It’s time to look at another basketball game. This one takes us to the college level of the sport rather than the NBA. Maybe this was intentional although I’m not sure, but the pace of the game is a lot slower. The players don’t move as quickly and you won’t be nailing the 3 point shots with ease. I’m guessing a whole lot of this is just placebo, but it’s definitely something that I felt like I noticed. I didn’t like it as much as the NBA games, but it’s still Basketball so you really can’t go wrong here.
There are the usual assortment of modes here, but you’ll probably want to get right into the matches. A new gimmick here is that before the game starts you can play a minigame where you try to score as many points as possible on your own and see if you can pass the total that the other team got. I was able to win the first minigame but then when trying to top the score from the final difficulty I couldn’t even get all that close. You need a lot of crazy skills to really go that far. It’s a fun little thing to make the game more unique.
Then we’ve got the actual basketball gameplay which is basically what you would expect from the others. You run up and down the field and try to make as many baskets as possible. Whoever scores the most wins. Passing and shooting is pretty basic and there are no meters so you just have to try and get the timing done. I really do prefer it that way so no meter is definitely fine by me. As I mentioned the speed is a bit slower so you’re going to want to do more passing here. Just running up the middle is definitely not going to cut it here. They’ll steal the ball like it’s nobody’s business.
Defense definitely feels extremely important here. I had a hard time stealing the ball, but the other team was definitely really good at it. There’s also a new technique you can do where you just lunge for the opponent’s ball. 9/10 times this will just result in a foul, but otherwise it is a guaranteed steal. Seems way too risky to be reliable, but maybe there’s actually a way to do it safely. If so, then that’s definitely a game changing move and you’re gonna want to have that one when you face off against real opponents.
This is usually where I’d throw in a tip but I basically got steamrolled when I fought the computer on the hardest difficulty. I won on the weaker one no prob, but on this mode I just couldn’t stop them and they would stop me about half the time. As a result the gap in the score just kept on growing. I guess your best bet is to try and anticipate who the computer is going to pass it to and make the steal that way. Otherwise they definitely aren’t going to miss many shots and even when they do their guy is always ready on the rebound. Stealing is always a tempting option of course, but foul them too many times and you’re going to see their free throws going up. Just as you won’t miss those (because they’re easy) the computer won’t either. Winning in a full on shootout like that is probably not going to work.
The graphics here are definitely pretty good. I’d say that they hold up pretty well personally. You won’t be distracted during the game or anything like that. If anything it’ll just hone your focus even more and make you ready for the sport. The songs aren’t memorable or catchy though so there’s not much to say on the soundtrack. This is par for the course with basketball games in general though. You’re not exactly buying a game like this to listen to the soundtrack.
As far as replay value goes there is a lot to do here. You can play basketball games for hours and starting a franchise is definitely not something that will end over night. That being said, as long as NBA exists there isn’t a whole lot of reason to play this one. I suppose if you’re just really into College Basketball in particular then it makes sense to get this one. Otherwise I just don’t imagine there will be a large audience for these games over the NBA ones. While it’s a minor point, I also like the NBA’s faster pace for the gameplay.
Overall, This was a fun game. It’s not exactly a game changer, but it’s always fun to have another sport title. I don’t really see this series around anymore so I get the feeling that it probably ended. I definitely have at least one more college basketball game coming up though so we’ll see how it stacks up to this one. It may feel like the sport games never end, but I only have around 30 left. Once Basketball ends it’ll probably slow down quite a bit though as I just don’t enjoy the other sports quite as well. All in all, I recommend this game, but you’re better off just sticking to NBA for the definitive basketball experience. That or 2K, that one is also supposed to be really good although I’ll find out for myself soon.