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NCAA Football 08 Review (X360)

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


NCAA Football 08 Review (X360)
Just like most of EA’s sports games on the Xbox 360, the second time is the charm for NCAA Football. Last year’s game was a bit bare bones and felt rushed, but NCAA Football 08 is fully featured and polished and finally ready to do college football justice on next-gen systems. There are still a few hiccups here and there, but NCAA Football 08 is a great game overall that is highly recommended.
Quick Hits

  • Title: NCAA Football 08
  • Platform:Xbox 360
  • Publisher: EA Sports
  • Developer: EA Sports
  • ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone
  • Genre: College Football
  • Pros: Super sim mode; nice graphics and sound; solid gameplay; plenty of modes
  • Cons: Commentary is about 3 plays behind; menus and overlays stutter and chug along; big game college atmosphere is missing


NCAA Football 08 has a bunch of modes that will keep you busy for weeks to come. You can play quick games as well as play online in ranked or player matches, or you can play minigames such as bowling or tug-o-war along with the main single-player modes. Dynasty mode puts you in control of a college football program and it is up to you to recruit new players, call plays, and then execute out on the field. It is a lot of fun to try for an undefeated season and a national championship, or just turning a level one prestige school through the ranks to a level six school. The other main single-player mode is Campus Legend. Here you get to take a player through the end of his high school playing days on into college football. In addition to playing his position out on the field, you also have to make decisions such as what he eats, what he does for fun, and how much he studies. It is all pretty fun and interesting and rather satisfying when everything comes together.


The gameplay is where NCAA Football 08 really shines, of course. It isn’t drastically different from last year, but everything does feel just a tad tighter on both sides of the ball. There really isn’t any aspect of the gameplay that is less than stellar, and although the option is a bit too easy to run and there seems to be a lot of turnovers, it all feels pretty good. College football is a more wide open game than NFL football, which means defenders make mistakes, receivers mess up their routes, and some things just plain go wrong from time to time. That is what makes it so unpredictable and fun.

One thing that we absolutely love is the new super sim options. At any point in the game, you can go into the menu and choose to simulate just the next play, sim until the next change of possession, sim until the next quarter, or sim until the end of the game. This is a great option because it can make games much more fun if you aren’t really into defense or if you have a big lead and just want to get through the game.

Something that detracts from the experience, however, is that the menus and stat overlays move really slowly and sort of just chug along. And it isn’t like it only happens following big plays or when a lot of things are going on. From the moment you start up the game you have to struggle with the performance of the menus and stats that stutter and chug onto the screen, and it is rather off-putting.

Graphics and Sound

The presentation, other than the menus, is pretty good overall. The graphics and animation are stellar, as always, and it all looks very good. It is also nice that most of the stadiums made it into the game, unlike last year where most of the teams used the same generic stadium. The University of Idaho’s Kibbie Dome didn’t make it, which bums me out, but the overall stadium roster is much, much better than 07.

The sound is pretty good as well, but the commentary is a bit of a problem. There are long conversation strings between Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and Brad Nessler, and they play completely before they start on the next play. This means that they can (and usually are) still be talking about your second down 3 yard run even after you scored on third down, kicked the extra point, and are now kicking off. They get caught up if you aren’t just breezing through the play calling, but it is pretty goofy and kind of takes you out of the game a bit.

Bottom Line

Overall, NCAA Football 08 is a better game than its predecessor and arguably the best football game on the Xbox 360. The features list is dramatically improved, and the gameplay is just as good as ever. There are some slight issues with the menus and commentary, but nothing that is a deal breaker. NCAA Football 08 is a solid and very fun game of college football that is highly recommended.

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