By Todd Zuniga 04/13/2007 Remember the time in NCAA Football 2004 when you were down six with four seconds on the clock and you broke a game winning 78-yard TD run, including a spin move, two jukes, and a wicked stiff-arm? You told everyone about it, and either they didn't believe you, or they didn't care. With NCAA Football 08 you can replay the high-five worthy tale, save it to your hard drive, e-mail it to your PC, or even post it on YouTube (where everybody cares).
You can play "cinematographer" and mix up the camera angles in your moment of glory. Saved highlights will play on the big screen of your school's version of a shrine during the game's opening menu. As a bonus, the game also keeps photos of big moments along with a trophy case filled with every Heisman, bucket, axe or ball you snare over the course of playing. And speaking of bonuses, Chris Fowler's voiced-overed accolades help you learn about college traditions and weird stories behind different rivalry "trophies."
[Click the image above to check out all NCAA Football 2008 screens.]
As for gameplay, everything you do in the game translates into motivation. You get small boosts to your motivation meter when you pitch or juke; picks, catches and sacks have a more profound effect. While backup running backs can stoke a team's fire, impact players like Troy Smith or Adrian Peterson inspire the entire team with big plays, granting all players on the field a motivation boost. "It's all about encouraging the user to take control and make a play," says the game's lead producer Jeffrey Luhr.
If all the playmaking you want to do is on offense, the new SuperSim feature may be what you're looking for. You can simulate your next possession, the next play, or even the next quarter, if you want to avoid playing defense altogether. The new branching animation system greatly improves how players move so it seems tempting to stay on offense the entire game. And the shared technology with Madden solves problems like running backs getting stuck on the offensive line with their feet helplessly pedaling.
You can create a new character and strive to become the campus legend, or take over an existing one. You won't be starting your season at your college game's opening kickoff that way, though. Instead, you'll be slotted into your senior season of high school, where you'll play through the state championship tournament (with scouts in the crowd). Once you select a scholarship offer, you'll be on your way to a first-person experience where the head coach calls the plays, and you execute them. Even if you're not slotted to start, you can work your way up the depth chart during practices. Now someone fire up the marching band!