Home
OS Scores Explained Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2 Overview (PC)
Pros
Addicting recruiting simulation; Solid in-game coaching; Immersive atmosphere
Cons
Interface can be cumbersome; Repetitive assistant coach duties; Learning curve is a little steep
Bottom Line
If youíre looking for a college basketball game, particularly one with deep recruiting, this game is a good choice for you.
8
out of 10
Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2 REVIEW

Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2 Review (PC)

Let’s face it. We’ve all had a real lack of college basketball video games to play the last few years.

It’s been six years since 2K Sports released College Hoops; Four years have gone by since EA Sports’ last effort.

Well, Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2 gives us a choice, and fortunately for us, it’s a very good one. Wolverine Studios released DDS:CB2 in late 2011, and I finally got the chance to check it out recently.

DDS:CB2 is a text simulation, meaning that while you can view a 2D representation of your team’s games. Still, DDS:CB2 has a ton of value to offer college basketball fans, especially those who passionately follow the recruiting process.

Gameplay & Career

In the game, you step in as a Division I coach, and you have a lot of flexibility as to how you want to do that.

As in the real world, a coaching staff consists of a head coach and three assistants, each of whom typically focuses on either recruiting, scouting upcoming opponents or team practices.

You can choose to work your way up the ranks if you desire. In one career I played, I started off as the third assistant in charge of scouting. In the lead-up to each game, I’d check out our opponent’s roster and performance, and answer my head coach’s questions about what to expect.

The assistant coach duties can get pretty repetitive and monotonous, and you don’t have as much freedom to bring in your own players or coach in games. The real meat of the game is in leading a program.

Once you’re a head coach — either after getting promoted or having started the game with a head job — you have much more responsibility, especially in the world of recruiting. Simply put, DDS:CB2 has the deepest recruiting of any game I’ve ever played.

Unlike other college basketball games we’ve played in the past, your budget really does matter, especially if you’re coaching a small school. During the summer, you’ll sign up for scouting services, choose which summer camps to go to, then you’ll hit the road. You have to keep your budget heavily in mind when considering which scouting reports to get and how much travel to do.

When I was the head coach at a low-major school, for example, paying for the most expensive scouting service and going to three July tournaments would have cost me a huge chunk of my budget. For a big school, however, it would have been chump change. It’s a good reflection of the real challenges faced by hundreds of college basketball head coaches.

Not only does each prospect have his own priorities — prestige, playing time, academics, location, etc. — but so do the kid’s parents! As the head coach, you’ll have to balance making everyone happy, especially when choosing what to focus on during in-home visits with the prospect and his family.

(I’ll pause for a moment while the college coaches reading this mutter to themselves while pouring another drink.)

The combination of budget, school prestige, and player priorities presents a really interesting psychological challenge for coaches.

When I took the head job at the University of Portland, I knew I’d have a tiny chance of prying prospects away from the University of Oregon and other big state schools in the northwest. The best strategy I came up with — which is what most real coaches on that level do — is to find the local kids the big schools aren’t recruiting hard and sell them on getting a lot of playing time close to home. If you have good academics, that can help too.

On the other hand, if you’re coaching at a school like Duke, you’ll find yourself competing for recruits on a national level with schools like Kentucky and Kansas. While you have a huge budget and a national appeal, so does your competition. You’ll have to use a completely different strategy than you would as a coach at a small, regional school.

One subtle thing I noticed was that the players’ rankings in the scouting reports went up and down as the season went on. While I dislike rankings in the real world, I enjoyed the process in the game.

On multiple occasions as the head coach at a low- or mid-major school, I’d recruit a kid whom I’d scouted as having the skills I looked for, despite the fact that he wasn’t even ranked in the top-500 or so prospects in the country. After getting a commitment from him, I’d watch as his ranking rose to the top-100. And indeed, when he finally stepped foot on campus, he started off with strong ratings and potential. That’s one of the ways you land a great player as a small school.

(Alas, the reverse happened a few times, too.)

As a recruiting simulation, DDS:CB2 is unmatched, and I hope for future editions that include recruiting underclassmen, which would add a lot of extra strategy and realism.

Presentation

During games, you have a couple options for how to view the action. There’s a 2D view that mimics the action on the court and a GameView (which I prefer) that’s similar to an ESPN.com Gamecast presentation, with an array of stats and play-by-play.

Head coaches can make substitutions, work the refs, set up plays coming out of timeouts, and adjust strategies like how often to press and run certain offensive sets.

