A complete 12-game season (with 4-game, 16-team playoff bracket instead of Bowl Games) of this Madden-based football game from 1996. Featuring 111 college teams (and their sort-of likenesses) as well as real fight songs, this successor to the Bill Walsh series laid the foundation for the modern NCAA Football series.
This version I’m taking the Northern Illinois University Huskies all the way to the championship, with the help of a bunch of 80s TV stars (and Ivan Drago, because his name fit). Why? Because I wanted a challenge. Also I like their logo.
Using a custom schedule stacked with mostly high (preseason) ranked teams. And one game against ‘Division 1AA’ to show them off, and also a game at Hawaii. Because who doesn’t want to hang out in Hawaii in the middle of November?
Pros: Lots of teams, accurate fight songs, uniforms, and logos. Player likenesses. Quite a few ‘college-style’ plays like Option runs and formations like the Wishbone and the 4-4 defense. Ability to set season from 1 to 12 games with bowl games or tournament-style playoffs. Tight gameplay based on the Madden engine. Tons of animations. Variety of injuries including multi-game and ‘back in a few plays’. Notre Dame included. Custom schedules. Create player. Penalty ‘sliders’ to modify frequency of penalties, which would become a staple of Madden/NCAA. Extensive record keeping. Changing game length appears to properly affect CPU simmed games and simmed statistics (some sports games now don’t handle this!).
Neutral: Tendency for odd upsets in CPU simmed games – unranked teams frequently beat ranked teams. Many defensive plays show little in-game difference. Default penalty settings result in too frequent defensive pass interference calls. Created players not included in ‘Team Matchup’ ratings. Records kept only for individual plays, no player or team or season records.
Cons: Missing some notable college-style plays like Reverses, Flea-flickers, and WR screens. No ability to modify starting lineup (you have to set lineups each game and you cannot save them). Created players have no impact on games unless manually set as starters. Some statistical anomalies (particularly regarding kickers and extra points). Only four Bowl games included. Almost excessive amount of advertising and product placement for a game of this era.