NCAA GameBreaker 2004 Review
I grew up in the South where football, especially college, was king. I can remember the cool autumn days and evenings where my friends and I would gather around the TV to watch our favorite team play. All week long we would either be talking about the game coming up or talking about the game that was just played. Those were indeed good times. So while I actually follow pro football more these days, I know the passion and excitement of the college game. Now the question is if 989 Sports newest entry to college pigskin is able to help relive those wonderful memories of such a great atmosphere. There are certainly some nifty areas of GameBreaker but when you compare it to what else is available it quickly turns into a blowout. Letís see whyÖ
One thing I can certainly not fault GameBreaker on is the amount of game modes available. There is the Scrimmage mode where you can pit any two teams against each other and select options like the weather, stadium and time of the game. Next is the Bowl Season. This is pretty much what college football is now. You pick a team, there are over a 150 available, and play that team through the regular season. If you have done well enough in the regular season then you may get invited to play in one of the Bowl games. A mode that they should adopt in real life is the Tournament Season. This is similar to the Bowl Season because you play the regular season schedule. However at the end of the season instead of going to a bowl game the top 16 teams are broken into four regions. The winner of each region plays until there are two teams remaining and playing for all the marbles. Now thatís what I call a National Championship game! Settle it on the field and donít leave it up to votes! If going through the regular season is too much of a strain on you there is the Tournament Mode where you just go strait to the tournament.
|An Orangeman gets planted.|
But wait, there are even more modes. Besides the traditional Practice Mode, there is the Career Mode. You start of as a lowly assistant coach somewhere that youíve probably never heard of. But itís start and thatís all youíre asking for. If your team does well expect other schools to start offering you better positions. However if your team tanks, you can start looking for another job whether you wanted to or not. Part of your job will require you to tackle recruiting. This is an interesting aspect of the game because it requires you to keep track of your teamís need. For instance if half of your offensive line is about to graduate you had better be getting on the horn and trying to get a blue chip player or three to commit. One down side of the Career mode is that I never could find the section where you had to explain to the alumni why you were caught drunk in a strip club or why you were betting on your team to lose by 5. How realistic is that?
Oh yea, thereís also online play for those with the adapter. I found 989ís online community very nicely set up. There is even a way to download updated rosters for you team. Then again if your star running back just broke his leg maybe you donít want to take advantage of that. It was easy to find someone roughly at your skill level in one of the many rooms that are out there. There is a ranking system so you can see how youíre doing compared to the other online gamers. Of course there are the chat rooms, mailboxes and other things you would expect from an online community. 989 has also put in a nifty little feature that will penalize you if you quit during a game. I witnessed one poor chap that keep trying to get someone to play against but he was getting shut down by everyone because his user record showed that he had quit a lot of games. You may also set up your own Tournament or join one already created. This community is also going to be the home of other 989 games like NFL GameDay 2004 and NBA ShootOut. There is even a sport score ticker that runs at the bottom on your screen with actual results of real games in progress. Cool. Itís really quite a shame that the game doesnít live up to its online support.