I’ve recently come to the realization that my review niche at Gaming Nexus is so small that it’s dwindled to gaming headphones and exactly 2 games; the NHL titles by EA and 2K Sports. This probably isn’t terribly conducive to my game reviewing career, especially if someday I want to step away from systems analysis as a full time gig, and consider some game-related career path. So when a 2K rep recently asked if I wanted to take a crack at MLB 2K10, I thought it might be a good idea to branch back out into reviewing some other sports titles.
I love baseball, and have previously reviewed MLB 2K7
, giving it high marks
(which might explain why they contacted me specifically to review the game). It’s always interesting to see how a game changes from year to year and to see how it fits into your idea of a quality title both against it’s own past, and in terms of your knowledge and experience as a gamer. While there are a lot of positive changes to talk about, there are also a few less than positive things I didn’t see as part of my previous review as well.
Visual Concepts is the primary development house for 2K Sports/Take Two, developing the 2K10 (and most of the prior) editions of the baseball, basketball, and hockey titles. They have a pretty good reputation of developing generally good and occasionally great sports titles. This year’s baseball edition is no exception.
One of the things that first appealed to me about this game, having not played it for a few years, was the new MLB Today, which presents the games as they happen with the results of the real games, updating the standings and stats of the season as it progresses. It also allows you as the player to jump in and play that days game with the lineup exactly as it is or was for the game that really happened. I did this on opening day playing as my beloved Detroit Tigers, winning, but barely; my pitching was less than optimal.
In fact, pitching is really the focus of this game, much more than anything else. The mechanic for pitching actually varies by the pitch, just as it does when you’re throwing a real ball. There doesn’t seem to be any tie to the actual movement of the ball itself in terms of what the motion represents, but they are certainly distinct enough to know when you’re throwing a fastball versus when you’re throwing a curveball.
On top of the motion, getting the best possible pitch also takes timing, as there is a certain length of time each pitch should take to set. The ability to set the pitch is also reliant on your pitchers frame of mind at the time of the pitch. If you’re rattled, the cursor bounces around and makes it difficult to be accurate with your throw. You can settle your pitcher down with a trip to the mound, but you can only do this so often. Plus, your pitchers stamina wanes as his pitch count rises, making pitches more difficult to pinpoint and visits to the mound less effective. So complex is pitching that 2K Sports is offering a $1,000,000 dollar bounty to the first person to pitch a perfect game. There are specific settings you have to follow that make it difficult, but not impossible so I imagine someone will get it done.
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