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NCAA Football 2004


It was tough, but "NCAA Football 2004" might be the best football I've ever played, even better than the original "John Madden Football" and--dare I say it--"Super Tecmo Bowl", which has held this spot in my heart since I bought that game ten years ago.  "NCAA Football 2004" is that good, thanks to a couple of changes over the previous version of the game:

  • Play-action passing that actually looks like play-action passing.  Thanks to a change in the way the camera works during these plays, you might actually fool someone playing against you.
  • Camera angle changes on rollouts and bootlegs.  Giving you a different view of the field, especially looking to the wide side of the field, is just plain cool.
  • Player animations are finally up to snuff.  No more scary eyes on those players in close-ups.
  • Defenses that actually intercept passes.

And of course, who doesn't love Dynasty Mode?  This is the perfect football game, and I'm not even going to buy next year's version because the current game is so freakin' good.

Rating:  Opening Weekend


Feedback?  Comments?  Hot doughnut tip?


Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09