|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Now Production||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 5, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Baseball games are in short supply on the Wii, and the fact that the MLB license is all wrapped up by Take-Two does nothing to help that. Activision has found a way around this problem: They've created a baseball game revolving around the Little League World Series. I doubt many people realized it came out earlier this month, but if you're a fan (or if you're just looking for a baseball game), Little League World Series may be worth checking out.
While it lacks a professional roster and may therefore not appeal to MLB fans, if you're more concerned with baseball mechanics, Little League World Series might be worth it. It's similar to Wii Sports baseball only in that you'll play the game with motion controls. But Little League World Series replaces Wii Sports baseball's simplicity with a somewhat satisfying level of depth.
The game boasts plenty of different game modes that should keep you occupied, provided you enjoy the game's core play mechanic. You can compete in challenges and unlock medals, play in exhibition games, partake in multiplayer modes, and work your way through the Little League World Series. All of them are fairly fun. While the World Series mode is great at first, what may keep you playing is the somewhat addictive nature of collecting various trophies.
In some ways, Little League World Series is a significant improvement compared to Wii Sports baseball. In other areas, however, it's not. It's a big step up in terms of both batting and pitching. You're given significantly more control over the action of your player, and overall there's a lot more depth. You can throw a variety of different pitches and there's more to batting than just timing; you can also affect how and with what force you swing the bat. While it's not incredibly deep, it feels more fleshed-out than Wii Sports baseball and is generally pretty fun.
Fielding and base-running, on the other hand, feel much too simple and are nearly identical to the mechanic that we saw in Wii Sports baseball. They're both controlled automatically, though there is a bit of player interaction. There's a meter that will build up throughout the course of the game which, when activated, allows your players to make a great play (from sliding in safe to snagging a home run). There's little strategy to it and the experience would have been better if you could have controlled these aspects of the game.
In addition to these rather mundane baseball mechanics, Little League World Series also adds a meter that allows you to unleash a power swing or pitch (think along the lines of the Mario Baseball games). It's pretty forgettable except for the fact that it stands out as being out of place. After all, Little League World Series is clearly a game that attempts to provide a more realistic game of baseball to players, so this Mario-esque addition feels kind of weird.