|System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Visual Concepts||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: March 2, 2010||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 Tony Capri
2K Sports bring their latest installment of the Major League Baseball franchise to consoles, and they're covering all bases by including the PS2 in their trip to "the show." We break out our score boards and sift through the books to see if this outing is fit to be labeled an MVP.
If there's one constant we've come to expect from, not just the MLB2K series but most sports games in general, it's an utter lack of pizzazz. Upon loading up Major League Baseball 2K10 (MLB 2K10), the player is presented with mostly the same options we've been getting for years now, without any introduction or invitation into the experience. The presentation during actual gameplay is impressive, but MLB 2K10 does a terrible job of familiarizing new players with the basics.
This is "one for the fans," and if you've been with the series for a while or played similar games, you'll likely find your footing quickly enough. For those outside the loop, however, prepare to be frustrated by the learning curve. The gameplay sticks with many tried-and-true mechanics, though old dogs will find some new additions as well. Just don't expect a major league overhaul for the franchise.
Most of the usual suspects are accounted for - a quick-play option, Homerun Derby, as well as various career modes. You can jump into a sea of management minutiae and player customization, and the meat of the game is largely unchanged from past entries in the series.
When it comes to the actual game of baseball, MLB 2K10 reels in the reins a bit. In spite of ignoring the needs of new fans, players are given less control over outfield play. Generally speaking, your main focus will be on either pitching or batting, though you will, of course, exert limited control over your other teammates when the ball's in play.
Pitching is perhaps the most interesting element of the game, and not all pitchers are privy to the same pitches. The controls mostly feel good and make sense, and the animation and controller-vibration cues match up wonderfully with pitching wind-ups. Like most other virtual baseball games, pitches are assigned to the selection of face buttons (and even triggers in some cases). You'll aim your pitch with the analog stick, press a button to select a pitch, and a circular gauge will build up to a sweet spot, wherein you'll need to push the pitch button once more to finalize the throw. If you hit the sweet spot, you're guaranteed an awesome pitch; fail to confirm the pitch with a second button press, and there's a good chance your throw will land wildly outside the batting box.
It's a good system, but aiming your pitch is a shaky proposition. Rather than simply have the player move the aiming reticule into place slowly, allowing for a precise throw, you're forced to hold the reticule in position while winding up for a pitch. The reticule is loose and skittish, and it's often the source of many dud pitches.
In spite of these complaints, the process of pitching feels really good. In most cases, the pitcher winds up in sync with the pitching gauge, and when the gauge nears the sweet spot, the controller vibrates. During the wind-up, the game does an excellent job of making you feel like you're in complete control of the pitch - it's very satisfying and fun.