NCAA Football 2001
|a game by||EA Tiburon|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||10.0/10 - 1 vote|
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I truly love EA's NCAA Football series. I look forward to each new edition with the fervor of a child on Christmas morning. I even prefer it over Madden if you can believe that. That's why it's hard for me to report NCAA 2001 is...(sob, weep) only slightly changed from last year. But, keep in mind "slightly changed" for NCAA is still better than 99 percent of football games. It seems like EA has this niche-favorite on cruise control. No doubt they're focussing on the forthcoming PS2 version (they better be!). Outside of a few tweaks and upgrades it's a clone of NCAA 2000. One new feature is the Advanced Player Control option. This lets you control any player (on offense) rather than just the ball handler. It's fun, especially when you play as a receiver. Run for the open flat and call for the ball by raising your arm. If you're open the quarterback will toss it your way. Other additions include a slightly deeper Dynasty mode (new BCS poll and junior college transfers), the option to name your players, and a momentum meter. It's also evident the Al is better. I couldn't pull off my favorite money plays as frequently. Strangely there are a few bugs. Refs get knocked down constantly, players get tangled too often and occasionally the collision detection breaks down. I still love the game but unless you're a hardcore NCAA nut like me you won't miss a lot if you pass on 2001 (assuming you already own NCAA 2000).
This annual offering from EA Sports is so much like last year's (the reference standard for 32-Bit football) that I had to go back and play the old one to inspect the differences between the two. I'm pleased to report that EA has done a good job of keeping the things that made NCAA 2000 a hallmark (particularly the rock-solid gameplay), and ironing out the few kinks in last year's code. While the new additions like extended custom-team selections and expanded dynasty mode aren't anything revolutionary, they accomplish enough collectively to validate this new edition and perhaps provide a glimpse into EA's online plans for the new consoles.
After playing the previewable version of Madden NFL 2001, I really noticed how little effort goes into EA's NCAA Football series. This is essentially the same game that we've been playing for the past few years, and while that was good enough then, it isn't now. I realize that EA wants to make this game look and play differently as well as Madden, but it should at least look and play just as well. NCAA does have a legendary amount of features--more than you could ever want, but it really doesn't matter. Why use new features on the same old game? I realize some of you need your college fix, but if you just want a football game, wait for something else.