A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that EA Sports and Tiberon make this NCAA series yearly for die-hard college football fans. Each season they strive to get everything accurate as they imitate college ball. The graphics on the newer systems (PS3 and the Xbox 360) are better than those found on the Xbox and PS2, but all versions deliver sweet college football action.
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What's it about?
In the real college game, the coaches adhere to the most fundamental stratagems in the game, the rules are more basic, the playbook a bit smaller, and the superhuman athletes are fewer and farther between. That's true in EA Sports' NCAA FOOTBALL 08 as well. Each college team is lucky if they have a handful of NFL draft prospects on their roster -- so it's play-calling, rather than play-making that marks the college game. Plus there are so many schools, so many teams, so many titles, and the result is a rabid and enthusiastic fan base.
In NCAA Football 08, the playbooks are expanded, with more than a few clever trick plays to choose from. You can select the kind of plays that can help you win big or blow up in your face. Also, the game offers a deep and massive dynasty mode that lets you control, draft, and handle the team for a set number of years./
Is it any good?
The color commentary from Lee Corso is a "love it or loathe it" proposition -- but that's a pretty good definition of a color commentator. The calls and advice can be wacky -- you can be up by four touchdowns and Corso will still tell you "this is a close game." Right.
Overall presentation of this gridiron classic is stellar, with superb graphics and sound. The game has you pick your favorite school and then presents the game in that school's colors, with their fight song playing. This makes starting the game, especially with friends and rivals nearby, a source of alumni (or in some cases, wishful alumni) pride. Expect to see familiar college stadiums and mascots, and hear marching bands while playing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why people have allegiances to different college football teams. Is it because they know someone who went there? Is your favorite team close to home? Are they having a winning season? Families can also discuss the differences between pro and NCAA games. Some see college football players as unpaid athletes making schools rich by risking their own health -- do you?
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