If your idea of a good time is dancing in a purple wig with your face painted like a bulldog, welcome to NCAA Football. In the latest EA Sports entry to the long-running franchise, NCAA Football 07 actually tries to mimic some of the shenanigans at, say, a Florida Gators game. But, instead of twirling cheerleaders dancing to Jessica Simpson hits in the NFL, you get 35,000 college students getting suspiciously excited about a successful third down conversion.
The new Momentum Meter tracks all this activity, probably because the marginally better Dynasty Mode is already up to its ears in stats to track. Impact players will get the crowd worked up to a lather, and the meter actually does influence your player stats and the resultant passing and rushing yardage if the same team makes several big plays in a row (you will also get more fumbles if you consistently suck). But it's a somewhat dubious feature that seems to have too much effect at times.
You can now call team-specific plays that were seemingly ripped from the clenched fists of the real NCAA coaches, or switch to impact players at will. There's even a new lead-blocking feature to make sure the offensive line gets the heck out of your way.
What is fun, though, is the new Campus Legend mode, which is essentially the mutant offspring of an RPG and a career mode. Yes, really. As you progress, you have to make decisions about hiring a tutor to get better grades or partying late with your chums. (Guess which one gets you booted off the team?) The dorm-room interface is certainly more realistic (and less egocentric) than the "crib" feature in Madden NFL. Crib, shmib. We'll take the Heisman anyday.
Oddly, the condensed video tutorials in NCAA 07 are a step backwards for the series. And, lest we repeat ourselves, the Xbox and especially PS2 graphics are just plain sloppy compared to the superior lighting and stadium details on Xbox 360. The match-up capability of Xbox Live (both versions) is also much better than the online interface used for the PS2 version, which is anything but slick and easy.