At worst, NCAA March Madness 2008 is a pretty solid game.
At best, NCAA March Madness 2008 is a pretty solid game.
EA’s competitor with 2K’s College Hoops had high expectations. Fans of the relatively new series were disappointed in its predecessor, but anxious to see where EA would go with it this year. It’s an improvement, but they just didn’t go far enough.
The graphics are quite good. The atmosphere of a college basketball game could not have been captured any better. The fans constantly cheering and jeering, psyching out opposing teams while they are at the foul line, and the players actually look real. In this game; they actually have facial expressions depending on what they’re doing. It’s about as good as it’s gotten in a basketball video game.
The sound is another strong point. Voice-overs from Dick Vitale are good. He doesn’t just shot off a bunch of one-liners like in most sports simulation games. He has different ways of saying different things, and it doesn’t get too stale.
The gameplay has been revamped with more moves, especially in the post where players will find themselves able to move around freely. This is an improvement over what we saw in March Madness 07, which the game pretty much crumbled around.
The shooting system is also great — finally; a basketball simulation where luck doesn’t play the major role. Shots are hard to master, but when you get the system down, it becomes much easier.
You can also curve game physics around with sliders in the options menu, but physics is the biggest problem with this game.
It’s a ridiculously slow-moving game. The player movements are pretty choppy, and there is no turbo. Also, shot blocking is a near impossibility.
The online is good. It’s a mirror image of playing the game with a friend right next to you. As long as your friend is running broadband, lag isn’t an issue.
A huge array of playable teams, the best graphics to date on a basketball simulator game, and some great replay value are all huge pluses for this game, but March Madness 2008 suffers from poor gameplay that is just too slow. In the end, that’s going to be enough to sink this game from greatness.
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Sports
Platform:Xbox 360 (reviewed), PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
Launch Date: December 11, 2007