989 Sports



NCAA GameBreaker 2001 Review

By: John Doe

Ah, the boys of summer. Oh, wait, that's baseball. Well, I'm fresh out of intro's.


First off, the graphics in NCAA Gamebreaker are quite uneven; they're excellent in some areas, and just terrible in others. The frame rate is rather slow, and often the animations don't flow as well as they should, and as a result look quite choppy a lot of the time. In spite of the poor framerate, the collision detection is excellent, and the bright, beautiful colors are really a treat for the eyes. But the bad really outweighs the good, and ends up making the overall presentation rather sloppy and unrefined. If more attention to detail was put into the graphics, they really could have been impressive, but its unfortunate that a few problems with the animation really mar the look of this game.

The sound is another area in the game that could have used a lot more work. Though I quite liked Keith Jackson's voicework, and enjoyed the well done, if generic music, the sound effects are incredibly weak. For one thing, the sound of the crowds cheering sounds like a bunch of half-awake, drunken people who don't give a damn about the football game they're watching. The grunting sounds and sounds of tackles are ok, but they could have used a lot more oomph. Just like in the graphics department, some things are done really well, but the things that are not unfortunately often overshadow what is done right.

Thankfully, there are plenty more things done right in the gameplay than wrong, despite a few problems. 989 Studios really loads you up with options for this title, with 115 1-A teams and 64 classic teams to choose from, and plenty of game options. You can choose your game speed, the size of the players, injuries, penalties, what type of camera angles, and loads of other choices. You can play Scrimmages, Fantasy Leagues, Tournament Seasons, Bowl Seasons and the big Bowls, and a few very interesting alternate ways of playing.

The gameplay itself is quite well done in many areas, with very effective control over passing, a decent ability to alter plays, and custom playbook options, which truly enhance the game. The action on the field is quite realistic and entertaining, and if you're a football fan, will definitely keep you interested. But there are a few errors and problems, such as some serious AI issues that allow your computer opponent to cheat and do things that are impossible for a human with super-ability, while the computer controlled players on your team sometimes react just pitifully to what's going on in the game, and are often not much help to you.

Overall, though some things in this game are very well done, others seem very rushed and ill-thought out. The game has quite a few problems, but if you can overlook the generally shabby visuals and sound effects you have here a pretty good football game.






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