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NCAA Football 09 All-Play (Wii) artwork

NCAA Football 09 All-Play (Wii) review


"NCAA Football 09 for the Wii sports the All-Play gimmick that is supposed to help video game football newbies get acclimated to the game. However, the game is so poorly executed that itís a bigger rip-off than the outrageous prices you pay for concessions and programs at sporting events. EA really fumbled the ball with the awkward controls and overall presentation, making the game virtually unplayable. "



NCAA Football 09 for the Wii sports the All-Play gimmick that is supposed to help video game football newbies get acclimated to the game. However, the game is so poorly executed that itís a bigger rip-off than the outrageous prices you pay for concessions and programs at sporting events. EA really fumbled the ball with the awkward controls and overall presentation, making the game virtually unplayable.

The Wii remote simply isnít conducive to football simulation. Unfortunately, EA failed to allow compatibility with either the GameCube controller or the classic controller. Many actions such as snapping the ball, tossing the ball during option plays, and passing are executed via flicking the Wii remote, which wouldnít be so bad if it had more than a 50% response rate. Be prepared to take lots of sacks while desperately flicking the remote like a manic fisherman. If by some miracle you manage to successfully launch a pass, there is only a 50% chance of it actually going to the correct receiver. Part of this is due to receivers being designated to the directional buttons on the remote, which is extremely awkward in pressure situations.

The aforementioned problems lead to too many turnovers that should never happen. Whatís worse, the fumble rate is ridiculously high. Itís like all the players dunked their hands in a large vat of butter minutes prior to game-time.

Perhaps the biggest folly is the actually playbook. The boxes are too small, the font is hard to read, and the routes and assignments look like they were drawn by a kid with ADHD who was issued an orange crayon. For previous versions of NCAA football and even Madden, different routes and defensive assignments were color coded to help the player figure out the best play to call in any given situation. Now that the playbook is filled with more orange than a Vonage ad, itís virtually impossible to tell what plays actually do. This game is supposed to be newbie friendly? How does EA expect new players to be successful if they canít do something as pedestrian as figure out the playbook?

On a positive note, the game includes modes such as practice, exhibition, and dynasty. The real icing on the cake is the mascot game, which Ė you guessed it- allows you to play a full football game as the actual mascots. A tutorial mode that allows players to get accustomed to various formations, common plays, and other football jargon would have been nice, but thankfully you donít need to be as knowledgeable as Kirk Herbstreit unless you play on the harder difficulty settings. Speaking of which, at least you get to listen to Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso's banter during an actual game.

Itís too bad something with as much innovation as the mascot game goes to waste given the shoddy controls and the slop-bucket playbook. Newcomers will find nothing helpful. On the contrary, the game is so poorly designed fundamentally that new recruits are more likely to get frustrated and quit than enjoy one of Americaís favorite sports.

Rating: 2/10

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Featured community review by randxian (January 27, 2010)

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