Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bill's Bullet Point Review of MLB 2K10 Part I: First Impressions

These bullet points are right from my review notepad as they happen during my early hours with MLB 2K10 on the 360. Some of these observations may end up being wrong the more I play it -- it's just what I noticed at that particular time. This first part is based off the first 5 games on Pro difficulty. And off we go.

  • Starting out on Pro for the first few games to get used to the game again since it has been a couple of years since I last played a 2K baseball game

  • You know, I still really hate the 2K Nav system. It still feels very awkward to me.

  • Right off the bat it's easy to see how pretty the stadiums are. Nice job here.

  • Who is this girl that keeps calling for her daddy? Jesus dad -- your girl is lost or something. Pickup on isle 4.

  • Holy cow infielders seem to get to everything and have rockets attached to their shoulders.

  • Static graphics look fine but holy cow these animations need all sorts of work. Stop/start outfielders, shortstops throwing the ball overhand when hes' 3 feet from the 2nd baseman when turning a double play. Just an easy underhand toss would do, eh?

  • Play by play anecdotes cut off if the ball is put into play. As a result it doesn't flow well at all. A guy gets picked off 2nd and the play by play guy doesn't even mention it. Whoops.

  • I have not seen an error in 5 games. Fluke or cause for concern?

  • 2K seriously -- why disable Achievements and trading cards if you alter the sliders at all? That's just rockheaded.

  • I can draw walks! Like...a lot of walks!

  • I even give UP walks! Even when I don't really want to! Holy shit.

  • And I can strikeout CPU hitters and strikeout myself -- 2K 10 has just passed two of the most important tests a baseball game has -- you HAVE to get this part of the game moderately correct and so far 2K10 has done that. Very nice.

  • CPU will take strikes. Will they continue to do so if I up the difficulty?

  • I like how you can swing at a strike and still miss the pitch.

  • Did my eyes just deceive me or was that a STAND UP double down the line from a player with only moderate speed? Take THAT Sony. Sony's game has never, and I don't care who tries to tell me otherwise, gotten this right. That was a textbook double by Rolen.

  • Rolen scores standing up on a single to right center. Perfect. 2K10 is showing me things I didn't expect.

  • Man on 2nd 1 out, ground ball to 2nd base in the hole -- runner advances to 3rd. Nice. Baseball 101 but it needs to do this.

  • Base running and especially stealing a base in this game is utterly ridiculous. Let me just press a friggin button guys. Why make this so hard?

  • Ohh I love those 1980 Pirates uniforms.

  • I still wish these console games allowed for 100% fictional player leagues. I'm in the minority on that I know.

  • Pro might be getting a tick too easy when pitching.

  • I'd like to use Pro for hitting and All Star for pitching

  • Speaking of hitting I can see the pitch better in this game than I ever have in The Show. In The Show everything looks like a strike to me. Here the speed and the camera and the new batter's eye makes working the count SO much easier.

  • I am really enjoying this...just drew my 4th walk of the game..Pittsburgh starter is done.

  • 5 games on Pro no CPU home runs. Yeah..think I need a difficulty boost on the mound.

  • The lack of a check swing feature with this hit stick is an egregious error.

  • I question how important defensive ability is in this game.

  • With quick play turned on I can get a game in in about 40-45 minutes. Every baseball developer should write in BIG RED MARKER on the first day of team meetings : Baseball games should never take more than 40 minutes start to finish. This was a huge reason for High Heat's success -- with me, anyway.

  • Did I mention how much I hate base running? Can I get an automate base running button, please?

  • Love the MLB Today thing. Cactus League FTW!

  • Five games in and there are definitely some quirks and 2K10 doesn't scream "polish" but I am enjoying this so far much, much more than I thought I would.
Phase 2 coming Monday as we take the difficulty to All Star and play some league games.