doesn't exactly hit one out of the park with its new
7, 2006 - Midway
didn't exactly hit one out of the park with MLB Slugfest
2006, the latest arcade-style baseball game for the
PS2 and the Xbox. You actually get less, for less
when you purchase this title. It's budget priced and
it has less features than Slugfest Loaded that was
released a couple of years ago. Don't expect any online
modes or franchise mode. What you can expect is everything
that you would expect from a budget title. Don't expect
any surprises. In other words, don't expect the unexpected.
off the bat, please excuse the pun, I'm going to recommend
that you rent this game before you buy it. Chances
are you probably won't buy it after you try it. Not
because it's bad but because it's nothing that you
haven't played before. Don't be swayed by the cheap
price. It would be worth it if it had an online component
but as it is you will exploit everything it has to
offer in a short weekend.
the game's defense, I would recommend it for casual
gamers and youngsters that enjoy the odd sports game
but don't want to spend hours on end learning a complicated
control system. The control system in MLB Slugfest
2006 is simplification personified. I really don't
think it could be any simpler and more effective.
So much of it just makes sense. There are many different
ways to use the various commands so you will be able
to get enough depth out of a limited amount of button
pushing. The localized multi-player mode will give
you some replay value but if you're seriously competitive,
keep in mind that even a beginner can give you a run
for your money due to the forgiving nature of the
control system and gameplay.
is analog and pitching is digital. The analog stick
is used to control the bat. Press it in the direction
that you intend to swing. If you want to hit a high
ball, point the stick up. If you want to hit something
lower, point it down. You can even take swings at
balls to the left or right by moving the stick in
either of those directions. Just how far you move
the stick can determine your accuracy and power. Overall
it's a very forgiving system that will have novices
playing like major leaguers in a few short minutes.
It can literally be anyone's game.
is controlled via two main buttons. Once you aim your
pitch in the zone you press the A button for a strike
(hopefully) or the X button for a ball. You can also
opt to hit the batter and try to reduce his stats
but that might turn into a fight and cost you a few
attributes yourself. Trick pitches can be thrown but
you've got to get some juice into the trick pitch
meter first. All it takes if five strikes to fill
it and you can deliver some powerhouse pitches that
couldn't be stopped by the side of a barn. When you're
that hot, your character will literally catch on fire.
the ultimate power-up, turbo power can change the
course of any game if used correctly. Turbo can be
used to enhance virtually any hit, pitch, catch, throw
or run. The turbo power is regulated through a meter.
The more beneficial the action is to your score, the
more juice you will use up. It's advisable to use
it somewhere in the last half of the inning so that
you don't use it all up and have to face a handful
of innings without it. It's like a addicting drug.
Once you get used to it you can't do without it. It
becomes such an integral part of the gameplay that
the developers should have considered using the word
"turbo" in the title of the game.
turbo when you're batting and you're virtually guaranteed
a homerun every time. Press it when you're baserunning
and you'll steal bases like stealing candy from a
baby. When you're in the field even the highest fly
ball will land squarely in your mitt and you'll be
able to fire it back to home plate so powerfully and
quickly that the ump might mistake it for a strike.
It's a great feeling of power when you employ the
turbo but it's can also be quite devastating when
used against you.
include a 52-game Season mode, Playoff, Home Run Derby,
and the new Create-a-Player and Create-a-Team modes.
Gone are the online and franchise mode which means
that you can't trade players, nor you can update the
roster which is already outdated. Since this isn't
a simulation, you can't really take it seriously so
you'll just have to live with some of these shortcomings.
The gameplay may be solid but the game enjoys not
taking itself too seriously with some really outrageous
animations and witty commentary from Tim and Jim.
That's Jim Shorts and Tim Kitrow. You'll witness players
sliding into bases with their cleats in a very dangerous
position. Let's just say they are intending to foul
a couple of balls, if you know what I mean. And even
if you don't know what I mean, when you see the animations
of the player writhing in pain from his injury, you
can't help but feel sorry for the poor fellow - even
though it's hard to wipe the smile off your face.
game hasn't changed much in look, feel or sound since
2004. The players' animations are good but they all
have a generic, bot-like appearance. The stadiums
and the crowds are also nondescript. The sounds aren't
incorporated naturally into the game. They aren't
dynamic and you'll be very aware that they are triggered.
The Jim and Tim commentary is certainly a welcome
addition but there's not nearly enough fresh content
to last more than a few hours.
Slugfest 2006 is a fun game but it has no lasting
appeal. Even the two-player mode becomes more like
a game of chance than a game of skill when player
of equal caliber have outgrown the simplistic control
system. There's enough here to keep you happy for
a weekend but after that it's like replaying the same
game over and over.
On-Fire!: Midway's classic fast and furious gameplay
is back with tape-measure home runs, bean balls,
charging the mound and of course, on-fire mode.
Create-A-Player: For the first time ever in the
Slugfest franchise, customize your players right
down to their batting stances and special pitches
then draft them onto your own unique team with the
return of the Create-A-Team feature.
The one and only over-the-top baseball videogame
fully licensed by the MLB and MBLPA contains all
of your favorite teams, players and stadiums in
the most raucous brand of baseball you've ever seen.
Most Entertaining Baseball Videogame: Easy to pick-up-and-play,
humorous play-by-play and color commentary by the
voice of Midway Sports' Tim Kitzrow and his laugh-a-minute
sidekick, Jim Shorts.