|System: X360, PS3, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Visual Concepts||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: 2K Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 19, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Coaching Adjustments is a new feature that adds that college atmosphere to the game. During halftime, a menu in the form of a notepad, complete with scribbled menu options appears, allowing you to adjust your defensive matchups and pressure and make adjustments to the game plan. The cool addition, however, is the notes that have been written about the current game, which will suggest taking players out, crashing the boards, double teaming opponents anything that the virtual coach deems fit. Most of the suggestions seem like sound advice too, which gives players with low coaching acumen some good advice during the halftime break.
Other new features round out what makes College Hoops 2K8 such a great game. The Play Designer lets the strategically minded craft and implement plays of their own. Create A Chant lets you design your own college chant for use in the game. Tutorial, something all sports games need but most lack, teaches you how play the game effectively, including use of the Isomotion moves and Post moves. It does, however, ridiculously include sections teaching how to shoot and rebound, which are hopefully superfluous for anyone playing the game. The All-American Challenge lets you run assorted drills, either alone, against another person, or against a computer opponent. There isn't much of a benefit to this mode outside of its use in Legacy mode, however, where it boosts your player's stats.
Speaking of the Legacy Mode, this is where a lot of gamers may spend most of their time. The Legacy Mode places you in the shoes of a coach aspiring for greatness. You start out at a small school with the ultimate goal being offered a position at a large, prestigious school with a fantastic team that you organize and coach. You'll be able to recruit new players from the new Amateur Basketball League feature, which lets you track and choose from 1500 high school players. This mode can be rewarding, especially for those with an inner coach that second guesses every move of professional coaches, but it can be daunting, especially since it is largely menu driven and lacks adequate training to ease any new players into their role.
Visuals are great in the game, with character models that animate well. They aren't as realistic looking or as dynamic as their NBA counterparts, but they still convey that college freshness and vitality. The sounds are well done too, with great commentary, realistic crowd cheers, and a great soundtrack.
Of course, players can hop online and challenge others in single matches, leagues, and tournaments. College Hoops has also included 2K Share, which, like recent games such as Halo 3, allows you to upload your files, including things such as created chants, plays, and legacy files for others to download.
College Hoops 2K8 is a great college basketball game, both for dedicated fans of the game and for casual b-ball lovers. The new additions to the game, even the flawed ones, are a step in the right direction, bringing the game closer and closer to the definitive college basketball experience. Fans of the NCAA could definitely do worse than to give College Hoops 2K8 that old college try.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director