A significant improvement over last years installment.....

User Rating: 9 | NCAA Football 09 X360
I'll admit, I liked last year's NCAA release. I am biased towards sports games for the most part and I think these EA football games have gotten a real bad rap from fans and certain critics.

Not to say these were classic games or even excellent, but they were worth more than people gave them credit for.

That's part of the reason I chose to ignore the whispers of glitches during the pre-release period.

Let's make one thing clear- EVERY game can encounter glitches. Some of the best games on every system I have owned including -- on the 360 -- Obvilion, Gears of War, Halo, COD 4, NBA 2k, Bioshock, etc. EVERY game has a glitch or two in them and they can stand out. So the argument that the game is glitchy isn't a very prevalent one unless the glitches are constant and in NCAA Football 2009, they are few and far between.

The very first ting I did was go to the EA Locker and download a reputable roster patch and it worked perfectly. Every player I am looking for is in the game and then some. At that moment, I knew this game was a step higher.

Then I go to the dynasty which is more of the same of last year. Little tweaks to certain entities like adding a few more things to recruiting helped this game take another step in the right direction .

Campus Legend went virtually untouched, which isn't a bad thing, but isn't a good thing either. Perhaps another year will give them time to expand that portion but for now it's more of the same.

Online is where this game takes a significant jump. Online Dynasty is arguably the biggest addition to an EA Sports game in years. It is very user friendly and really captures the spirit of the football fan within you when invloved. 2K did this type of thing online for years and I am glad EA finally got on board with this.

As far as the game itself - Much improved. Finally they got on board with the visuals in the NCAA series. The last two installments have lacked in many graphical ares. They actual have a ton of alternate jersies.

This year, the field itself looks much more alive and realistic. Grass and turf look like grass and turf rather than green carpet and the player models have been given a realistic figure. Stadiums are more crisp.

Gameplay ahas improved as well. People may complain about the lack of a pass-rush, but will soon figure out that it's just the realism factor. You MUST blitz, select different formations, rush different players etc., to keep the offensive line on their toes and if you are good enough, you will be able to get pressure.

Player movements are life-like, players move believeably (i.e blockers look as if they are blocking correctly and they stay within their block area without wandering aimlessly. DB's have a hard time defending but when most college QB's throw between a 55%-70% completion percentage, you understand why EA made this more difficult. It's still not that hard to stop an opposing offense and your DB's aren't as inept as certain critics have made it out to be

Tackling is no where near as hard as gamespot makes it. You only miss tackles if you overpursue, which is a user glitch, not a game glitch

Special team blocking is also so much more accurate than in years past. Kick coverage and blocking is on a much higher level than in years past.

The atmosphere of the game overall is one that finally feels like college, plays like college and -- with the ability to download real rosters and have the announcers pronounce everyones name correctly -- is almost everything I could ask for in a game.

Next year, a clear coat should be added to complete this games comeback. It's still lacking side-line activity, chains, markers, refs but those are MINOR issues.

Not enough to overpower the strengths of this game.

Side note - The edit roster glitch (where listed teams supposedly disappear) has not happened to me, nor do I personally know anyone who has had that problem with the game.