|System: Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Konami||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: 2K Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 25, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Joseph Catalanotto
MLB Power Pros has a huge following in Japan and already it's developed a reputation for itself in North America. Underneath the hilariously cute graphics is hidden one of the deepest, most addictive baseball sims on the market. The series has finally come to the DS and while it doesn't quite live up to its PS2 and Wii counterparts, it's still a pretty good game of portable baseball.
MLB Power Pros is well-known for two things: its unique visual style and the deep gameplay coupled with overwhelming amounts of options. In terms of the graphics, MLB Power Pros 2008 for the DS certainly lives up to any expectations from fans of the series. The game plays out in pretty 3D visuals and the bobble-head-style appendage-less versions of MLB stars are well-done. That said, while the game is technically impressive, I feel that it's lost a bit of the wacky artistic style that was so present in the first set of North American Power Pros games.
It's in the gameplay area that the DS version of Power Pros 2008 doesn't hold up quite as well. There are still plenty of different play modes, ranging from a practice mode, playoffs, and a couple of thoughtful multiplayer modes. The practice mode definitely does a good job of easing new players into the game, but in many ways you might feel that it's not all that necessary; the game is not that difficult and not particularly complex.
The reason for this is that, in many ways, the DS version of MLB Power Pros 2008 feels like a stripped down version of a game that's famous for being chocked-full of options and stat-tracking. There's still a team edit-mode and a couple of none-too-impressive extras, but there's also a lot that's missing. If you played the first Power Pros on the PS2 or Wii, you'll certainly notice it (though people new to the series will likely just be happy that there's a relatively good baseball game on the DS at last).
For example, the popular and utterly-time-consuming "career" mode (MLB Life) is missing, as is the stat-tracking and incredibly deep character customization options that come along with that mode. I suppose that it's a lot to expect from the first DS offering, but the DS version of Power Pros '08 even lacks a season mode, which definitely should have been included.