.

In the My NCAA mode, players can replay the magic of classic games like Texas Western vs. Kentucky (1966… remember the movie Glory Road?), Duke vs. Connecticut (1990), Georgia vs. North Carolina (1982) and Valparaiso vs. Ole Miss (1998).

ESPN announcers Dick Vitale and Brad Nessler add appeal without being too repetitive or annoying except for out of place commentary that doesn’t seem to match the actual game. This commentary often seems programmed to focus on the current action instead of the bigger picture.

Online capabilities feature customizable session matches, quick tournaments (four or eight players) and lobby matches (based on skill level or country).

The crowd noise and special student sections complete a satisfying experience.

NCAA March Madness 07 is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on: Xbox 360.

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