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Madden football and Tiger Woods golf for the Wii experience have been getting most of the attention from sports-minded gamers looking for a new experience from button mashing. The All-play concept appears to be bringing a few non-sports minded gamers to the Wii console to check out the possibility of playing games they had heard were a riot, but never took the time to try in real life or virtually. By providing control schemes designed to make playing virtual basketball for gamers with no understanding of how to play the game a fun and entertaining experience, despite their ignorance of basketball.
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The fun parts
The Mascot mode is a funny take on college and university football, in this mode all the players are mascots from the various college and university teams. The game play doesn't change, I guess their good athletes, but the mode was still fun and entertaining to play and watch.
The game play works smoothly for the most part, the turbo was useful and jerk-free, and to make things easier for gamers with no football experience the developers added ball trails for characters and passes.
To make play calling easier, NCAA football comes with a casual play calling system, which works wonderfully by making play calling and understanding of the game easier for those who don't have experience playing virtual or real football.
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The parts that need improvement
NCAA Football 09 All-Play suffers from gamers comparing it to Madden, but Madden football has decades of refinement and development that really make comparisons unfair. This said, NCAA Football is too similar to Madden in many ways, they might have been better off going a different route with NCAA Football instead of using everything that Madden does better.
NCAA Football 09 All-Play contains nothing new, no additional multiplayer modes, no online play, no Party mode, things that Madden has featured for years. In fact, it only contains about 20-25 percent of the entertainment and experience contained in Madden 09, which means you might as well stick with Madden, unless you're a college and university football fanatic.
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The graphical look of the game
NCAA Football looks about the same as Madden 07 or 08, which means its a bit behind the times, but it still looks good, and I didn't experience any slow downs or visual hiccups of note.
The mascots, players and background objects look good, and the presentation is detailed enough that it's almost as entertaining to view as play.
There's a simple, yet fun aspect to controlling the crowd antics after you score, which has you shaking the Wii remote to have the fans raise a ruckus.
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Sound of the game
The sound effects are good in NCAA Football, the crowd cheers after a score sounds excellent, which adds to the entertainment value of the title and gets you more involved in the game.
The school fighting songs are all wonderfully created and sound authentic and clear, with almost 200 different teams, this gives you a lot of different songs to hear.
The sound effects are all clear and easy to hear while you're playing, making it possible to hear audibles and other audible cues provided by the developers to help you as you play.
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The bottom line
Overall, NCAA Football 09 All-Play is a good game that should make it easier for non-sports minded gamers to pick up the Wii remote and play and after all this was their mission, so I would say they were successful in the All-Play concept. Unfortunately, this and all virtual football games are always compared side by side with Madden and this really isn't fair to the game or developers. They may have been better off trying to do a few new things of their own, rather than using all the elements and game play aspects that Madden uses, since Madden does all these things better.
NCAA Football 09 All-Play is an excellent first title for a first try at creating a comparable college and university football game to Madden football, and the game does many things very well, but still has a few yards to go before it will take too many gamers away from the Madden Wii experience. Gamers wanting to try something else will be disappointed somewhat when they give NCAA Football a try, but if you can't find a Madden title for the Wii, NCAA Football 09 All-Play is the next best thing.