|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Canada||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As far as content is concerned, there are very limited options at the player's disposal. You can start a Dynasty or play a Mascot game, but there is no online play, no Campus Legend mode, and no mini-games. I can't believe there were no mini-games! Furthermore, every game mode plays exactly the same. This even holds true for the Mascot mode. Whereas the 360 and PS3 included many cheeky and acrobatic moves, the Wii version just exchanges player models for oversized costumes. And the Dynasty Mode well, let's just say it's about as complex as the Advanced Controls. You can still manage your team by recruiting players, but the tools afforded to you are extremely sparse and yawn-producing.
Gameplay also is marred by constant turnovers and mind-numbing simplicity. I can't tell you how many times drives are stopped on both sides of the ball by someone with butterfingers. It gets to be so bad that it truly cheapens the already poor experience. Tie that together with an obscenely simple running game (due to the "Evade" function), a white trail behind thrown balls (like the red trail in mid-90's hockey broadcasts), and a swarming yet imprecise defense (my line got the jump on the offense every down), and the developers might as well have put the game on auto-pilot.
Other features that I found to be unnecessary (though they are probably good ideas, considering for whom the game was made), was the very limited assisted play calling feature and silly touchdown celebrations. NCAA 09 for Wii has a very limited number of plays from which to choose. Players will likely find a deep bomb, an over-the-middle dump-off play, and a speedy option that they'll use over and over again. Plays are also given simplified names that are easier to understand for those who know nothing about football. Again, I found this to be very limiting and dull, but if you take the intended audience into consideration, it probably is a beneficial feature. The post-touchdown celebrations are tedious time-wasters controlled via swinging the controls around, but they're probably a nice addition for the very young or casual gamer.
In the end, NCAA Football 09 All-Play is a weak attempt at making college football more accessible to the much-exaggerated, casual Wii demographic. Most players will find this game utterly dull and a waste of their time and money. This is a title that should only be purchased for very young gamers. Everyone else is considered warned.
CCC Editor / News Director