There is in a lot of ways some serious patterns that go through the video game industry that make things what I would consider a bit predictable. You know that baseball games are going to be coming within the first few months of the new year, football in the late summer months, professional basketball in the early months of fall, and now here at the final stretch of the year we have college basketball. Today we are checking out College Hoops 2K8 for the Xbox 360, which hopes to bring the world of college basketball to the forefront in this new game. Does it have what it takes? Read our full review to find out.
I can’t help but state that I have always had this screaming notion that the college basketball games are just a dumbed down version of the NBA games that the publishers bring out. As you will see right away with College Hoops 2K8, barring some minor differences, the gameplay mechanics are almost identical. Then comes the question is this a bad thing?
In the case of College Hoops 2K8 it proves to be a mixed bag. The biggest change to this year’s game is the addition of the sixth man meter. If you’re not a big college fan that you might not understand the gravity in which the crowd can play in a game, its pretty spectacular actually. That’s what people love about college sports in general, not only is there usually a personal connection (alumni) but also the atmosphere in some of these games surpasses that of any professional sport. So in this year’s game if you start to go on a run and you’re at home, your meter will begin to grow and as you do that your team will get pumped up and start playing better while the other team will start getting a bit timid. It’s not necessarily 100% accurate, but it works nonetheless.
The other big addition that tries to separates this game from the NBA 2K8 title is that of Maximum Passing. The problem a lot of us have had with basketball games in the past is that they usually seem to force you to just deal with the pass that the computer decided to make for you. In this game you get to choose the type of pass you want to hit your players with. Not only does this make for a more realistic basketball experience, but it also allows you to do some much more fluid plays that will definitely add some flavor to the experience.
There is a lot of depth to the experience as well, in terms of modes you’re looking at not only the ability to play in the high school levels and work your way to college, but also just a great all around dynasty mode that offers plenty of customization and options to choose from. For those who just can’t get enough college basketball this game has plenty of options offline. Online the same thing holds true, plenty of options, good quality games, and really a smooth online interface.
The biggest issue I had with this game is not necessarily that it had any problems, but the overall game just wasn’t as fluid. In many cases you can just see some of the things that are missing from the NBA 2K8 game that make it a bit less appealing. I would also say that in terms of new additions to this year’s game’s the sixth man feature, and the new passing mechanics are welcome but to put this game to the next level, they do not.
Visually is the biggest difference between the NBA game to the College game. The character models for one just are so lifeless in this game, they at times have that walking zombie feel that really does hurt the experience. Not only that but they just don’t carry the same sort of detail that we see in the pro game. A lot of this is due to the much larger roster, but things like jaggies and weird animations can’t all be blamed on that difference.
Like with most College sports video games, the atmosphere’s of the colleges manage to come alive and they really change the way you play this game in comparison to how you play an NBA video game. There is of course the March madness aspect of it as well, which adds a great deal to the experience as well. Overall I have to say that although I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the experience, I enjoyed this game quite a bit, and I believe college basketball fans will enjoy it as well.
Although not the strongest outing for the College Hoops franchise, I would say that it still manages to work at a very high level. If you like College basketball and are looking for a new game to wet your whistle with, then I would highly recommend you checking out College Hoops 2K8 - it’s an all around solid game of basketball.
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.