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Fox Sports College Hoops 99

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Reviewed by Johnny@JGW At first, this game was supposed to be based on the NBA. But along the way, a decision was made to change it to a college basketball game. Upon discovering this news, I instantly became excited; I love college hoops, and the NBA lockout caused me to go away from NBA video games. But when I started to play Fox Sports College Hoops 99, I began to head in the direction of other games...

Graphics 5 out of 10

The graphics look average, even when they're compared to first-generation N64 titles. Framerates are inconsistant, and the players look deformed. The jerseys look the same (with the exception of the color), and the blurry numbers on the back are impossible to read, making it hard to tell who's who. When all the payers close together, you end up with a big mess. On the plus side, each court is nicely done with sharp images of the home team's logo.

Music and Sound 6 out of 10

The sound is this game is decent at best. The cheers from the crowd really get you into the game, but more boos could make it better. The announcer is hard to hear, so when a foul occurs, you're left wondering who it was on. When a player taunts the other team, it downright sounds horrible. Since when did college males have Mickey Mouse voices?

Game Challenge 7 out of 10

This game does a good job making you work hard to win each game, especially when you use a non-powerhouse team like Duke or Connecticut. But College Hoops 99 uses the famous "catch-up" mode from Mario Kart 64. When you're up by twenty at the half, it's almost a sure thing that your opponent will come back. I understand that game designers use this to make games challenging, but sometimes it's satisfying when you can blow away your opponent. In the end, it's more plus than minus.

Game Play-Fun 6 out of 10

The fun in College Hoops 99 shines when you choose to match up great rivals, like North Carolina and Duke. But that's where the fun ends. First, it's only a two player game. That limits your games with your pals. Most sports games (like football or hockey) support four player modes. The N64 was built for four player games. The game would still be fun if that was it's only problem. But the controls of College Hoops 99 are majorly flawed. A new "first step" system was created into the game, and it usually works. You push the button, and your players steps back and then drives to the basket. But too often, you come to a stop by running into another player (this results into charging). Another control problem is that players don't react to your controls. Push the shoot button and a second later, you shoot. The same thing goes for passing, jumping, and stealing. Some gameplay problems can be ignored, but when they cause you to play horribly, it simply cannot be excused.

Replayability 7 out of 10

As mentioned above, College Hoops 99 in limited to two players, and this kills any chances for it to become a party game. As a one player game, you have the option of playing in a tournament, preseason, or season. Plus, you get 120 teams, so you'll find a favorite. This helps the game out in its replayability. Despite huge flaws in its gameplay, sound, and graphics, I found myself coming back, game after game, to work my way deep into a season.

Overall 6.4 out of 10

Ugly graphics, weird sounds, and slow gameplay definitely don't add up to a great game. At best, Fox Sports College Hoops is a renter (only if you like college basketball, or if you're boycotting the NBA). Maybe next year the Nintendo 64 will have a high quality basketball game.

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