2008 EA Sports Football Community Day Part 2: NCAA Football 2009

A huge thanks to EA Sports’ Will Kinsler who was nice enough to invite me to their football community day this past week at the Tiburon Studios in Orlando, Florida. In this second part of a three part series, I will go over my experiences with NCAA Football 2009.

Initial Reaction
Upon arriving at EA Sports last week,I was told that NCAA Football 2009 would be the first game that I would play. Man, was I pumped and let me tell you, the producers and designers didn’t disappoint. I immediately took control of Knowshon Moreno and the Georgia Bulldogs. Wow! I have always jocked Georgia since Champ Bailey left, so don’t think I just played with them because they’re #1. I proceeded to lose my first match up against Justin from EA Sports World by a slim margin. Back to the game though. I was simply taken away at the “crisp” player controls and juke moves. Have you ever wanted to pull a little shimmy/shake on someone instead of using a cutback? Well in NCAA Football 2009, get ready to used that feature. The producers of the game added a whole new breakaway engine that allows you to take full control of the animated athletes. Designer Ben Haumiller explained that it is much easier to run in and out of tackles, slap a defensive player with a huge stiff arm or even pull the new shimmy/shake on them. If you can get a team that allows players to easily get to the flats, you could do some damage.

Customizable Music and Reactions by Producer Greg Heddlesten
I had the opportunity to sit down with producer Greg Heddlesten from the NCAA Football staff and he had a wonderful feature to show the community leaders at the event. The customizable music and reactions feature allows you to upload music into the game and use the tunes in certain situations. Songs can only be assigned to specific home teams and events during the game. For instance, if you really like to play as Wisconsin, you can upload “Jump Around” by House of Pain and select it to play at the end of the 3rd quarter during home games. How cool is that? You can upload any song, any jingle, or any sound effect. Have a certain song that can get you amped at kick-off? This new feature will allow you to plug that in during the game. Kudos to Heddlesten for thinking of this.

Graphics
The graphics for NCAA Football 2009 have been upgraded considerably. Uniform and stadium details bringsthe college football world to life. The pageantry is amazing, as sidelines are now filled in with more detail than ever. Cheerleaders respond to every play and cameramen are ready to snap photos at any instance.

Overall
All in all, NCAA Football 2009 is a can’t miss game. College football lovers and gamers alike will have a hard time putting down the sticks with this one. The gameplay is extremely improved with the new breakaway system. And now, more than ever, college football’s pageantry is evident.

Cool Features
-The ability to return missed field goals! Antonio Cromartie anyone?
-Bluffed play art to prevent people from looking at your playcalls when sitting next to you.
-Bobble catches.
-Interactive TD celebrations with your team mascot. Run over to your mascot after scoring and let the fun begin.
-New Facemask designs along with alternate uniforms.
-The field and sidelines will be more realistic than previous games such as having many players on the sidelines, cheerleaders, and field degrading during the game.
-A refined and improved recruiting system.

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