NCAA Final Four 2004
The NCAA Final Four series has never been able to compete with EA's March Madness or even Sega's new ESPN College Hoops series, falling significantly behind in many key areas. There have been opportunities to sneak into the market as even EA's March Madness started out as a huge disappointment. The difference is EA showed significant improvement year after year where the NCAA Final Four series has made smaller advances until becoming overwhelmed by their competitors. Unfortunately, NCAA Final Four 2004 has once again made only small improvements comparatively and still are out performed.
As with most sports games from 989 Sports, NCAA Final Four 2004 offers a complete feature set. The dynasty and career modes offer the most functionality however as the dynasty mode allows you to full control over a team and career mode allows you to build a coaching career starting as an assistant coach trying to become a head coach. Impressive online capabilities are also included with features such as USB headset support, tournament brackets, and leader boards.
The feature set is rarely the problem with sport games however as the inadequate gameplay can make any feature set useless. NCAA Final Four 2004 doesn't have many issues here but the bigger issue is their major competition doesn't have any as significant. The control system for instance isn't as smooth as it could be. At times it seems rather restrictive especially when movement is concerned and not near as fluid as you would like. The graphics also lag behind in some key areas such as accurately portraying the size of stadiums and the level of detail in the athletes.
NCAA Final Four 2004 falls into a familiar pattern of taking small steps instead of giant leaps. By itself, the issues associated with it aren't severe but put it side by side with either March Madness 2004 or ESPN College Hoops, and they fall to a distant third.