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NCAA Football 2004 continues EA SPORTS' college program with the addition of 36 new Division I-AA teams and more than 100 classic teams to go along with all the squads available in its predecessor. Trick plays and mass substitutions are also making their debut, with defensive AI that initiates zone coverage, bump-and-run, and block-and-release strategies to win. The graphic engine has expanded to include animations for sideline tackles, stumbles, and more passing and catching moves, while the new Rollout Cam and Play Action Cam help spice up the presentation. Player graphics have also been addressed, with historic player models, new facial animation, and specific details such as dreadlocks, forearm pads, and more.
The Dynasty Mode has undergone a few changes as well. Players will be able to view dynasty rankings and stories from weekly magazine covers, sign coaches to a contract system, recruit players using new tactics, and try to win the Maxwell, Groza, and various other player awards. Joining the Dynasty Mode is the College Classics Mode, which has players revisiting classic matchups from the last two decades by placing them in specific scenarios. As in NCAA Football 2003, players can monitor their performance using My NCAA, which saves memorable plays from top games, tracks career and school records, and displays new awards and trophies. The Campus Challenge is also back but now features two-player support, allowing players to accumulate credits more easily. Kirk Herbstreit, Brad Nessler, and Lee Corso reprise their commentary duties from previous games in the college football series.
Football fans who play other EA SPORTS games will be able to access their own personal EA SPORTS bio. Special features open up when the game detects multiple saved games stored on the memory card, and various data for all sports titles can be saved to a separate file. As part of the exclusive deal forged between Electronic Arts and Sony, NCAA Football 2004 for PlayStation 2 is the only console version of the game to feature online play. Players can compete against anyone around the country, enter special online tournaments, and try to make the Online Top 100 list. The Fair Play feature is designed to prevent cheating while online, and voice chat allows broadband users to communicate with their rival in real time. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide