EA Sports games are iterative. We really should be used to that fact, but every year we’re teased with the addition of new features and enhanced controls. Sometimes these changes are refreshing, as with this year’s NCAA Football 10 and its online team builder. With this year’s college hoops installment, the emphasis was on the new motion offense. It’s interesting, but the implementation is shaky.
The ability to trigger teammates making moves to get open is useful in theory. The problem with team sports games has always been that your teammates don’t put any effort into it. The problem is in how EA made it work. You can only trigger the motion once all team members have made it past half court. You can’t choose who moves, and when the indicators light up to tell you to pass, it’s often too late, and the teammate gets the ball out of scoring position. Ultimately, it’s just as effective to pass as you could in previous versions.
The only other noticeable addition is a second type of presentation. EA has gotten the rights to CBS Sports, so it added a broadcast team and set of graphics, primarily for the NCAA Tournament, as that’s covered by the network. It’s nice, but it’s not worth buying another game for.
Besides that, it’s what you’re used to. Exhibitions, a dynasty mode, and…well, that’s it, actually.
If you need a college basketball game, this is solid. But so’s last year’s game, and since the game doesn’t include rosters, you wouldn’t be missing much. ’09 is incredibly cheap at this point. If you’re on the fence (and that’s typically when you read reviews), there’s nothing here to push you over.
Pros: Solid, polished game
Cons: It’s polished because they’ve released it a few times already