EA continues to improve upon its college football franchise with the silky-smooth NCAA Football '09. Like any annual EA Sports game, this year's edition sports some new gameplay modes, as well as a ton of new in-game mechanics. The engine itself has even improved, as NCAA runs at a constant 60 FPS; the frame rate issues found in previous next-gen Madden and NCAA games have vanished, leaving a smooth, well rounded college football game. This is also the first NCAA Football game with different cover athletes for each console.
PS3: Matt Ryan QB, Boston College
Xbox 360: Darren McFadden RB, Arkansas
PS2: DeSean Jackson WR, Cal
PSP: Owen Schmitt FB, West Virginia University
Wii: Sparty, Michigan State Mascot
Hop into a game right away, pick the teams, and take the field with default settings.
Pick your favorite team and pick up where they left off, beginning in the 2008 offseason. The player makes every decision for the team, from recruiting new players out of high school to naming a team captain. When the season starts, you take the field as your team with the ultimate goal of winning a national championship. The player can make Dynasty mode as in-depth or as non-taxing as he wants: any action (offseason or not) can be simulated to speed up the process.
PSP: Owen Schmitt
Either pick an existing college player, or create a brand-new high school senior to play as in Campus Legend mode. Take the field as this player, increase your stats and skills, and lead your team to a national championship.
NCAA Football '09 includes some new ideas in its mini-game modes:
- Just like in basketball, but with field goals! Players can choose from where they kick their field goal, and the amount of wind in the stadium
Special Teams Challenge
- Players take turn punting the ball away, each player tries to advance the ball as far as possible on each return. First one to kick a field goal or score a touchdown wins!
Tug Of War
- Just like Special Teams Challenge, but with offensive plays instead of punts.
- Each frame, take the field as the offense at the opponent's 10 yard-line. You have two tries to get into the endzone, every yard counts as a pin.
- See how many yards and touchdowns you can score in a minute, just by running the option.
Just like Play Now mode, but instead of players on the field, you play as a team of mascots. The mascots have superior stats, and their jukes and hurdles are replaced by barrel-rolls and somersaults.
Wii: Michigan mascot Sparty
Some this year's player animations won't be seen in Madden '09. A load of tackle, catch, and juke animations were designed specifically for NCAA Football '09 and can't be found anywhere else.
If your team is performing poorly, or if the home team crowd is just too loud, your QB may lose his composure. This results in poor throws and 'confusion' when trying to look at your play at the line of scrimmage.
After a poor offensive play (usually an interception) you have the chance to regain your composure by answering the QB Quiz. Three defensive plays are shown; you have to pick the one the opposing defense ran to shut you down. A correct answer will refund composure, a wrong answer will lower your QB's composure even more.
Ice the Kicker
At the end of a half, if the opposing kicker is lining up to kick a field goal that would tie the game or put his team in the lead, you can call a timeout to ice the kicker. When the kicker retakes the field, he'll have a much more difficult time aiming and kicking the game-changing field goal.
You wont find any surprises on the team list this year, NCAA Football '09 includes every team from every major Division 1 conference.
Xbox360: Darren McFadden