With Fall on the horizon, it will soon be time for collegiates all over the nation to gear up for fierce gridiron combat. In NCAA Football 09 by EA Sports, fans can get into the action in style. Playing on my Playstation 3 with the Dual Shock 3 control, I was easily able to setup and start the game. I chose to play the all new mascot play to start which allowed me to play as Harry the Husky the beloved mascot of my alma matter The University of Washington.
Matched against the Fighting Falcons of the Air Force Academy, I was able to select to play at Husky Stadium and select the length of the games quarters. Once the action was underway, I was amazed at the ease of kicking which is often very tricky in sports game of this type. A simple nudge of the left stick selected angle and power and a push of the right stick sent the ball soaring.
I was able to select from a number of offensive and defensive formations as well as listen to commentary from ESPN announcer. Control of the players was easy and I loved the way I was able to slip tackles, flip, and leap to snag passes or knock them away. As happy as I was with intercepting two passes, I sadly through several of my own, mainly in the Red Zone that killed drives.
The gameplay was much like watching a game on television at times as there are ads for real sponsors for various segments of the game. Some may find this distracting but I really liked it as I found it added a touch of realism to the game. Another nice touch was the detail of the game down to the classic siren playing whenever I managed to get the UW team on the board.
Of course players can also select from numerous NCAA teams and allows you to select a favorite. When leaving the mascots to the sidelines the game offers some unique perks such as a home field advantage where certain players are sharper when playing at home and a breakaway engine which allows jukes, stiff arming, spins, flips, and more.
A nice touch was the ability to store photos taken during the game of classic moments from gameplay which allows players to keep a record of the best plays from their games.
The game supports 1-4 players and allows two players to face each other online. I enjoyed the way the designers loaded up the fun factor of the game rather than forcing me to focus on so much micro management which I believe bogs down to many sports game. When I play a sports game I want fun, and action, not a lesson in frustration in dealing with blocking schemes, passing angles, and so on. If I pick the right play, and execute correctly, then I can expect to succeed.