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NCAA Basketball 10

Farewell College Hoops
NCAA Basketball 10 is the final college basketball game in a long running series from Electronic Arts. As of this review, the 2011 release was cancelled mainly due to a series of legal woes based around representation of college players in the games. Itís really unfortunate that this is the final game as Electronic Arts had a solid basis for a basketball game due to the continual development of their NBA franchise. In any case, this will be the last chance for you to play college basketball on the PS3 in the near future. But is the game as worthwhile as NBA Live 10?

The presentation holds true to Electronic Arts high standards for capturing the frenzied excitement of college basketball. Similar to experiencing an actual game, you will find yourself injected into extremely tough arenas to play in. Start up a game at Duke and you can enjoy the same blue-faced insanity that actually goes on in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Iíve only been to two games at Duke and EA really nailed it. Similar to previous games in the series, thereís definitely a broadcast feel to the presentation; even to the point of allowing you to choose between CBS and ESPN for broadcasting. Both networks are complete with the logos and broadcasting talent that are typically paired with those stations.

In terms of the core gameplay, itís actually quite difficult to tell NCAA Basketball apart from its more successful counterpart, NBA Live 10. The control system, the animations and artificial intelligence rules are basically identical. If you can pick apart the A.I. players on NBA Live 10, you can do the same here. Computer controlled players also suffer from the same missteps in ball handling and aggressively position rebounding skills as in NBA Live. You also need to have a fairly extensive knowledge of how college basketball works to nail the execution of specific plays. The college series of basketball games has never really done an excellent job in explaining how this works to new players.

You will find the standard set of modes in NCAA 10, quick play, rivalry games, tournament play, online play and the dynasty mode. The true depth of the game is found in the dynasty mode, yet you really need to be a die-hard fan of the off-season activities to enjoy it. Between seasons, recruitment points are spent on wooing players and everyone wants your attention. The schoolís AD will offer his thoughts on where / who you should recruit and players start communicating with you after you provide them with the letter of intent. There really are very meticulous details to wade through when going through the recruiting process and it can be fun for the first few weeks. After that, the auto-recruitment option becomes very attractive.

The multiplayer mode is oddly bare for an Electronic Arts game and it doesnít tie into any of the long term dynasty features. Itís basically a quick play mode with a few options. Similar to all sports games, the outcome of the game depends on who you are playing with. I encountered more than a few sore losers that didnít enjoy my continually offensive attack and subsequently disconnected in frustration. In any case, the performance was lag free for my matches.


  • The gameís graphics engine is identical to NBA Live 10 in regards to player models and movement along the court. Players are fairly recognizable in regards to size and facial movements (likely a reason that the legal issues reared their ugly head). Also similar to the NBA title, crowds are detailed, but they do have their own animations more specific to college students. In regards to the framerate, itís very smooth and looks a little too slick. Itís very easy to confuse this with an actual game when displayed on a high quality HD screen.


  • On the CBS side of the coin, you will hear Bill Raftery and Gus Johnson on the microphone. ESPN has the charismatic Dick Vitale, Brad Nessler and Erin Andrews covering the game. All the commentators do a great job calling the game and accent the most suspenseful moments. That being said, the ESPN crew does a better job of moving between those highs and lows, likely due to a broader level of experience with video game commentary.

  • You wonít find very many changes in the ambient game noises, crowd surges or even the pep bands playing the fight songs over and over. I didnít notice a greater number of school specific songs / chants in this version of NCAA Basketball either. Still, it sets the mood for the college atmosphere.


Despite the over-reliance on the NBA Live franchise for the core structure of the game, thereís plenty to enjoy in the final NCAA title from Electronic Arts. College Basketball fanatics can easily get lost in the dynasty mode and take their favorite team into March Madness again and again. For those looking for depth in the online modes, thereís not much to be had. Itís really a shame that Electronic Arts didnít allow an online version of the franchise mode to really keep the fans playing this title for years. (Although they probably would have shut off the servers within a year knowing EA) Still, this is a solid entry in the NCAA franchise and definitely worth picking up if you want to play a college basketball game next year.

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