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College Hoops 2K6 Review

Developer: 2K Sports Publisher: 2K Sports
Release Date: March 7, 2006 Also On: PS2 and Xbox

When 2K Sports launched NBA 2K6 with the Xbox 360, they managed to cram every bit of the current-gen version into the game while redefining the graphics and tightening some of the gameplay elements. With their college franchise, they hoped to find similar success just in time for March Madness and the NCAA Tournament. College Hoops 2K6 for the Xbox 360 is an airball that is ultimately a disappointing basketball game that should have been sidelined until next season.

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Hoops 2K6 isn’t a terrible game, but it’s like that college player who is recovering from an injury, it’s not at 100%, but it’s definitely playable with a little risk. Featuring all of the gameplay modes from the current-gen version, Hoops 2K6 on the Xbox 360 is loaded with different things to do. Most importantly, the Legacy mode is an interesting approach to the normal Dynasty mode of other basketball games. It lets you take control of a college basketball staff and work your way up from coaching an almost-unknown team to a nationally-recognized powerhouse. If coaching a scrappy team isn’t your thing, you can always do the “Open Legacy�, which is like the “normal� Dynasty mode, complete with team and roster management.

Hoops 2K6’s biggest let-down isn’t off the court, it’s on the court. In order to make the game feel more “realisticâ€? to college play, 2K Sports slowed the game down and decreased the accuracy of normal shooters. It seems that the timing of the shooting is also harder and blocking is more common. The “Strip and Ripâ€? system allows too many steals, making the tempo of the game very uneven. In fact, in comparison to NBA 2K6, the only thing in Hoops 2K6 that seems to be better or even fair to compare is the rebounding. Fighting for rebounds is definitely more entertaining here than in the NBA game. But in the end, for the sake of realism, it seems that 2K Sports took out all of the things that made NBA 2K6 fun and that’s a disappointment.

The visuals received the same treatment here as NBA 2K6, with realistic character models, cloth physics, and beads of sweat that form on the bodies of your players. The stadiums look pretty good, and the new band and cheerleader animations add a little bit to the college atmosphere. You’ll see coaches prowl the sidelines, yelling out onto the court and squatting down to observe the action. Unfortunately, the players’ faces look absolutely nothing like real-life players. I understand that NCAA regulations prohibit the use of its players’ likenesses, but some of the players look ridiculous. Even worse are the coaches, whom I’d previously believed would look almost exactly like their real-life counterparts. It’s almost laughable to see how silly some of the coaches look.

If you’re desperate for a college basketball game, I’d recommend picking up EA’s March Madness 2006 on current-gen consoles. There just isn’t anything here that warrants a $60 purchase; the “realistic� gameplay isn’t fun, the visuals are disappointing, and all of the same gameplay modes can be played on the current-gen version for $20 or so. As I said before, this game should have sat on the bench for an extra year.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 5.5
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6.5
Written by Cliff Review Guide