NCAA Football 08

We recently got a chance to check out NCAA Football 08’s new features, and we can tell this right now: the game is mind-floggingly complex. It takes the management aspects of football to extremes of realism. Dynasty mode has been the signature feature of the NCAA Football series, and with 08 the depth has just about reached the Earth’s core.

You can spend hours not even playing actual football, but instead scouting recruits, calling them and pitching your school, and even planning their campus visits. You can make promises to prospects to get them to bite, but if you don’t follow through it affects your integrity. It's a devoted alumni and stat-cruncher's dream.

Another new feature is the shrine, a place to show off your accomplishments to yourself and others. You can admire your trophy case, but even cooler is the continuously running montage video of your highlights. After playing any game, you can check out a list of recorded plays, and the game even rates how entertaining each play is so you don’t have to go through them all. You can pick your favorites and have them added to your highlight reel, which then plays in your trophy room. You can pick camera angles and edit the montage, and then upload it to the official website for the world to see. Pretty next gen, we'd say.

Super Sim is a new feature that essentially accelerates the simulation aspects of the game. So if you're playing Campus Legend mode (where you control just one guy on a team), Super Sim runs the plays you aren’t involved in at an extremely rapid pace, but still allows you to clearly see what happened via a concise list.

Overall NCAA Football 08 looks to be a deeper iteration of the franchise, yet at the same time aims to run smoother, slicker, and more efficiently. To get a taste of what the improved Dynasty mode offers, click on the Images and Movies tabs above. And get your face paint and fight songs ready.

Matthew Keast
My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.