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Original Issue

Under Review

VIDEO U USC quarterback Matt Leinart was not too thrilled about
the rendering of his counterpart (a Trojan quarterback wearing
number 11) on the multiplatform video game NCAA Football 2004,
released last year. "I was a righty," Leinart laments, "and
pretty terrible. No one knew I'd be good, but is it too much to
ask to get my throwing arm correct?"

Count Leinart's delivery--the game's USC QB is a southpaw at
last--and skill (after his 38-touchdown season) among the tweaks
EA Sports made to NCAA Football 2005. Also new are
stadium-appropriate fanaticism (ON WISCONSIN signs at Camp
Randall), historic rosters (play as LSU in 2003 or USC in 1960)
and screen-shaking distractions at loud stadiums like Florida's
Swamp. EA has also added elements that would give Barry Switzer
heartburn: You must bench stars to satisfy randomly generated
NCAA sanctions, and if big-time recruits sit too long, they
transfer. It's high-quality stuff, which is lucky because gamers
have no options: EA has run solo on the field of NCAA football
gaming since 2003. --Adam Duerson