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NCAA Basketball 09: Initial impressions 
Posted on November 24, 2008 at 04:20 PM.
Well, I've had NCAA 09 for a couple of days now and I think that I've played through enough games to give my initial impressions of the only college basketball game in town for 09....or 2008(never quite understood why sports video games started to go the route of the automobile industry releasing their new product with the next year in the title ...but anyway...)

After playing a handful of games over the weekend, I can honestly say that I can see why many people here have been praising this game and why many have been bashing it. But luckily for me, the good out weighs the bad.

I'll preface by saying that I am a basketball junkie. I love playing, watching, and coaching it. No other game is in my console more than basketball games.....especially college basketball (and for the past few years especially 2k's College Hoops series). Once I usually get my hands on College Hoops, thats when I stop playing my football titles. Being on a little holiday budget this year, I had to trade in all of my games to get this title (NBA 2k9, Madden 09, and CH 2k8)....so I put alot of stock into this purchase....I was worried that it may not be worth it....

As many have already said, the floor spacing is great! It truly is. This opens the game up so much more and I definitly can see the difference after playing the hell out of CH 2k7 & 2k8. The player movement off the ball really stands out in this game and truly gives that college basketball feel. You see it with your players as well as the CPU players when they have the ball.....its pretty amazing.

I love the post game. Dynamic post play was the main feature last year iirc.......I am glad to see it back in this year. ONce you master all the post moves, it adds even more depth to the gameplay.

The playcalling system is great. It is much easier on the eyes than having the play diagram art on the court while playing....

I love the tempo meter and it is not overdone at all. This is something I have ALWAYS done while playing CH....now it just really matters!

Love the little things like the limited time you get in timeouts. I mentioned that I liked this in MM008....since you get a minute for full TOs and you have your 30 sec timeouts, you have to really plan ahead as to what you want to do during your timeouts. I just wish they gave you more options to do things during timeouts like:

- giving us the ability to choose a play out of the playbook to run out of the timeout...

- ability to call a press with press options (after next made basket, after dead ball, always, never, etc...)

- set player to player defensive matchups/ pressure (right now, its just gives you position double team options/pressure)

- choose a point of emphasis (like in CH 2k8)

All this would be nice to have the option to do during timeouts....it would make timeout usage more important than it just being a way to rest some tired players.....but maybe next year .

The graphics are GREAT! Some of the best I have seen in a sports video game on my 360 outside of Fight Night. Some of the animations are a joy to watch.....but there just aren't enough of them. 2k, i think, has really spoiled us in this department.

PLAYER NAMES DON'T APPEAR UNDER THE CPU PLAYER WHEN THEY HAVE THE BALL .....I HATE THAT.

The quick sub menu (when you press up on the d-pad during gameplay) does not include situational lineups...and you also cannot view fatigue or player fouls ....it makes it very difficult to make subs during the game. The best time to do it is during freethrows when there is no action going on....the only problem is that YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE QUICK SUB MENU DURING FREE THROWS!!

I love the ESPN College Basketball music to start the game...but i wish they did more of this type of stuff to enhance the presentation a bit. How about some ESPN graphical stat overlays? They can even have the score show like it does during an ESPN college basketball broadcast. I do like the fact that they pick out 2 key players to watch before the game (one from each team)....then after halftime they show the stats of those 2 players to see how they are stacking up against each other...nice touch there.

Presentation is lacking, but the atmosphere is great. One of the games I played over the weekend was Davidson (me) at Oklahoma. I kept hearing "boomer-sooner" and some other chants from the student section...it was great! I jumped out to an early lead and eventually completely took to crowd out of the game. The Sooners made their run and the crowd got louder and louder and it really sounded phenomenal when the Sooners hit a 3 to take their first lead of the game with like just over 2 minutes left in the game......my players never recovered ....but the atmosphere was great in that game.

Not too much to say about the Dynasty mode just yet. I will comment more once I really get deep into it.

But to me the beauty of the gameplay trumps all of this for me. Bottomline for me is that this game is fun, period. Once I realized how fun it is to play this game, I stopped "looking" for flaws and reasons why not to like this game.... and I stopped trying to compare it to CH 2k8. I am very happy with this purchase and I am sure the slider and roster gurus here on this fabulous site will make this game even better for me!
Comments
# 1 jwmw9207 @ Nov 24
the reason certain sports call it 09 even though its 08 is because the championship for the particular sport is in 09.... ncaa basketball has its championship in march of 09 thats why its called ncaa 09... football in january 09 and nfl in february 09. make sense? baseball games do not do this.... look at mlb 2k8.... since championship game is in october/november of the same year.
 
# 2 statum71 @ Nov 24
I was pleasantly surprised with this game. I must say EA put out a great effort. I only wish it had multi player dynasty.
 
# 3 jwmw9207 @ Nov 25
i played the demo and it was ok..... i will rent it first
 
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