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.


Cory said...

Heh, I had the exact same issue with difficulty, Bill. I am still struggling with batting, but pitching was becoming pretty easy. I was dismayed when I realized I couldn't independently change the pitching/hitting difficulty settings. Adjusting the sliders is one way around this, but then it disables the card collecting and whatnot. Kind of a bummer.

bill abner said...

I don't get why they would do that. You dropped $60 for the do they care?

Jayhawker said...

I love playing the game. I'm really starting to hate managing the game.

Want to leave you PH in the game? You can't do it.

Want to see what players your opponent has on the bench for later match-ups? Nope, can't see them.

And you are right about trading cards. Just like last year, I won't be using this mode at all, since I will adjust sliders. Completely dumfounding.

MLB Today is pretty amazing, and will continue to get better as the real season starts. Realistic pitching match-ups for the win!

There really are not enough sliders. There are areas that need to be tweaked, like errors and arm strength, that have no sliders at all.

Pitching is a little too easy. 2K8 had a three step method, but 2K9 made this an alternate way to play. It has now been eliminated. Holding the last move until the meter contracts to a point allowed another opportunity for variation.

On the plus side, the game plays pretty darn well online. You can still read pitches as balls or strikes on line, and have time to swing or take the pitch. It's tougher online, but it works.

It's sad, but the game does still feel like a work in progress. On the plus side, it is fun to play.

serialmike said...

Dam you Bill. I was liking the demo but I just couldnt get myself to give them money again. Now you are making me thing.

2 things you said.

1 40ish min games.
2 Walks both ways are good

The third thing your missing which I had thought from playing the demo was. Dammit all this game is fun.

With one and 2 from you and the third reason from me I think im gonna get the dam thing.

The show yr after yr is missing one thing and I finally nailed it this year. Fun factor. It just flatout does not have it. by 1 hr playing with 2-3 innings to go Im just burnt. Its dull and drag and slow. Somehow it still scors biug because of its stellar options and sim abilities but its just not that fun.

Dam you Bill.

serialmike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cory said...

I'm actually having a good time in the my player mode. I bumped up the overall difficulty and created a starting pitcher. It can actually be pretty tough, and I'm going to have to work to get called up. Being yanked in the 4th inning is no fun. :)

Craig said...

I agree with you on the 100% fictional rosters. I wish EVERY sports game had this feature.

Derek Ferreira said...

totally about the length of games. High Heat could be played in about 40 mins. with the Show could find a way to do that too.

contrarybear said...

High Heat was the last baseball video game series I played, and I loved it. Are any of the new ones nearly as good? From what you write here (and I've read elsewhere) it seems like the successors have all taken steps back in accuracy.

Derek said...

Are you still giving up unintentional walks, Bill?

I'm not really issuing any at all.