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Worthplaying Review: NCAA Football 09

Worthplaying reports:

''There's something absolutely magical about college football season. Every Saturday afternoon during the fall months, dorms empty, alumni load into their cars, and the marching band struts its stuff to bring the whole campus together in a celebration of one of America's most beloved sports. While great professional football teams can pull in 60,000 to 80,000 fans on a given week, the elite teams of college football routinely seat over 100,000 partisans, making the big rivalry game an event that every fan should experience at least once in his or her life. This year, NCAA Football 09 is more about the emotion and pageantry than ever, and the result is one terrific game.

Over the years, the NCAA Football and Madden franchises have had their ups and downs when it comes to gameplay, and thankfully this year, at least the collegiate version has done things right. Perhaps the biggest improvement is in your attempts to elude defenders, which is now much easier than in years past. Most actions are now mapped to the right thumbstick (though some staples, like spins and dives, are still comfortably ensconced on the face buttons), allowing you to quickly and easily juke and shuck defenders and leave them in your wake. Furthermore, moves can be strung together now, so you can juke into a spin with ease and further befuddle would-be tacklers.

Another great improvement is the role of composure of players, particularly the quarterback. Fans of the game know that college football is all about emotion, and the rowdy crowds that populate most stadiums are enough to wear on nearly any young man's nerves. Quarterbacks in the game are especially rattled by the crowd, as can be seen before the snap. If you pull up the play chart when a QB has lost his composure, the receiver's routes will appear as wavy lines, if they even show the correct routes at all. A solid performance will calm the gunslinger, and once he's calmed down, everything shows up as it normally would, and his performance steadies. However, if the quarterback is struggling and his composure continues to plummet, he will continually make bad passes and poor judgments, possibly even to the point that you have to bench him and let someone else give it a try.''

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