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Published on January 18th, 2007 | by Daniel David

NCAA March Madness 07 Review

Last weekend I was able to play the full version of EA Sports March Madness 07, and let me say that I was impressed. If you’ve played Live 07, you know how much of a letdown that was. That game was just incomplete – but not March Madness.

First I’ll start of with the new intensity control that they’ve implemented into the game. Intensity control is basically a momentum feature where you can pump up the crowd or your players, and demoralize your opponents. Each player has composure similar to that of NCAA Football and intensity control lets you affect that. If your team is in a slump, pump them up and gain the momentum back or use it to make your opponents feel useless. You can antagonize your opponent’s crowd and every time that player has the ball the crowd will not forget and boo him. You have to fill up a momentum circle which gains momentum for each good play that you complete, and if you fill it up all the way you can unleash what’s called an Impact Moment to really pump up the team or trash your opponents. You have to wait for a pause in game play, but there are lots of places you can use the Impact Moment once it’s triggered, like with the crowd or mascot for instance.

I never felt momentum or composure mattered much in the football series but here it directly affects game play. When the momentum is on your side and your team has good composure they all will play much better than when you’re demoralized. It’s especially noticeable when you play with a team that has a huge crowd – they will cry out and cheer or boo your opponents when something good happens for them. It really feels like the college atmosphere.

The Lockdown stick is back and this lets you put pressure on the other player with just the right analog stick. It doesn’t take long to get used to and it’s very useful for stopping the opponents from driving on you all day. I also have to mention that the A.I. in this game is very good. The computer won’t make many mistakes and on the harder difficulty settings the game can really put it on you.

Dynasty mode this year is amazing. If you start with a team that really isn’t known for their basketball, you can turn them into a powerhouse and earn school pride. You can rename streets, get a pep band, build up crowd support to fill up the stands and get cheerleaders. You can even see the band in the crowd with 3D instruments and the cheerleaders cheering – and they actually look pretty good. But that’s not all, you can build a hospital to keep your players healthy, weight rooms to build up stats and even control how wild your fans are. Events like Big Monday and Rivalry Week are present as well.

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