I used to love video baseball nearly as much as video hockey. Back on my Commodore 64 I played the heck out of the Accolade classic, Hardball. From their I went on to enjoy such great franchises as Bases Loaded, Bottom of the Ninth, Ken Griffey Jr. and World Series Baseball. But since the last days of my Saturn and Nintendo 64 I have never found a baseball franchise that really caught my interest, that is until last night when I played 2K Sports latest baseball offering, Major League Baseball 2K9.
I was at first really struck by the presentation, though after seeing what they did with their NBA game I shouldn’t have been surprised. I guess to expand on what impressed me was the atmosphere. It feels like you are taking part in both a game being broadcast and being on the field at the same time, the immersion level is very high. The character models and uniforms are very realistic and the announcers feel like they are doing it all on the fly, rather than from a script.
Now the other side of the coin is the gameplay. Since I had no manual I really had to feel around in the dark to get a handle on the controls, but once I did I really liked the pitching, but need a lot a work at the plate. Normally if one aspect of the game feels week or difficult, I will often pack in a game early, but the enticement of this game may make me want to work through the rough patches.
It has been a long time coming, but this may be the baseball game to break the cycle and bring me back to the fold. Stay tuned for perhaps more on 2K Sports MLB 2K9!