Pro reviewers can tell you some of the problems with a game, but it takes a longtime player to hit all the glitches that come up. This is an enjoyable game, downright addictive when you get into the legacy mode, but the errors are bad.
The most glaring is the commentary from Jay Bilas. The vocals too often are way off. The shooter gets hacked, and Jay starts criticizing the guy for shooting an airball. The defense makes a deflection, knocking the ball out of bounds, and Jay is criticizing a turnover.
That's something you can ignore or turn off with controls. What I can't turn off are all the offensive fouls. I can drive to the hoop, be way up in the air for a dunk, then get called for charging when someone undercuts me.
In real life it would be a basket "and one" but here it's a charge. This happens about every third time I drive the lane and try to finish strong. Sometimes the defender has his back turned to me and still gets the call.
Speaking of collisions, I have a real problem with the defensive controls on this game. Sometimes I jump up and block a shot only to see the ball literally pass through my guy's arm and drop into the basket. I can go into replay and watch in slo-mo as my man perfectly times the block, but doesn't get credit for it. It drives me totally crazy.
The reviewer criticized the free throw mechanics for not offering good feedback for why you miss. I say the reviewer is most likely a lousy ballplayer in real life. The system is totally intuative. You release the shot button when the arm is properly cocked. Now that's not as easy as it sounds because there are four different shooting motions, and one of them has a little hitch in it. You think you're smooth, then the man hesitates, and you release the button too early. In real life, think of retired player Larry Johnson or Anthony Mason.
This is a very cool game.
30 to 60 Minutes
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"
Okay, I do not really like basketball games because they are real hard to make pretty realistic but I liked and still like this one. No it does not have the best graphics and not real names but I think it is a great game. A great thing is legacy mode where you can recruit high school players from * to ***** stars. Also you can get achievments and make you as a coach better. At the end of the year is the time to get more and maybe better job offers. Overall, I think if you like basketball and especially college basketball than you should get this game.
"Best College Game in it's series"
0 to 30 Minutes
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"
If you a good Ncaa Basketball game? Heres the game to play. It has Uptodate coaches and Uptodate plays.Even know it dosen't show their names its still ONE very good College Basketball game. Theres two cool things in this game theres season mode and dnystey or something like that there i forget. This one I would say would be the best basketball game Sega ever made. And the best ESPN College game they ever and i mean ever MADE. It's real easy to figue out how to play the game real good Grapics its not to choppey either. So I would Recommened this game to any College Basketball fan. Its for Xbox and PS2 both are poupler plus most people have a PS2 or Xbox . I have a Xbox its good on xbox. i've seen people play it on both. Its real easy to learn on PS2 too. Any body that dosen't have this they should. Stop by your local Gamestop or
Electronics Boutique it should be cheap and farley good used. Both still good.
A good college basketball game, but frustrating for begginers.
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Rent it first"
A good college basketball game, but frustrating for begginers. This game has great graphics and average gameplay but it can get frustrating. Gameplay is very hard to master and defense is a big pain. It almost seems like your difficulty level is harder than it actually should be. Don't get me wrong, it is a good game but before you buy you should try it out first. THe only really good feature on it though is biorythem which shows how well your player is doing. There are no great control moves that can help you win a game or other cool features. The game needs a lot of tweaking and I hope that College Hoops 2K6 and College Hoops 2K7 are better.
This installment retains the flaws in last year's game with no improvements to offset its deficiencies.
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
Last year's ESPN College Hoops had plenty of room to improve on. Unfortunately, the developers seem to have taken the year off, as this installment retains the gameplay flaws in last year's game, and there is no improvement in the gameplay or notable additions to the game.
The game appears to use the same engine as ESPN NBA 2K5, but there are some notable differences. The default camera view remains the baseline view, as opposed to a sideline view in ESPN NBA 2K5. The free throw mechanic has finally been changed, and it's an improvement over the old system. Instead of lining up bars, it's a more intuitive hold the button and release action. The spot on the floor after shots that indicates where the ball will drop that was in introduced in ESPN NBA 2K5 also appears in this game.
In addition to the modes that appeared in last year's game, which include Legacy, Tournament, Rivalry, Gym Rat, and Practice, there is a new mode called Coach Mode, which allows you to focus on the strategy aspects of a game. However, unlike the Full Authority mode in ESPN NBA 2K5, you watch the action unfold on the court instead of simulating it, and make real time decisions on plays, matchups, substitutions, and defensive strategies. The Slam Session mode in last year's game has been removed.
