March Madness 2005 E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

EA Sports' college basketball series returns with a revamped dynasty mode.

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On display at this year's E3 will be Electronic Arts' March Madness 2005, the newest iteration of the sports giant's college basketball franchise. Like with the previous version, you can expect to see a lot of emphasis placed on authentic presentation. March Madness 2005 will include more than 320 real-life Division I basketball teams, dozens of school fight songs, student-section chants, and mascots. The recognizable broadcasting duo of Brad Nessler and Dick Vitale will also make a return to do commentary for the game.

Another returning feature in March Madness 2005 will be the availability of classic college teams, such as Michael Jordan's 1982 North Carolina squad, Chris Webber and Jalen Rose's "Fab Five" Michigan team of 1989, and more. You'll be able to unlock these schools as you play through the game and use the points you earn to unlock other bonuses like special courts, mascot teams, and more in the student store.

What's new to March Madness 2005 is a revamped dynasty mode. A lackluster effort in modeling the recruitment phase marred last year's edition, but this year's version of March Madness will allow you to recruit players during the course of the regular season. You'll keep track of news updates via a PDA-like interface as you try to lure high school All-Americans to enroll at your school. Getting the best players will, of course, make it easier to advance in the season-ending NCAA tournament. Depending on how well you do in the Big Dance, you can earn trophies and other awards to fill the campus Hall of Fame building.

While March Madness 2005 is in development for both the Xbox and PlayStation 2, online play is currently only planned for the PS2 platform. We'll have more information on the game from the show floor, so stay tuned to GameSpot.

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