The World is full of negativity and more and more people seem to be going through life not having fun at all and any fun that they may have is quickly squashed by the negativity that lurks in the back of their mind. So, I resolve to write a bi-weekly article to show that you can have fun with just about anything, if you have the right outlook.

With my first “Having Fun With” article, I tackle the much maligned NCAA Football ’09, yes maybe there are some issues with the game but for me it doesn’t detract from the fun I have had and here is what makes it fun for me, in no particular order:

Campus Legend

This was my first foray into Campus Legend with the High School Tournament feature and I had a lot of fun playing these games, I played the Quarterback position with the three options scrambler, balanced and pocket passer and each option brought different challenges and different play calling.  Running the option as a scrambler was fun as it was hit and miss for me on each play.  I would gain a nice chunk of yardage on one play and crash and burn on the next play as I failed to pitch in time and get thrown for a loss.  The hit and miss really varied as I went through the tournament and I really had fun even when I lost the Championship on a botched pitch which led to a fumble and sealed my fate.

The pocket passer and balanced passer made me feel like Peyton Manning of the College Football video gaming world. I would drop back and survey the field with confidence knowing I would march my High School team down the field and Championship glory, unfortunately things did not go as planned with any of my Championship games as I lost all of them.  Losing doesn’t really bother me as I learn from every loss and winning all the time in video games gets very boring and the unpredictability means a fun time playing.
The other fun thing I enjoyed about Campus Legend that was different from previous versions is the depth chart feature when picking a school, I took the challenge of being second in the depth chart and having to practice my way to first string made practicing a whole lot more interesting and I enjoy the challenge and has made Campus Legend fun.

Dynasty

I’ve barely ventured into dynasty mode as I had a hard time finding a team to run with. A plethora of teams to choose from made the choice difficult but it was fun trying out a bunch of teams to see which team fit with my playing style.  I was kinda overwhelmed at the beginning of the recruiting process but as I got accustomed to the recruiting feature it became a lot more fun and the thrill of the hunt for recruits makes this mode a blast.

Online Play

I’ve played a few games online and I haven’t had any issues and playing with friends from around the Country makes this a fun mode and not having to pay for online play (PS3) makes online play a great experience.

Celebrations

In the past I’ve had trouble triggering celebrations after a touchdown but not anymore, with NCAA ’09, a push of the triangle button or running to the mascot or teammate triggers a celebration and makes scoring that much more satisfying. Fun times that add to the thrill of scoring.

Juke Moves and Player Animations

I love the juke moves, my memory is kinda faulty but I don’t remember juke moves being this easy to execute and its fun to watch the moves even when its happening to you. I do get a thrill when I perform a successful move in traffic that gets me loose from the pack and the amusement of performing a juke move you think will bust you loose only to be denied by a great tackle, that is very amusing.  Another thing I enjoy is the player animations.  Running down the sidelines during a big play and seeing your teammates with hands in the air celebrating gives me a fuzzy feeling, the crowd and the sideline animations to me are the icing on the cake.

Team Availability

Choices, choices, thats what always attracts me to NCAA’09,  I love the fact I can choose between over a hundred teams to play, as they say variety is the spice of life and with this variety my gaming life is pretty spicy.  Like I mentioned before I had a tough time choosing a team for my dynasty but it was because of the many options I had and I had a great time choosing.

Big Plays

I know EA was promoting big plays and they did deliver on that promise.  Big plays may not coincide with the sim gamers but when I break a big play I have a grin from ear to ear. Just seeing the replay of my great run or pass play and the animations of my teammates makes the big play feature a must have for my enjoyment.

EA Sports World

The creme de la creme is EA Sports World, I love the fact I can save video replays and pictures from the gamein NCAA and upload them for the World to see.  EA Sports World also tracks my stats and gives me a gateway to make some internet friends and to track the progress of my PS3 friends. This is such a great feature that will only be more refined in the future, fun times.

Mini Games

This feature has always been lukewarm for me, till now.  The two mini games I have played tug of war and bowling have been a good time, like I mentioned before I’ll take my lumps in a video game as long as I fun doing it. I took my lumps in bowling as I could never score but this difficulty has led me to a better NCAA gamer as I learned how to be money in the red zone.  Tug War can be tough but I use it as an extension of practice mode and I learn to be patient with this mode. Heck, even when I drive to the five and get intercepted in the endzone and have it returned fora TD and the loss, and I enjoyed every moment, why? because it took a lot of work to get in scoring postiton, meaning I’m learning to play and not to throw into double coverage and seeing the DB  run wild for the TD and all you can do is chuckle, means a good time of gaming.

Bottom Line

Does NCAA ’09 have flaws? yes, but they do not outweigh the fun factors for me.  I’m having a great time and I’m sure many others are.  Video games are about fun not how many flaws you can detect and with this philosophy I live a very blissful gaming life.

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