NCAA Football 06

Overview

Well it’s that time of year again - summer is drawing closer to and end, and that means it’s time for some college football. And how could we have another college football season without a game from the guys over at Electronic Arts and their NCAA Football series. Now that EA has the exclusive rights to college football, this is the only game college football fans are going to be able to play. So is this game worth your time, or should we just wait for EA’s licensing agreement to end? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

When you talk football video games, the first name that comes to mind is Madden, but the game that I think has actually been more successful in making great video games is the NCAA Football series. It seems like for whatever reason the NCAA game has always been under the shadow of Madden, and even to this day has not gotten the attention it deserves. With that being said, it is already time for NCAA Football 06 and can this year even possibly improve the series?

This year the big feature that the game adds is the Race for Heisman mode, which is where you are placed right from the beginning of the game. This is where you start with your player, fresh right out of high school. After a workout session to determine your skills, you get noticed and interests from other schools, and then from there you pick your school and are off to the race for the Heisman. If the school you want to go to doesn’t pick you up, you will have to walk on to the school and then go from there. Once you create your character you are off to your dorm room, where all of the options for the mode are going to be found.

The thing about the Heisman mode is that it doesn’t seem all that realistic, because you are focusing so much on one player rather then your team. The mode has the potential to be a really interesting, but for me I just didn’t find it to be overly engaging. It’s just that when games that you play in are so focused on your player that it takes away from what is so great about NCAA Football 06, and that is the gameplay.

Speaking of the gameplay, this game really hasn’t been changed all that much in the broader sense. But when you check out the offence, you can see the most changes from last year. This year the passing game has been very much improved from last year, where the game really had a much tougher passing game that made it much too hard to complete even the simplest of passes. Now you can see that the gameplay is much more balanced, which in turn enhances its playability.

The defense has been improved a bit too with the use of the hit stick from last year’s Madden game, and although it doesn’t have as big of an impact on the game as it did in Madden, the feature is a very strong one in the game. Overall the defense is still solid in the game and it seems like this is the most balanced the series has ever been.

The game still has a great dynasty mode, which includes in-season recruiting, something which is really cool because you can really start planning ahead for your seasons to come. The game is still very deep in the dynasty mode, and for that you can sit back and expect another great dynasty mode in this game.

Overall you just have to sit back and take in all of the great things this game has to offer. NCAA Football 06 has improved so much in the offence standpoint, that I have to say that had the Heisman Mode been better, the game would have been near perfection.

Graphics

On NCAA Football 06 you can expect the same high quality visuals that we have come to know from this series and this year just gets even better for the series. You can see that the game has improved in the character models as they have much more detail and just seem like they have a much better look to them then last year.

I was also very impressed with the animation in the game which seems like they had a lot of work put into them as there is better collision detection and just the animation in general seems to be much better then last year’s. Also the game seems like they have even improved the stadium effects, making the overall look of the game very impressive. I have to say that the Xbox version of this game is a great looking game.

Fun Factor

NCAA Football 06 has just been a much more entertaining experience for me over the Madden series, because of how college football is played. College football seems much faster paced, and the use of the option play is really one in my book that is just a ton of fun as well. The game has an amazingly deep dynasty mode, and although the Heisman mode is not perfect, it was an interesting idea anyways. The game also has Xbox Live support and that is also a ton of fun and seemed to work flawlessly.

Overall

NCAA Football 06 is a great game, and since it is the only college football game, it is definitely a great purchase for you. The game plays much better then last year’s game, and overall have a great look and feel to it that most people are just going to love. If you have the 2005 version and are wondering whether to upgrade, I would say the gameplay improvements are enough to warrant such an upgrade.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.