Every year I look forward to the beginning of the college football season, especially this year with my Ohio State Buckeyes winning the national championship game over Miami. (Yes, Chris Gamble got held at the line.) Anyways, it’s also around this time that EA Sports releases another NCAA Football
game. So let’s take their latest version through the ropes and see if it’s worthy of the Circuit City crystal football.
So NCAA Football 2004
is back with more teams, more plays, and more features. If the amount of teams wasn’t enough in last year’s game, another 160+ teams have been added to this year’s version. Most of the additions come from classic teams and you can see how the old terrors of the college gridiron fair against the modern day warriors.
Another new feature this year is the ability to play a college classic game. There are 20 games that you can replay and rewrite history. Succeeding will allow you to unlock both teams of that game to play with. There are 20 good games for you to replay and EA tries it’s best to make it as accurate as possible putting you in the situation that was the turning point in the game. For example, in the Fiesta Bowl between Miami and Ohio State, the game starts out with three seconds left and Miami lined up to go for the tying field goal. You’ll play as Miami and you can either stick with the play and go into overtime or try to get it into the end zone to end it in regulation. It’s not totally accurate as it still has Willis McGahee in the backfield when he was taken out eleven minutes before that. You can also relive Doug Flutie’s try for the end zone against Miami. It’s pretty fun to try and rewrite history but I did find it annoying that I had to completely end the game and reselect it if I failed. It does take a little time to get back into the game and I would’ve rather have had the ability to restart the scenario.
In the previous versions, you had to wait until the 8th week to see who was in the running for the Heismann trophy. Now each week of the season creates an issue of Sports Illustrated with several pages of quick blurbs on a hot topic of the week. There’s a section that lists the favorites for the Heismann and arrows that signify if the player is rising, falling, or hanging steady. Each issue's cover is archived for you to lookat again. I must say it’s pretty cool to see a big upset on the cover of that week’s issue.
School records are now available for you to break. Each school has various categories with the number of the player and year the record was achieved. You can put your name in the record books if you are able to have a career game or year and break the records. A nice touch I found was on my fourth sack with one of my Ohio State outside linebacker, one of the announcers said that I needed one more sack to tie the record.
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