Wednesday, August 06, 2008
NCAA Football '09 Wii Review
The image above, of a Golden Gopher corralling a Badger near mid-field, is a publicity photo EA sent out to promote the Wii version of NCAA Football '09. The fact that the best thing they have to sell you is the ability to play as team mascots, which you could do three or four years ago, is a joke. And not even a good one. Syracuse's Otto sacking the Stanford Tree would have been funnier.
I would only recommend NCAA Football '09 for the Wii if you're a woman, a child, or a person who knows nothing about football. Because of the limitations of the Wii and its audience, the game offers graphics that aren't far removed from the PS1, gameplay options that are spartan at best, and controls that are dopey.
The Wii is a bit like Jason Terry. It's a great second option but shouldn't be your only system, and you wouldn't want to pay any more for it than you did. If you have the Dirk Nowitzki of an XBox 360 or a PS3, you should get the football games for that system. Some of the Wii's controls are impressive, but you get tired of watching it dribble after a while. (End of metaphor.)
Mighty Ducks flying v reference, followed by the shape of a v resembling a vagina, followed by USC being vaginas. My job is easy.
Of course, to qualify my condemnation of the game, your enjoyment of it probably depends on what you want out of a football video game. If you're looking for simulation--plays that work the way they're supposed to, the ability to defend passes, and should-be-standard features like a multi-season dynasty mode--this is not your game. If you want your controller's speaker to scream, "Hike it!" every time your play clock dips below ten seconds, if you want to look like a jackass as you shake your remote wildly to increase your team's momentum, this is your game. (However, it would be entertaining to watch competitors try to look hard while doing that in a tournament.)
Once you accept that the game is simply more of an arcade sports title than the EA pedigree would imply, it's more fun. It actually works better with the simplified play options than it does with the extensive playbooks, and it's liberating making the literal pitching motion to your running back on the option (my specialty). That still doesn't make you un-pissed that you can't do things like play online, a feature that has been around for at least five years. (With all the online options for XBox 360 and PS3, I heard that obsessive people upload player name lists, so you don't have to rock MLB #33. This would have saved me a lot of time with Ken Griffey, Jr. Baseball back in the day--N. Noheart=Joe Carter.)
But the newest edition of NCAA Football has one more advantage: Timothy Richard Tebow, who must now be added to the sports video game pantheon right alongside Bo Jackson, Joe Montana, Randall Cunningham, and Mike Vick.
I'm fine with Tebow dominance for the next two years, as long as UF hatred remains at an all-time high.
For example, I played three games the day I rented NCAA, all on the All-American skill level. One with LSU, (Ryan Perriloux is in the game by the way.) one with Penn, and one with Florida. I won close games the first two times, but when I switched to Tebow mode, I won by forty. The home-schooled hero had a 357.4 QB rating at the end of the match. So if you enjoy field generals making plays with both their arms and their fleet feet (no Gary Danielson), you might want to experiment with Tim Tebow (no Verne Lundquist). Just make sure it's on another system.
You know what debating college football ephemera reminds me of?
7th Floor Crew- "7th Floor Crew"