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A few quick comments about the newly released 2KSports NCAA College Hoops 2K7

Box Cover for game
(Box image linked from 2KSports web site)

I snagged this game (along with Rainbow Six: Las Vegas, which I've not had a chance to play any of yet) yesterday and gave it a quick try out last night (Wednesday, Nov 22, 2006).

... rest of article appears in comments area -- including some screen shots from the game. Please see comments area to continue reading this article.

on Nov 23, 2006

Continued from original article area.  Thanks for reading.

Though 2KSports touts their interface as highly intuitive, easiest to use, etc., in my book they get a big *NOT!!* for that claim. Once you figure it (the interface and how to get into and perhaps out of it) out it's not that bad, but it's not brain dead simple and leaves you confused about where you are in which menus that will result in what particular output. Just plain stupid.

Perhaps I'm holding the bar too high, but I normally believe I shouldn't have to read any portion of a manual to begin using a video game.  Not that I'm not capable of reading, but if reading is required than I feel like it's already becoming work, rather than the entertainment that a video game should be.   Regardless, once I do figure out how to get into a games menu system, I shouldn't find myself completely and totally lost in how to find my way back to the main menu and out of whatever submenu I may have found.  It has to be simple and easy to use and shouldn't require advanced experience with that particular company's system.  Again, intuitiveness rules.

Once you get past the menu system and get things configured to your own taste, I guess I could say that my first impressions are that the game play seemed ok.

I could complain (and probably will quite a bit over time) about the stupid free throw shooting system that isn't that tough to figure out, but is darned near impossible to actually "time" so that you successfully shoot free throws.  I recall a lot of complaints about NBA 2K6 in that area, and the complaints seem to carry over to this season.  I guess that the developers created a system that they are happy with and aren't going to change no matter how much people "whine" about it.  Perhaps the issue is that the players on the team that I prefer to play aren't very good free throw shooters, but it seems more a case of the game constantly scolding me for releasing the joy stick too soon or too slowly.  Again, dumb.  (And to be fair to myself here, not tooting my own horn or anything, but...  NBA Live 06 and NBA Live 07 used a very similar system that was never anywhere near that frustrating and unforgiving).

Getting past those issues, from my initial play last evening, the graphics are ok (some places look beautiful, others not so much,  or should I say more cartoony than other similar games).  The sample screen below gives a decent idea of what to expect the images on your own screen to look like.

Game image linked from 2KSports
(game image linked from 2KSports web site)

The Legacy mode is what I'm interested in, and I hope to play through a lot of that later. Again, not as intuitive out of the box to get started with as I would have hoped for.  I was disappointed almost immediately that I couldn't simply jump in and start playing the role of Gary Williams (coach of my beloved University of Maryland Terrpains).  Not that it can't be figured out, but just not as simple and easy as say NCAA Football 07 (by EA) was.  Actually it made sense after seeing some comments online about it, and just in general anyway -- when you start the legacy mode you are limited to taking a coaching job working for one of the smaller schools in the country and you have to work your way up through the coaching ranks to the point that you can get the job at one of the bigger schools in the country.

Another image linked from 2KSports.com site
(game image linked from 2KSports web site)

I hope to play through much more of the game later and if I'm lucky I'll be able to look back on the game as one that I grew to love. If not, then it may wind up in the same spot in my game collection that NBA Live 07 has found itself it in -- it'll be sitting unplayed because I just can't find myself interested enough in the game, or worse, it'll be traded away or sold used to earn some money to use to buy another game that I will play instead.

on Nov 23, 2006
Oh, I could also add my standard comments about being disgusted with the idea that 2KSports had to go and put a stinkin' Duke player/image on the cover of the box.  Personally I hope that image winds up working as well as the Madden "curse" seems to have continued working in the NFL area.
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