Although NCAA Football 09 won't be out for a few more months, there is a bit of hope surrounding this season's release.
This is now the third installment for the series on the Xbox 360 and second for Playstation 3. It is about time for EA Tiburon to show us what they’ve got up their sleeve. Development problems should be tackled by now as well as graphics and frame rate issues. This is perhaps the year we should see the full power of “Next Gen” come to fruition.
What we know so far:
With little info being available for NCAA Football 2009 currently, we mostly have last year to go on when looking ahead to this year. However, most of us have seen the video of cover boy Darren McFadden giving the shimmy shake in his Arkansas uniform. This tells us that stick play is going to be focal point once again and with that news, stick jockeys everywhere should rejoice.
We also have seen that player models have been slightly improved from the screenshots recently released by EA Sports. The way the pads fit under the jersey looks refined. Things have also been touched up a little, giving everything a more polished look.
Finally, EA has stated that they are committed to bringing more atmosphere to this year’s game. One can only guess at this time what that might include, but the consensus is that it will be a welcome addition.
What we should be looking for:
After the patch was released for NCAA Football 2008, the game play was vastly improved. This is a trend that should continue in the same direction with the upcoming title. We are talking everything from touch passing to better blocking and defensive back play should be touched.
The menus last year were certainly an area that lacked pop to many. The dynasty menu mostly was the culprit to these complaints. That shouldn’t be too hard to revamp and jazz up a little for aesthetics and functionality.
The inclusion of discipline and medical redshirts are features that are highly requested, and their additions may finally pop up in next gen this July. This would only help to improve a pretty decent dynasty mode, and make the game replay factor last a bit longer.
Downloadable content disappeared last year for the 360, causing a step back with no alternate unis at all to use. One of the hopes across the community for this season is that alternate and throwback jerseys return to the NCAA franchise in some form or fashion. It does not matter whether it is via free download with a much earlier release date than in 2007 or if they are included on the game disk somehow, the hope is that we will see alternates back this season.
Finally the rest of the FBS stadiums should be replicated and put in the game, as there were only a few dozen more left. The addition of FCS teams may finally rear their heads as well on the newest consoles.
When will we know:
With spring practice here for many and coming up for others, it is never too early to start thinking about college football. However, it is still too early to tell what we can fully expect with NCAA Football 09. As is typically the case, we should start seeing some major details turning up towards the month of May.
With E3 no longer giving us our first taste of NCAA in early May, we are forced to rely on EA to release info in the coming months. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to Operation Sports for those details.
In the meantime, expect more info to slowly leak in the coming weeks. Check EA’s homepage and Operation Sports often, as things are always being updated.
If everything goes as it looks it might NCAA Football 09
could see a breakthrough year. However, potential has never been EA’s problem. Hopefully we get everything we wanted and more with NCAA Football 09 this summer!