The graphics definitely have a different look and feel than in March Madness 2005, but don't quite match that game. The player models aren't as good, but more attention is paid to the crowd and in creating arena atmosphere, with closeups of the pep band, and with models as opposed to the cardboard cutouts in March Madness 2005. The arenas are more detailed, and have dynamic scoreboards that show the actual score, something that NCAA March Madness 2005 doesn't have. As for the audio, you'll hear the ball bounce, sneakers squeak, crowd cheers, and even cheerleaders and their cheers. Commentary is provided by Mike Patrick and Jay Bilas, and they do a sufficiently good job. A cool feature is that after a game, you can view a generated news article about it, and it will also contain a generated replay from the game.
As awkward as the animations in March Madness 2005 are, the ones in ESPN College Hoops look worse, and even worse, lead to problems with the gameplay. The game is full of awkward looking and slow animations, resulting in disjoint game flow. Players move stiffly, and transitions between animations look awful. Some animations look really weird, especially hook shots. Shot animations, especially jumpers and layups, take too long, which causes problems on what should have been a fast break situation, as it allows defenders time to recover and contest the shot. The same goes with dunk attempt animations, which can be slow enough for the CPU to block you from behind.
A frustrating phenomenon of the game is that often players will take a short jumper when a layup is more appropriate, which was also a problem in last year's game. An all too common situation is during a 2 on 1 fast break situation, after you make the pass, the player receiving the ball will choose to shoot a short jumper instead of a layup. Then, because the shot animation takes so long, the defender has time to switch and you end up taking and missing a contested shot. Adding insult to injury is the frequency of missed shots close to the basket, another problem from last year. Even in the times when your player manages to get an open shot under the basket and doesn't throw up an awkward looking hook shot, they'll miss a maddeningly high percentage of wide open layups, dunks, and short jumpers.
The controls have changed a bit, and not necessarily for the better. Using the default control scheme, Y now performs a lead pass, which can also be accomplished by double tapping the A button. The left trigger, instead of backing down your opponent, is now used as a shift button. This allows you to perform the hop step by using the left trigger and B, which is awkward, since in last year's game it was a one button press. The right thumbstick performs the same IsoMotion moves in ESPN NBA 2K5, but these are useless if your player isn't an elite guard, even if he happens to be the fastest player on your team. It's extremely rare that you'll be actually able to beat a defender or spin past them, since the moves are slow canned animations. Even performing a simple crossover in place can cause you to turn the ball over.
Recent basketball never seem to get AI right, and nothing's changed here. Players still amble around, never really sprinting down court on fast breaks, and they still stop in their tracks to catch passes, even when you use the lead passing feature. CPU players will continue to foul you in the late seconds of a game, even after you've sunk a few free throws to put the game out of reach. On fast breaks, even if the long animations weren't a problem, you still have plenty of chances botched since your CPU teammate will get in the worst position, bunching up near the defender in the key.
It seems that there is some sort of momentum system in the gameplay. When the CPU gets on a run, they can't seem to miss anything, yet you will struggle to make even the easiest shots. It also has to be said that playing defense is pretty much useless. You can play the best defense, yet the CPU will somehow find the space to take and make a short jumper. Getting a block is fairly uncommon, and at times, star players are unstoppable.
While the game doesn't have actual player names preset, if you're inclined to edit the rosters to reflect reality, College Hoops 2K5 has most of the names in its database, no matter how obscure you think a name is. The database of names is huge, and just as in March Madness 2005, there are some names that are recognized in the play by play commentary. But College Hoops 2K5 one ups March Madness 2005 in this regard, not only because it recognizes many more names, but because the arena announcer will also announce the name after a player scores. College Hoops 2K5 is also a lot more accurate than March Madness 2005 when it comes to rosters and arenas. Overall, capturing the college atmosphere is actually something the game does quite better than March Madness 2005.
Like what can be said about every basketball game released in the last year, the game hardly resembles real life basketball. Awkward animation, stiff controls, frustrating gameplay, disjoint game flow, and poor AI kill the game. It fails to fix the issues in last year's edition, and doesn't offer any new features or improvements to offset its deficiencies. While NCAA March Madness 2005 has its own problems, it's the better college basketball game this year, and it's far more enjoyable than ESPN College Hoops 2K5.