College Hoops 2K7 Review

Sports games on new systems are often a little late to the party, but College Hoops 2K7 arrives on the PS3 just in time for the Big Dance. At this time of year it may be hard for college hoops fans whipped into a frenzy by the NCAA Tournament to resist snatching up the game and recreating some of the tourneyís match ups on their PS3. Will they be disappointed? Does the game have the staying power to keep you coming back after the nets have been cut down in Atlanta? Tune in and seeÖ

To start off, College Hoops 2K7 does a great job of capturing the atmosphere and enthusiasm of college basketball. The opening menu is even set in a locker room that is literally shaking with the noise from an arena filled with crazed fans. When you take the floor youíll see the crowd decked out in the home schoolís colors, the raucous student section, the cheerleaders and mascot, and the pep band belting out the fight song. The crowd feeds off of the on-court action and youíll find yourself getting pumped up when the crowd goes wild after you nail a key 3-pointer or reel off a 10-0 run. The game features over 200 school fight songs, so odds are in your favor that your favorite schoolís is included in the game. There are also school-specific chants, and if your favorite is missing or youíve always wanted to create your own, the gameís chant creator is there to help. You can have the crowd spell out words or chant words or phrases, even adding a drumbeat to drive the chants along. Itís a very cool addition to the game that can help you to help the crowd to pump you up.

As for the on-court action itís pretty good for the most part, but there are some annoying factors that can prove frustrating at times. Fast breaks are hard to pull off because the passes up court are thrown directly to the players instead of leading them. Players will often stop and pivot to catch the ball, allowing the defense to catch up and cut off your lanes to the basket. Even when you do beat the defense youíll find your players blowing more lay-ups than you care to see. For some reason, players miss lay-ups on a consistent basis and youíll often see them decide to make some sort of fall away, off balance shot instead of simply laying it up and in. On the flipside of the coin the AI can make 3-pointers with alarming regularity, consistently shooting above 80% from the arc. It goes without saying that itís frustrating to be taking on Utah Valley State with a ranked team and finding yourself on the short end of a double digit lead because you miss most of your lay-ups while the AI is draining shots from beyond NBA range. I also ran into an issue with steals, namely that theyíre pretty hard for you to pull off while the AI seems to have a magic touch. If you have a defender or two tight on your man heíll invariably drop the ball or flop and fumble it away.

Other than the aforementioned issues everything plays pretty well in the game. You can use the face buttons to pass, shoot, and perform crossover dribbles, or if you want a little more control over things you can shoot with the right stick, enable icon passing, and hold down R2 and use the left stick to perform some special moves while on the dribble. Free throws make use of the Sixaxis controllerís tilt feature Ė you pull it back to start the motion and then tilt it forward to release the ball. The game is kind enough to let you know if you are tilting the controller forward too early or too late which is pretty nice of it. Sure, itís kind of a gimmicky free throw system but it works just fine and isnít that different from shooting with the stick.