SONY PSP REVIEW: MVP BASEBALL

Playing a sports game that requires viewing a small gameplay object in motion such as a baseball or hockey puck becomes a chore on any small screen and MVP falls directly into that category. Unfortunately that's not where the troubles end.

If you've enjoyed EA's quality offering of this series on the console systems you'll be hard pressed to find a good reason to take a portable version of the game with you. Portability isn't reason enough.

Due to the downsizing of features and gameplay mechanics which PSP games are experiencing at a drastic rate, MVP Baseball is missing the heart and soul which makes it a veritable fan favorite on the big screen; namely Perfect Zone. Unable to place your pitches exactly where you want them makes the game easier for the AI and much harder for you. As well, due to the PSP's small screen you'll have to squint and hunt for the cursor. I hate that.

If you can get beyond the interface, MVP is a looker. The animations of the various swings, catches, pitches and slides are excellent - but of course they've been carried over from big brother. But I'm at that stage of my life where graphics just don't wow me if the gameplay isn't there and MVP strikes out when compared to the console version I know, love and respect.

If you're jonesing for a baseball title for the PSP, you don't have a lot of options. Sony's entry isn't up to snuff either and in comparing the two, I'd say MVP over Sony's. It will definitely pass the time while taking the subway to and from work but at the end of the day, you'll come home, turn off the PSP and fire up the console version which is a homerun compared to this ballwalker.

PReview by Chris

Welcome to sports center. I am your announcer Chris -"Umm" sorry about that. I have been reading way too much info on all the sports games heading out for the PSP. Vaughn stated that Baseball is supposed to be America's favorite past time. The fact I used to play Baseball myself I would like to believe that is still true. However, as Vaughn also pointed out, gamers like a little more action so EA has to make this one count.

EA has suddenly become the main maker of sports games for the PSP and it looks like they mean business. They have some good things in mind. The handheld game will feature a full franchise and season mode complete with trades, salaries and everything that goes along with that mode. However, since it is a portable system, they are adding mini-games like home run derbies, a pitching showdown and a few others that players can use the Wireless feature to play. MVP will feature realistic animations and announcing just like the real game itself.

The real challenge for EA will be to make the game full of all the modes and details of the real game without draining the battery. It seems this is still an issue for the PSP. So EA has designed the game to use the built-in ram to help ease the strain on the battery. So far it sounds like this one has a ton of potential and if EA can pull this off, it will certainly help the PSP. The game is said to have a new swinging system and loaded with pitching options. It looks promising so far. However, the game is not ready and we will be watching if they can hit this one out of the park. Take a look at the early screens and watch for more on the game before the slated March release date.

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System: PSP
Dev: EA Canada
Pub: EA
Release: June2005
Players: 1 - 3
Review by Dean
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
4.0
CONTROL
2.0
MUSIC/FX
2.0
VALUE
2.0