Hot on the heels of the Xbox and Xbox 360 versions of College Hoops 2K7, 2K Sports has released the game for the PlayStation 2. While people that don't follow college hoops may dismiss the game as little more than NBA 2K7 with a different coat of paint, it's really much more. Sure there are similarities and both titles share the same game engine, but it's the details that separate the two. The best season-ending tournament in all of sports, raucous crowds with boisterous student sections, pep bands blaring fight songs, average players that sometimes dig deep for a special performance, and coaches that actually teach are just a few of the many differences between the two games. Unfortunately, there's one game that College Hoops 2K7 is just a little too similar to, and that's College Hoops 2K6. 2K7 is a good game, but it's hard not to be disappointed by the aging visuals and a lack of significant new features.
Even the smaller schools' courts have lots of detail.
Whether you want to play a single game or lead a university to the promised land, there's no shortage of ways to stay busy in College Hoops 2K7. You can play a quick game or a single-game rivalry, enter a tournament, or head to the practice court if you need to polish your skills. Here you can practice, shoot free throws, and take part in a number of drills including fast break, monkey in the middle, dribble and shoot, knockout, and many more. There's also a coach mode where you can set defenses, tendencies, and substitutions as you watch your team play.
To get the most out of the game, you'll need to play legacy mode, where you control nearly every aspect of a college basketball program. There are two ways to play legacy mode. In career legacy, you can select from a group of small programs where you'll need to establish a solid track record before getting offers from bigger, more prestigious schools. An "open" legacy lets you take the reins of any team in the game. This gives you a better chance of success right out of the gate, but with higher-profile jobs come higher expectations, so you'll need to win and win quickly to retain your job. Both modes place you in control of day-to-day operations such as recruiting players, hiring coaches, and scheduling your games. The 360 version of the game has a new feature called hoopcast that lets you simulate a game while still controlling certain aspects of the contest. Sadly, hoopcast is nowhere to be found here. Also missing from both the Xbox and the PS2 versions is College Hoops Tonight, a weekly show where Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg break down all the big games of the previous week and discuss upcoming matchups. It's not all bad news. The duo do host a preseason show that covers the top 25 as well as the best players in the country. Near the end of the season they host the Selection Sunday show, which breaks down the NCAA tournament.
Should you grow tired of playing the CPU, you can play with or against up to seven friends on one console, or you can head online where you can play a quick match, join or create a league, and even participate in tournaments. It seems that most people have moved on to the 360 version of the game, because while we were able to get online, we weren't able to find an opponent.
2K7 does a nice job differentiating the college game from the pro game. Teams play a variety of styles, mostly sticking to their real-life tendencies. Knowing when to apply pressure on defense and how to break a full-court press on offense is very important, as this can often be the difference in a close contest. You'll also need to be adept at patiently picking holes in zone defenses while also being able to run the floor to keep up with teams that like to push the pace. It's not a huge deal, but neither the confidence meter, nor team unity made it from the Xbox 360 version.
If you played 2K6, much of the game will feel very familiar.