College Hoops 2K8 Preview
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The version I played was 60% version so a large majority of the features like Legacy mode were not available. First, every major gameplay feature found in NBA 2K8 is in College Hoops 2k8. Off Ball Control? Check. On Court Play Diagrams? Check. On the fly subs and coaching options? Yes. Anthony Chau, PR Guru from 2K Sports, stated that the reason why most people feel that the College Hoops series is better than the NBA series is because the College Hoops series takes all of the good things from that year’s NBA version and adds on to them. The first addition is the 6th Man Advantage and it has me a little worried. The 6th Man Advantage works like this: as the home team goes on a run, the crowd will start to get louder and the a meter found at the bottom of the screen will fill up. Once it fills up and turns red, the home team will get an energy boost and it will fatigue slower than normal. This feature can be countered by calling timeouts but I worry that it may be too effective. I did notice that if the other team scores a few baskets, the meter will drop pretty quickly. Other additions include the new defensive and full court press animations.

I’ve always been someone who rolled their eyes when people on the OS board make statements like “2K is for the hardcore sports gamer!” I’ve always felt the company was more focused on the hardcore sports gaming community than others but it was still a game company focused on making a profit. I have to say that with College Hoops 2K8, 2K has given the hardcore community new features that are geared only for us. First up is “Maximum Passing.” Some of you may remember this from 2k’s NFL series but this is the first time I’ve seen anything like this in basketball. By holding down the LB button, each face button becomes a passing button. Y is a lob pass, X is a chest pass, B is a bounce pass and A is a lead pass. This adds a level of control never seen in a basketball game.

Next is the Play Designer feature. This year, you can edit current plays and create your own plays. Many casual gamers won’t use this feature but I can see many of the gamers that visit OS using it.

We also have the 2K Share feature. Put away your Transfer kits and flash drives people - you won’t need them this year. This feature lets you post rosters, plays and chants online and anyone on Xbox Live or PSN can download and use them. This will make roster editing much easier and much faster this year.

The last new feature I was shown was the All-American Training Challenge. The challenge is a bunch of mini games that you can you use to train and improve your team during the season. They range from suicides to shooting and dribbling drills. If you are able to win a gold medal in an event, you will move on to battle all time college greats like Greg Oden and J.J. Redick in different drills. It’s a good addition to the series and helps immerse you in Legacy mode.

Here are some answers to some questions and quick thoughts I had about College Hoops 2K8:

  • The release date is in mid November and there is no set date for a demo release.
  • Anthony told me that the player faces are improved and more realistic. That wasn’t apparent from the build I played but Anthony assured me they would look different when released.
  • The game will run at 60 fps on both systems.
  • The “white hair” NBA2k import glitch is fixed.
  • Reelmaker will be available in College Hoops 2k8.
  • On the fly subs are in the game
  • No PAL version. Anthony stated that he sympathizes with European fans but there isn’t a college basketball market in Europe.
  • Anthony confirmed that real coaches are no longer a part of the game. He explained that a combination of resources and budget would not allow the team to update the coaches and they felt their efforts were better served working on things like player art, animations and, especially, the stadiums.
  • No create-a-recruit.
  • Foot planting engine from NBA 2k8 is in College Hoops 2K8