Thursday , Jun , 10 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

ESPN College Hoops

The risky steal, the well-timed block, the buzzer-beater…mind-blowing plays in the final seconds holding every moment suspended in time. Tears, yells, chest pumps…every expressible emotion at its …peak — flowing through the veins of every player, coach and fan. Deafening chants, face-painted students, music blaring bands…unforgettable experiences sending all five senses into overtime. Tradition, pageantry, pride…the definition of college basketball. The moment, the championship, the legacy: ESPN College Hoops…real play, real emotion, real heart.

ESPN College Hoops

ESPN College Hoops is much improved over last year’s effort in every phase. From gameplay to graphics, ESPN College Hoops gets you ready for March in November.

The gameplay is smooth, mixing fast break with half-court sets. The controls are similar to the NBA game, specifically the IsoMotion. ESPN also has several game modes–Exhibition, Season and Legacy. The Legacy mode gives you two options–Start with a small school and build up your win percentage to hopefully get a job with a bigger school or you can select open, which allows you to choose any school. New this year is the Slam Session. Yes, a dunk contest. The first of its kind since the Jordan vs. Bird game on the PC. It is a tad difficult but still adds some great replay value, not to mention multi-player fun. There are some minor issues with animation clipping but nothing that detracts from the game. 

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The graphics are much improved over last year’s effort. The player models are much more life-like and the arenas are sweet. New this year is the addition of mascots and cheerleaders, not to mention cutscenes of pep bands and student sections. Also improved this year are the uniforms. In last year’s game, all of the number styles were the same for all teams. Not this year. The uniforms are done to a T. There is one minor glitch with the last names being on the back of some schools that do not have them plastered in real life. Minor but noticeable.

The sound is decent. The crowd chants add something to the game but the P.A. announcer is way off when announcing the starting lineups. It sounds like cut and paste. Brutal.

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