NCAA Football 09: All-Play Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii | PSP
NCAA Football 09: All-Play box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Canada 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Sports 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: July 15, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

As far as content is concerned, there are very limited options at the player's disposal. You can start a Dynasty or play a Mascot game, but there is no online play, no Campus Legend mode, and no mini-games. I can't believe there were no mini-games! Furthermore, every game mode plays exactly the same. This even holds true for the Mascot mode. Whereas the 360 and PS3 included many cheeky and acrobatic moves, the Wii version just exchanges player models for oversized costumes. And the Dynasty Mode… well, let's just say it's about as complex as the Advanced Controls. You can still manage your team by recruiting players, but the tools afforded to you are extremely sparse and yawn-producing.

NCAA Football 09: All-Play screenshot

Gameplay also is marred by constant turnovers and mind-numbing simplicity. I can't tell you how many times drives are stopped on both sides of the ball by someone with butterfingers. It gets to be so bad that it truly cheapens the already poor experience. Tie that together with an obscenely simple running game (due to the "Evade" function), a white trail behind thrown balls (like the red trail in mid-90's hockey broadcasts), and a swarming yet imprecise defense (my line got the jump on the offense every down), and the developers might as well have put the game on auto-pilot.


Other features that I found to be unnecessary (though they are probably good ideas, considering for whom the game was made), was the very limited assisted play calling feature and silly touchdown celebrations. NCAA 09 for Wii has a very limited number of plays from which to choose. Players will likely find a deep bomb, an over-the-middle dump-off play, and a speedy option that they'll use over and over again. Plays are also given simplified names that are easier to understand for those who know nothing about football. Again, I found this to be very limiting and dull, but if you take the intended audience into consideration, it probably is a beneficial feature. The post-touchdown celebrations are tedious time-wasters controlled via swinging the controls around, but they're probably a nice addition for the very young or casual gamer.

In the end, NCAA Football 09 All-Play is a weak attempt at making college football more accessible to the much-exaggerated, casual Wii demographic. Most players will find this game utterly dull and a waste of their time and money. This is a title that should only be purchased for very young gamers. Everyone else is considered warned.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

The visuals are less than passable. The action on-field looks O.K., but all the little details including grass, sidelines, menu interface, etc. are ugly and, frankly, amateurish.
The All-Play controls do a good job of simplifying the game for youngsters and the casual crowd, but the mildly more complex Advanced Controls are extremely awkward and boring.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The use of the Wii Remote's microphone is a mixed bag, and the overall aural experience is far less engaging than on the big consoles.

Play Value
This is a decent title for youngsters, but everyone else will quickly grow tired of the limited and shallow content.

Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Fun, Accessible Family Play-Now anybody can dominate the college game like an All-American with EA Sports Family Play. An all-new Wii-exclusive moves system featuring simplified Wii Remote-based controls makes NCAA Football 09 the most accessible college football game ever.
  • Assisted Play Calling: Call plays on both sides of the ball using a simplified playbook featuring 40+ plays or call plays like a pro with the full playbook. When the pressure gets to be too much, hand things over to your head coach and have him call the plays for you.
  • Learn the Game on the Fly: All-new action icons tell you when to tackle, evade defenders, swat the ball on passing plays, and more-all while the play is playing out. With assistance on every down, it's never been easier to dominate your biggest rivals.
  • More Gameplay, Less Waiting: A fun, arcade-style presentation throws you into the action faster than ever. With the removal of non-interactive scenes, gameplay begins at the line of scrimmage, and players can join a game on the fly with a press of a button.
  • Let Your Emotions Get the Best of You: Hype the crowd with user-controlled celebrations to gain a momentum boost, or taunt friends and rivals after every big score.
  • Action-Packed Mascot Games: Pit Sparky the Sun Devil against Harry the Husky, Mike the Tiger vs. Smokey from Tennessee, Sparty the Spartan against Brutus from Ohio State, and many more.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 480p (Progressive Scan, Widescreen).

  • Screenshots / Images
    NCAA Football 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NCAA Football 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NCAA Football 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge NCAA Football 09: All-Play screenshot - click to enlarge

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