MLB 2K10 Review
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MLB 2K10 is a great improvement over its predecessor. Baseball fanatics are sure to enjoy progressing a character in My Player, the vast knowledge in the commentators, and the new batting and hitting mechanics.
- The revamped batting and hitting
- The sharp commentators
- Progressing a character in My Player
- The annoying visual and animation glitches
- Positions other than pitcher are boring in My Player mode
- Some fielding and gameplay errors
Baseball is one of America’s oldest and most favorite pastimes. However, its translation to the videogame market has been anything but apple pies and ice cream. Sadly, capturing the essence and enormous details of baseball in a game has resulted in some decidedly weak efforts (take, for instance, Major League Baseball 2K9 – a game that was embarrassingly riddled with flaws). As such, Baseball fans have good reason to be a bit cautious with Take Two’s latest effort, MLB 2K10, but we can safely say it is a vast improvement from last year’s installment. Sure, it still has some noticeable flaws, but overall this latest entry offers a neatly packed gaming experience that nearly every baseball fan will enjoy – for everyone else, it’s more of a game you’ll want to rent, rather than own.
MLB 2K10’s obvious comparison is to Sony’s MLB10: The Show, which in the past has dethroned MLB 2K’s entries. With improved hitting and pitching mechanics, and new career modes, MLB 2K10, developed by Visual Concepts, has more than enough beef to keep the series alive. Both pitching and hitting have been revamped, and although the controls operate in a similar manner, both mechanics are much more fluid than in the past. Pitching is all in the thumbsticks. You’ll pick different pitches (all determined by what’s in your pitcher’s arsenal) then use the left stick to aim where you’ll pitch the ball. Through different combinations of thumbstick movements, you’ll execute fastballs, sliders, changeups, and other pitches. To throw a fastball, you pull back on the right stick, building up a power meter, but being careful not to overthrow, and then release the pitch by pushing the stick forward. There are plenty of thumbstick rolls to throw different pitches. If you mess up, the game offers a pitch analyser to help fix your problems. Pitching will take some getting used to, but it’s easily one of the highlights in MLB 2K10.
Batting is even easier – well, sort of. It’s easy to swing the bat, but not so easy to hit the ball. In true baseball form, batting can be quite difficult. It requires precise timing, attention to subtle changes, and grasp of the balls’ depth. This leads us to believe baseball games will do well with 3D support someday – but that’s another subject entirely. To bat, all you have to do is press the right analog stick forward, or you can pull it back then push it forward to swing harder. If you swing the bat to either side you’ll hit a foul, which essentially intimidates the pitcher into making a mistake. Like pitching, batting is really fun. It can be frustrating and will likely take some getting used to, but when you get it down, you’ll be able to place the ball just where you want it to score a base hit. Since the direction of your hits are directly affected by the placement and timing of your swing, it’s extremely important to carefully watch each pitch. In this sense, the game shines in true baseball fashion – a lot of details, a few moments of action, but by and large, it’s based on taking actions in critical situations.
Fielding is pretty cut and dry, but not without its problems. The buttons correspond with the bases – press O to throw to first, triangle to second, and so on – hold the buttons down longer to throw harder. But, fielding is where the game starts to fall apart. There seems to be little sense of urgency in the outfield. Also, on several occasions two of our outfielders ran to catch a fly ball and looked as if they were going to run into each other, but they never did, and neither caught the ball. This is likely more of a graphical glitch, but it still makes fielding pretty annoying and in general, far more tedious in comparison to batting and pitching. Other glitches we noticed include the catcher chasing after a batter who ran to first base instead of throwing the ball to first base for what would have been an easy out.
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