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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: March 26, 1997
“We’re going to the BIG one BABY. ” The month is March. To college basketball fans that means “March Madness,” when 64 teams get to fight for the national championship. To this day there have not been any good college basketball games that have been worthy of being the king of basketball simulations. The new Mindscape Sports Advantage label is hoping to change that with their recent release of NCAA Final Four 97.
NCAA Final Four 97 comes running out of the gate with an already impressive feature list. The game centers primarily around the theme of getting to the Final Four. Included in the game are 64 old school titles that includes a good portion of the teams that make the tournament every year. Because of amateur licensing agreements, the players’ names are not included in the game. There are already new team files available on the internet that some people have put together to allow you to update the players’ names to their real ones.
Final Four 97 is a native Windows 95 game that uses the latest Direct X technology. It will play in a window on your desktop as well, something not too many native Windows 95 games will allow you to do! Once inside the game there are plenty of different options at your disposal. You have the ability to enter into an exhibition game, which is the fastest way to get on the court, start/continue season play, or start/continue a tournament. All the teams that come in the game have their complete stats from last year’s season and are provided by STATS Inc. Included in the game are a variety of options that allow you to define the type of game that you would like to play. From within the options menu, you have the ability to set audio, sound, display, gameplay, rules, and rating settings.
In the team info section, you can look at and change the various rating settings of each player within the game. Players’ basketball abilities are broken down into different settings that range from offensive and defensive statistics to physical statistics. Physical statistics that you can change are your basic attributes such as are height, endurance, and weight. Examples of offensive and defensive settings are ball handling, aptitude, jumping ability, stealing, and prime time. By having the ability to modify these attributes, you have the tools necessary to more accurately model a player’s strengths and weaknesses.
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