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NCAA March Madness 08 - first look

Oct 25, 2007

Durant or Oden? Durant or Oden?

You couldn't escape from the debate this summer of college basketball's two best players. But we're not talking about the NBA Draft here. We're talking about the cover of NCAA March Madness 08. For a game that claims to revolutionize gameplay in the post, it's a mystery why EA chose wunderkind Kevin Durant to front its game when Oden was among the most dominant post players in college hoops last season. But that's what college basketball is all about - pure, unadulterated controversy. Durant or Oden? The debate may never end.

While March Madness 08 looks and feels almost exactly like last year's game at this point in development, we noticed a lot of subtle improvements on and off the court at a recent EA Sports press event. First off, EA wants you to play inside-out basketball and utilize your post players. When you receive a pass in the post, you can now use both analog sticks to back a defender down, step back for a jumper, or spin to either side. On defense, you'll have to match him move for move. It's a sort of game within a game, not unlike the old lockdown stick, only now it's moved down into the paint and seems to work well. Attributes play a big part in the post, so if you have your power forward somehow defended by a small point guard, back him down and take him to the hole.

March Madness is also getting the next-gen EA Sports makeover this season, which means it runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, features online leagues and an increased ESPN presence. There's also a host of new stadiums, player models to avoid redundancy, and authentic T-shirts under the jerseys. That's right. Now featuring authentic T-shirts.