|System: X360, PS3||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: Nov. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4 (10 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Pulling an impressive legal sleight of hand, EA has managed to secure the rights to both the CBS and ESPN NCAA Broadcast licenses for NCAA 2010. Graphics and presentations are pretty spot-on compared to their real life counterparts. Commentary is delivered by the CBS and ESPN and it's pretty good, though CBS pales in comparison and tends to drop uninspired epithets like "It goes in!", and they tend to point out fairly obvious and unnecessary things. It's actually kind of amusing if you think about the commentator played by Jason Bateman in Dodgeball. On the plus side, Dick Vitale and company are a treat. It actually may be one of the features that put this edition over the top. To quote the real life commentator: "Don't count your Dukies before they hatch." For anyone who's ever watched the legend in action, 'nuff said.
You may have noticed I haven't really spoken of anything outside of standard exhibition gameplay and the new and improved presentation. That's because there aren't many new features to speak of, especially in terms of game modes. It's unfortunate, but if you've played any other basketball game in the past two years, you've seen most of what NCAA has to offer in terms of on court options. Exhibition, a few preseason tournaments, and a dynasty mode are about all you have to choose from, and most of them haven't changed since NCAA 2009.
The only exception (if you want to get technical) is the addition of Dynamic Updates to the dynasty mode. This online feature offers gamers a weekly download of all the rosters, stats, rankings, player updates, and all other types of numerical gobbledygook that you could ever ask for. While it's a cool enough idea, one has to wonder: what's the purpose of simulating years of NCAA scheduling, recruiting classes, Tournaments, etc. if you're just going use the data from the actual NCAA anyway? Go figure.
All in all, NCAA 2010 is an earnest attempt even if it doesn't quite escape the shadow of Live. If for no other reason, the lack of actual superstars holds the franchise back, even though it ironically seems to focus the title a bit more on solid gameplay. Sadly, this is a good game, it's just not unique and there's very little you haven't seen before. If you're a college fan, it may or may not be worth it. Ultimately, it just depends how stat hungry you are, how much you like playing Live, and how much you like Dick Vitale's voice. And I love it.
Leon Hendrix III
CCC Freelance Writer