While the in-game presentation is quite good, I found the interface cumbersome at times in other areas. It’s OK when it comes to recruiting, though some extra filters would be helpful. The interface makes managing your own team, especially setting the depth chart, less efficient than I would have liked.

In other areas of the presentation though, developer Gary Gorski really went the extra mile. The game features a selection show that builds a nice amount of drama regarding which seed, if any, your team will receive in the tournament. The regular scouting reports in the week leading up to each game and the interaction with recruits go a long way in contributing to your immersion into this college basketball world.

There’s a bit of a learning curve with the menus, but once you get going into your first summer of recruiting, you’ll realize quickly just how addictive this game can be.

Customization

While the game doesn’t include all 351 Division I schools, getting the schools and conferences added is a piece of cake with a helpful mod from the Wolverine Studios’ forums.

The forums also have mods that include college basketball’s latest realignment, with the creation of the new conferences and moving around of teams.

The game also features a relegation/promotion setup you can play around with.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a college basketball fan, Draft Day Sports: College Basketball 2 is without a doubt a game you need to check out, especially if you’re a recruiting junkie like myself. It puts you behind the desk of a college basketball coach in a way that no game has before.

The game is worth playing for the recruiting alone. It’s a great fit for you if you’re into that scene.

Score: 8.0 (Great)

Recruiting: Very good simulation of the recruiting process, capturing the joys and frustrations of recruiting at different levels.

Learning curve: It can be a little tough to find your way around at first The menu system could be more efficient.

In-game presentation: While not on the same level as some of the elite text sims like Football Manager, DDS:CB2 does a good job relaying important information and giving you the freedom to affect the game.

Customization: Getting the real schools and conferences, including graphics, is pretty easy. Though it’s possible to add coaching staffs and players too, there don’t appear to be any existing mods to do that.


Member Comments
# 1 Lukin4 @ 11/14/13 04:21 AM
Nice review. As someone that still plays CH2k8 regularly, I've definitely looked at giving this a try. And I'm a fan of any game that starts with a head job...
 
# 2 kdenson1283 @ 11/14/13 06:26 AM
This sounds very interesting. I think I will give this a go. Can't wait, finally a college basketball experience is back.
 
# 3 TheLetterZ @ 11/14/13 10:40 AM
Glad you guys enjoy. I can try to answer any additional questions you have.
 
# 4 Frythatchicken @ 11/14/13 11:41 AM
is it available now?
 
# 5 TheLetterZ @ 11/14/13 12:12 PM
 
# 6 tril @ 11/14/13 12:21 PM
any plans for an IOS version
 
# 7 TheLetterZ @ 11/14/13 12:35 PM
I haven't heard anything about an iOS version. I hope so though.
 
# 8 truzoe @ 11/14/13 01:58 PM
Do you get to play actual 5v5 basketball or just the management side??
 
# 9 SkillzKillz719 @ 11/14/13 02:44 PM
$35 is steep. $15? Probably. $20? Maybe. $35? Too much... I might fold my tent later in the year when it gets really interesting, but with the next gen coming out I think I'm better off saving my money.... No real gameplay REALLY hurts this game... But I'll download the demo, and if I'm in love with it I might get it.
 
# 10 drewst18 @ 11/14/13 03:51 PM
$35 is not too much. I don't like Wolverine studios mostly cause of their crappy hockey sim but you will not find a better text based basketball sim. Text sims aren't for everyone but the depth of this game far exceeds any console game you will find.

Its a text based sim, you can't hold against it that you can't play the game.
 
# 11 cq.noble @ 11/14/13 04:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by truzoe
Do you get to play actual 5v5 basketball or just the management side??
4th paragraph:
"DDS:CB2 is a text simulation, meaning that while you can view a 2D representation of your teamís games. Still, DDS:CB2 has a ton of value to offer college basketball fans, especially those who passionately follow the recruiting process."
 
# 12 tarek @ 11/14/13 05:48 PM
I've played a bunch of text sims, including DDS:PB and DDS:CB. I agree that they are outstanding games and experiences if you enjoy text sims and the strategic aspects they are built and tailored for.

I really like the comment about iOS, I think text based sports sims would really be suited to a tablet. I recall there have been some queries on the wolverine boards about mac or ios versions, however, due to the setup being quite small and the budget limited, I don't think they've explored or considered making the jump to either mac or ios.

If anyone associated with Wolverine reads this though, I'd be ecstatic with an ios version of your amazing games. I absolutely love recruiting with a smaller school. I recall my experience going from a tiny school out in LA to coaching St Johns.
 
