NCAA Football 09

Last week destroyerj and I bought copies of NCAA Football 09 to play an online dynasty together. I haven’t played video game football since college to my recollection, so it sounded like fun!

5 weeks into the season, it is indeed fun. The controls have gotten a lot more complicated since then but I’m starting to get the hang of it – trying to pick up one or two new moves every game.

Dynasty mode is pretty sweet too. The idea is that you’re the coach of a team (I took U of Houston, destroyerj took Rice) and you play games while also recruiting for next season. If you do well you can go to bowl games/get invited to better conferences/etc. If you do poorly you can be fired!

The first few weeks we played on “Varsity” difficulty, but after I beat #13 Illinois and destroyerj beat #10 Texas we bumped it to “All-American”. Last night I sat down to play a practice game against Rice to try out the new difficulty. It was definitely a step up – Rice was beating me 28-7ish before I gave up and went to play my real game against ECU (East Carolina University, apparently). Luckily I guess I had adapted to the harder difficulty while practicing so I thumped them 31-7ish.

So that’s going well. The fun part is, oddly enough, recruiting! You have to pick a bunch of high-schoolers to set your sights on (that are at least a little interested in your school), and then start cajoling them to like you more. Your school has certain attributes (academic quality, conference quality, proximity to home, early playing time, etc.) and each recruit values these things more or less, so you can call them and try to figure out what’s important to them (and sometimes you can sway them to think something is more important). After they like you a certain amount you can set up a campus visit, and you use the knowledge of what they like and what you’re good at to pick activities for them to do.

My recruiting this season seems to be going quite well – I needed two MLB’s and two G’s which is a bit rough but I seem to have the inside track on a number of good ones. The recruits are rated from 1-5 stars and I have a good shot at some 4 stars, which is pretty good for my first year at a mediocre school. I have learned not to schedule visits during a bye week; thought I read somewhere that it didn’t make a difference but it sure seems to.

Anyway, it’s a good game and worth picking up, especially if you plan on playing an Online Dynasty!

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