NCAA March Madness 08 Review
|System: X360, PS3, PS2
||Review Rating Legend
|Dev: EA Canada
||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
||4.0 - 4.4 = Great
||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
|Release: Dec. 11, 2007
||2.5 - 2.9 = Average
||5.0 = The Best
||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
|ESRB Rating: Everyone
||3.5 - 3.9 = Good
College Hoops introduced the sixth man element, factoring in the intensity of the crowd into player performance. March Madness attempts sometime similar with the Impact Moment, which allows you to pump up your crowd when you fill a particular meter. The crowd will get excited, accurately recreating the feel of a college basketball stadium, but the Impact Moment lacks any utility beyond that. It is supposed to boost your team's level of play, but there isn't any noticeable effect of the Impact Moment beyond the crowd's momentary excitement. Some gamers may automatically step up their game when their virtual home audience is cheering for them, but others may find the Impact Moment to be a superfluous addition.
One of the game's biggest assets is the well loved Dynasty mode. While there isn't much new in the Dynasty mode, this part of the game doesn't need much in the way of improvement. There are inclusions like Recruiting Challenges, which charge you with accomplishing a particular accomplishment, that add a bit of flair, but Dynasty mode is largely unchanged from last year.
The game also has various online modes to play in as well. Gamers can choose their favorite team and go online for exhibition games or to participate in online tournaments.
The PlayStation 3 version of March Madness is by far the inferior version. The framerate is far less than the Xbox 360 one, and the load times are appreciably longer. EA's sports titles have all seemed to suffer on Sony's platform this year, and March Madness, one of the final sports titles of 07, doesn't break that trend in any respect.
Overall, March Madness 08 is a pretty good basketball game. The problem is that it isn't the best basketball game available by far. It can probably easily claim second best, but College Hoops is a much better basketball experience. The animations are more fluid, the presentation is better, the pacing is more realistic
there's a veritable laundry list of things that College Hoops does better than March Madness. March Madness is not a bad game by any means, but if anyone is looking for the definitive college basketball experience, they should look towards College Hoops. March Madness is taking strides in the right direction, but it still has quite a march before it can actually compete.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director
Features: Dynamic Post Control: For the first time, you have complete control over dozens of new offensive post moves, including finesse ones like an up-and-under, drop step, hook spin, jump hook, and pump fake, and the ability to combine moves together. Animations can be interrupted at any time to transition into a new move, enabling you to read and respond to the defense, just like real life. Defend The Post: Take command of the post on defense with strategic positioning to dominate down low -- guard your opponent man-to-man, front him to deny the entry pass, or read the offense and go for the steal! Classic Teams: Replay classic games in college basketball history with over 70 classic teams available to create your dream match-ups. In addition, the ultimate teams for dozens of Division I schools have been created enabling you to determine the best team in college basketball history Feel the Intensity: Feel the crowd come alive and watch as it affects your players' composure in the most hostile environments in college basketball. Your players respond differently based on their individual player composure ratings, influencing their success or failure on the court. Impact Moment: When the timing is right and the Team Intensity Meter is full, activate your Impact Moment to pump up the home crowd, give your teammates a boost, raise your own level of play or intimidate your opponent. Authentic College Atmosphere: Experience the electricity of game night with the band playing fight songs and students cheering their team. With new authentic arenas and interactive environments, your players can chest bump the mascot, pump up the crowd, or fire up teammates. Broadcast Team: ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews makes her videogame debut joining Dick Vitale and Brad Nessler to provide strategic observations throughout the course of each game and real-time injury updates. Complete ESPN Access: Feel the total ESPN experience with new ESPN in-game visuals, access to scores, news, and insightful commentary with ESPN Motion, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN Sports Ticker updates. Enhanced EA SPORTS Lockdown Stick: Get in your opponent's face using the EA SPORTS Lockdown Stick. Pressure your opponent and dictate his every move by playing physical on-the-ball defense, trapping, forcing turnovers, denying passes and jumping into passing lanes. Floor General Playcalling: With the most sophisticated play calling system and authentic customizable playbooks to date, you can run your school's actual plays or create your own playbook to play to your own style. Build your "School Pride": Build your program from a mid-major to a powerhouse. Win games to attract more fans, build traditions and earn rewards like cheerleaders and a school band at home games. Deeper Dynasty Mode: Simulate your games with the ability to interrupt the action at any point and take control to make sure your team seals the victory. Plus, there is more tournament content than ever before with Pre and Post season NIT and the McDonald's High School All American game. All-new recruiting and alumni challenges help you track your progress and achievements on your way building an NCAA Championship program.
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