Can you hear the fight song playing in the background? Can you smell the freshly charred hot dogs cooking? Can you smell the nasty beer breath from the fat guy sitting next to you with his face painted blue and gold?!? If you can then you know it’s football season once again and the games are beginning to roll right in! The first entry comes from EA Sports in the form of NCAA Football 2003. After a very successful outing last year can EA capitalize on it’s #1 selling college football franchise? We shall see my friends..we shall see.
Being the only good college game on the market it isn’t hard to be the best. The thing that stands out about NCAA Football is that it is actually a great game! The play calling is superb, the offensive and defensive strategies are spectacular and for the first time in a college game we have 3D polygonal cheerleaders!! Yet still no half-time show…shit! Overall though you have the most complete package a college fan could dream of, but does it end there? Nope on top of all that you also get an overly deep dynasty mode, a create a player option, the ability to fully customize your rosters for each team (which takes years to finish!) as well as a create your own school mode! Whew with all of these options packed in it’s no wonder this is EA’s first football game to grace a DVD and actually use the space.
The create a school options is not just a nifty feature thrown in at the last minute you can actually customize everything from the hometown to the freaking fight song! You have the ability to choose from over 200 different fight songs, the only gripe is that I was hoping for custom fight songs. Tell me it wouldn’t be cool as hell to have your team’s fight song be a rocking tune from Unwritten Law or Bad Religion?!? Imagine it now here comes the Outworld Gamers and the song starts up…”Well I’ll see you around, don’t wanna stay and drown, the drama got too thick…makes me sick…” and then your team blasts onto the field and the crowd goes wild. Imagine the possibilities my friends, just imagine.
The options are not the only thing getting an upgrade this year. The game play is also tweaked for you football heads. The passing and running game have been revamped beyond belief. Adding the ability to call “options” are an added bonus. The offensive line also seems a bit smarter than last year giving your running back some room to run. The passing game has received quite an overhaul as well, most noticeably on defense. Your defensive line can more easily trace routes and find their man. Interceptions are obtained with skill, and they are so so very sweet.
I won’t bore you with details on the dynasty mode as most reading this review are familiar with it already, what I will say is that it is deep. This is not an understatement, you can literally spend hundreds of hours coaching your team to victory. There are also trophies to win, rivals to conquer, and cheerleaders to…uhhh well I will leave that one up to the imagination. In the end if you are a football nut, especially a college freak then this is your wet dream. Do not hesitate get your asses to the bookie and bet on EA Sports’ NCAA Football 2003.