NCAA Football 09 Demo Impressions.

NCAA Football 09 Box ArtOf course my comments are for the PS3 version. Out of the gate, I like this one, although it does still have some of the more of the same feel. For some, dare I say long time fans of the series, that may be a good thing, but for others looking for a different football experience, this demo does not do the trick.

The demo is fairly limited. You get to play with LSU or Ohio St, at Ohio State, with two minute quarters. I have no idea about the skill level (or other settings). You also get to play a Mascot game at Florida against Texas.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the graphics are better than what we saw last year. The field looks terrific, the players have nice animations, the stadiums (the two in the demo) look terrific, but the crowds still look somewhat ho-hum. I noticed some collision problems, where players slide and blend into other players, but I have not played enough to know if graphics collisions actually impact gameplay.

I have been able to put together a couple of nice long drives (15+ plays), I have seen the CPU miss what I consider to be easy field goals, and I have seen the CPU fake a punt. I have also watched the CPU complete passes in triple coverage, but I have not seen too many crazy route jumping DBs/LBs. There has been at least one INT where the ball stayed up way too long, bouncing around, begging to be intercepted.

Since there is such a limited roster of teams, I actually played the mascot game, but this is not really my cup of tea. My two oldest kids (9 and 6 years old) enjoyed watching the mascots get it on, but I really do not see why this would appeal to anyone except a bunch of drunken college students. My only real comment here is that the mascot game suffered from a lot of collision detection problems.

One interesting new “feature” is play recognition sequence that has appeared after a couple of turnovers. If you can pick the correct defensive coverage you can keep your composure, but if you guess incorrectly, you lose some composure. Depending on how the system is implemented, it should (or maybe I should say could) give some interesting home field advantage feeling to the game. Hopefully it is not over done.

Speaking of home field advantage, during one goal line sequence, my Dual Shock 3 controller was going crazy as the Ohio St. faithful were cheering like crazy for a stop. And stop me they did on four straight attempts to push the ball across the goal line. What? You did not expect me to play with Ohio St did you? Anyway, the crowd seemed to go nuts.

My wife says the cheerleaders are skimpy. I did not pay too much attention, but they do look better than the horse models from last year.

I will keep playing for a couple of weeks until the full game arrives. Hopefully, no real game killers will reveal their ugly heads.


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