# 13 Jukeman @ 11/15/13 11:11 AM
A new real world mod for this season is in the works. Hopefully it gets release. This would be a great time to get into this game as the mod will be updated for the first time since 2011-2012. There is also a chance that the mod could have real players in it this time. If not, at least the real life coaches will be in it.

Great game though. I've been playing it instead of CHoops 2k8 for the past couple of years and if anyone know me from here they would know how much I loved College Hoops 2k8!

I wish there was an updated version of the game but with that said, it's still Wolverine Studio's most polish basketball sim (It's more polished than their most recent basketball sim Pro Basketball 3 which was released last year) if not the most polish game they have to offer.
 
# 14 grismosw @ 11/19/13 05:33 AM
I actually prefer FBCB 2, which with all the updates is pretty much FBCB 3 at this point. The interface isn't as pretty but it is more effective and gameplay is more stable and streamlined. As well it is easier to customize the league, case in point there are mods for older year formats, D2, D3 and a mega mod combining D1, 2, and 3.
 
# 15 kisstopher5 @ 11/20/13 03:45 AM
Funny this was just posted as today they announced they are getting set to release a new version later this month!
 
# 16 Jukeman @ 11/20/13 06:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kisstopher5
Funny this was just posted as today they announced they are getting set to release a new version later this month!
Yea I was just about to post about that.


"With college hoops season in full swing we're very excited to announce that we are releasing a brand new version of our hit series Draft Day Sports: College Basketball. DDS:CB3 will feature a host of new additions such as international recruits, new conference alignments, improvements and changes in recruiting tactics, improved game AI and a brand new, rebuilt from the ground up UI which now requires a minimum resolution of 1280x768 offering much more screen real estate."

"Also because this title was not announced while CB2 was still being sold for full price if you did buy DDS:CB2 on or after October 1, 2013 and you want in on the beta we will be happy to allow you to trade in your CB2 license for a CB3 one."
 
# 17 Kingfish @ 11/28/13 12:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grismosw
I actually prefer FBCB 2, which with all the updates is pretty much FBCB 3 at this point. The interface isn't as pretty but it is more effective and gameplay is more stable and streamlined. As well it is easier to customize the league, case in point there are mods for older year formats, D2, D3 and a mega mod combining D1, 2, and 3.
Anyone else got any thoughts on this? Not wanting to derail the reason for this post but, it seemed to make more sense to ask here than start a new thread.

I am in the market to buy a college BB game. I played the wheels off the original FBCB back in 2003-04...but I like some of the features they talk about in DDS:CB2. With the new one coming out, I can get that with a 15% discount right now so, for $29, I am leaning towards DDS:CB3.

So I am wondering if anyone has played both series and could give some insight on them?
 
# 18 Jukeman @ 11/28/13 11:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingfish
Anyone else got any thoughts on this? Not wanting to derail the reason for this post but, it seemed to make more sense to ask here than start a new thread.

I am in the market to buy a college BB game. I played the wheels off the original FBCB back in 2003-04...but I like some of the features they talk about in DDS:CB2. With the new one coming out, I can get that with a 15% discount right now so, for $29, I am leaning towards DDS:CB3.

So I am wondering if anyone has played both series and could give some insight on them?
FBCB2 Is easier to mod and a lil more stable but that's expected as CB2 is more in depth.

You can't go wrong with either but both games serves its purposes. If you want a simple quick sim, then go with FBCB2. If you want something more in depth and focus on a career then go with CB3. (I don't know how stable the new game will be compared to CB2)

As for company, Greydog is a lil more active in customer service than Wolverine Studios.

FBCB2 has been out for some years but have gotten a good amount of updates. The last update from CB2 was maybe last year and if it wasn't for the new upcoming release of CB3, I doubt DDS College Basketball would have gotten another update.

But to be fair, it seems the DDS College basketball series are getting released with a new version every 2 years. Vs FBCB which haven't had a new version since 2010.
 
# 19 Kingfish @ 11/28/13 05:47 PM
Thanks for the response! That was exactly what I was looking for...I am strongly leaning toward CB3.

EDIT: CB3 Beta is released and I pulled the trigger on it! So I get the frustration of early access testing...yeah!
 
# 20 Jukeman @ 11/28/13 06:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingfish
Thanks for the response! That was exactly what I was looking for...I am strongly leaning toward CB3.

I wonder how long it'll be until its "early access release"...the website said late November. But, you can't get much later in November than right now.
Actually I believe the beta just went live.
 

« Previous12Next »

Post A Comment
Only OS members can post comments
Please login or register to post a comment.