EA’s NCAA Basketball ’09

dave@friarblog —  November 5th, 2008 6:21 PM
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Last year some depressing news came out in the sports video game industry.  2KSports, the makers of the fantastic game “College Hoops 2k8”, declined to seek out a college license for a 2K9 version.  This left EA Sports as the only College Basketball game out on the market this year  (hello Madden?). Their franchise, usually called “March Madness” has been renamed to “NCAA Basketball ‘09” (to match their NCAA Football brand) .  So now we are stuck with EA’s game this year, right?

Thankfully, 2KSports put in a feature last year called “2K Share” (for PS3 and XBox360 only).  This allowed anyone to create roster files and edit the ratings and names.   You can log onto the 2kSports servers and see a list of rosters ordered by downloads and popularity.  People have already put out the latest version for the upcoming 2008-09 season.  Since the game is so good, I think these free roster updates could make the game still stand up to EA’s new game.  However, EA has the chance to really take over the market.  There has been no official word, but 2KSports could come back with a new version in several years — but will it be too late? EA really needs to pick up their game because the franchise has been severly lacking in the past years.

What does EA have in store for NCAA ‘09?

Replicate your school’s style of play, set the tempo and win with NCAA® Basketball 09. Whether your school pushes the ball in transition, runs a half-court offense that utilizes the clock and limits possessions or features a balanced attack that combines transition offense with set plays, NCAA Basketball 09 rewards the strategic player by emphasizing team specific styles of play. College basketball springs to life in NCAA Basketball 09 with frenzied crowds, authentic commentary from Dick Vitale, Brad Nessler and Erin Andrews and now featuring Division I coaches in-game for the first time.

They have also partnered with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook to provide ratings and scouting reports.

NCAA Basketball 09 ‘Blue Ribbon’ trailer

The graphics should be beefed up and there should be alot more new features.  Can EA make people forget about 2KSports?  EA’s NCAA Basketball ‘09 hits the shelves on December 2nd, 2008.

NCAA Basketball 09 ‘Inside the Game’ trailer

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