A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a straightforward college basketball title with incredibly advanced controls. Fortunately, there are enough tutorial options to allow players to learn at their own pace. However, younger, inexperienced players may consider the controls too complex. Otherwise, it's a great avenue for learning how the college game works.
What's it about?
2K Sports tips off gaming's college basketball season with COLLEGE HOOPS 2K8, a rich simulation that allows you to control almost all aspects within the sport. Fans of the College Hoops series will find little has changed when compared with last year's release.
Fortunately, the gameplay model boasts plenty of depth. Instead of relying solely on the left analog to dribble, you'll use the left stick combined with button presses to execute crossovers, spin moves, and other dribbling skills. Shooting mechanisms still reside on the right analog stick, requiring a push down, then up to fire off jump shots or dunks. Passing controls have expanded to mix up the types of passes you perform. When you hold down the left bumper, your four standard buttons represent different passes, including bounce and lobs.
Is it any good?
The game may feel rather complicated to younger or new players. But College Hoops has broadened its tutorials to help newcomers acclimate at any pace. An initial tutorial walks you slowly through the controls, while an All-American Challenge puts those skills to the test in a series of trials, including a 3-point contest and free-throw challenge. The game gets the fans more involved as well with a 6th Man meter. When your team performs well on the court, the fan meter soars as spectators become excited. Conversely, if you struggle, the arena quiets down dramatically.
What has made the College Hoops franchise so outstanding is not the graphics -- they could use more polish -- but the level of control you have over your team. You can call plays, substitute on the fly, change offensive and defensive tempos, and implement limitless strategic options. In Legacy Mode, you can control off-season activities as well, like recruiting and roster adjustments.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.