Lately, college football video games have been a one-game dynasty with the dominance of the EA Sports NCAA Football series. In 2007, Nerjyzed Game Studios shined the lights on the world of black college football with their first title called Black College Football: The Experience.
Powered by the Unreal 3.0 engine, the PC-exclusive was met with mixed reviews. The first Black College Football game introduced mini-games featuring marching bands, but closed the season with a losing record thanks to sub-par graphics.
Next month, Nerjyzed kicks off its second season of pigskin with Black College Football: The Xperience (BCFX) for the PC and Xbox 360. Former Super Bowl MVP and Grambling star Doug Williams acts just as Jeff Gordon did in NASCAR 09, walking you through the game on and off the field.
The Graphics in BCFX look to be much improved over the original.
My experiences with black college football were in my hometown of Columbus, Georgia. Week after week, I watched the Southeastern Conference like every good southerner should, but twice a year I got to see Tuskegee-Morehouse and the Fountain City Classic (Albany State-Fort Valley State) at Memorial Stadium.
These are just a few of the teams that are in BCFX. Nerjyzed has the licenses to three of the major HBCU conferences (SWAC, SIAC, CIAA) and a few MEAC schools as well. Instead of the Florida Gators or the Texas Longhorns, you’ll see the Kentucky State Thorobreds and the Livingstone College Blue Bears.
Along with the licensed teams are the licensed Classics (with stadiums) like the famous Bayou Classic in the New Orleans Superdome to the little known matchups like the Atlanta Football Classic (Tennessee State/Florida A&M) and MEAC/SWAC Challenge. Most of the teams in the game will be those that you’ve never seen, giving BCFX a niche in the football market.
Your Rock Band Drum Set is Your 12th Man
In black college football games, halftime isn’t the time to get your popcorn, because the show is right in front of you. It’s known as the fifth quarter. At some Classics, the game with the trumpets and drums is as important as the Xs and Os. In BCFX, this may the only time your skills with the sticks doesn’t mean your analog sticks. At halftime, you’ll tap on your drums to the beats of licensed fight songs and master tracks to keep your band and dancers in formation. If you win, your team will get a momentum boost in the second half.
The gameplay will ultimately make or break BCFX.
For a game that is different from EA’s juggernaut, BCFX may have dug itself a hole from the get-go. BCFX is set for release on July 15th, a day after the highly anticipated NCAA Football 10. The fact that NCAA has TeamBuilder as well could also not bode well for Nerjyzed. Students, alums, and fans of the 40-plus HBCUs in the game may buy the game, but that may be it.
Early screenshots and the video from the BCFX website show more polished players, stadiums, and marching bands. The front-end and menus look a lot better with plenty of shots with drum majors and players. On the field, there are improved animations and tackling, but nothing like Pro-Tak in Madden 10 just yet. Jerseys feature grass and mud, but there are a few glaring problems, notably all the players have the same QB-style three bar facemask.
Road to The Championship
BCFX adds a season mode, but it is just that: a season. Road to the Championship lets you pick any of the schools in for a 12 game run to the top of the polls. No bowl games, recruiting, or the like. Just football.