Blog Entry

Baseball Video Games

Posted on: March 16, 2010 10:45 pm
 
Well, I've been playing a lot of games during the offseason, most frequently MLB2K8 for the Xbox 360, since that's the only console I own, and I just recently purchased 2K10.

So I thought I would start up a blog to see if there was anyone else out there that likes talking baseball games, just something to help get ready for the season I suppose.

I think my first baseball game was All-Star Baseball 2000 for the Nintendo 64. I don't remember a lot about it, just that I enjoyed it. After I finally got an Xbox, I grabbed up All-Star Baseball 2004, which I played until the disc was too scratched to play any more. My favorite, that I never even owned, was MVP 05 I believe, it had several "newer" features that I liked, including an interesting home run derby/hitting contest mode that me and my brother played way too much.

I got an Xbox 360 late in 07, and ended up pre ordering MLB 2K8 (came with a Jose Reyes bobblehead), played that for a solid two years, although I used classic controls on it since that was what I was used to (as opposed to the Total Control stuff they make you use in newer games), I still played several seasons of franchise mode with the St. Louis Cardinals of course. I loved constructing teams of varying kinds, I had one franchise with mostly all prospects, and I've had some with all of the greatest players, and of course I had to do some with the actual people we had on the team at the time.

Finally last week I got MLB 2K10 and have been playing that quite a bit. They force you to use the total control style of playing, which is quite interesting to get used to. So far I haven't gotten too far into the game because of a number of known bugs that I've heard about, although they are getting them fixed fairly quick. I've nearly beaten "The Best of the Best" in a head to head home run derby style competition. You don't get to use "The Best", so I've been going through the ranks with Matt Holliday. My favorite part of the game however is the My Player Mode, where you create a player, and control just that player and begin your career in AA ball and play until your major league career is over. It's quite entertaining and a lot different than anything I've ever done before. My character is a starting pitcher, so I only get to play every 5th game, the rest is simulated. Right now I'm still improving my stuff in AAA before I decide I'm ready for the bigs, but it's still very intertaining. I'd have to say it's worth playing for sure if you like baseball games at all, it's got a mode for probably just about any type of fan.
Anyway, this is about the point where I'll wrap it up and hope to hear some feedback, I'm sure there's several out there that find themselves playing hours upon hours playing baseball games, the forum is now open.

Comments

Since: May 9, 2008
Posted on: April 6, 2010 11:43 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

Well I've been playing MLB 2K10 off and on for nearly a month now, and I sadly have to say that there's no classic control option available, or if there is I haven't found it yet. The controls are certainly different and not simple like you may be looking for, although after a couple of games, they really aren't too bad to get used to.

The hardest part of it all for me is pitching, which on the 360 is done exclusively with the right thumb stick, usually holding the stick in one direction, then swinging it around to a different direction depending on the pitch that you're throwing. It's not too bad once you're used to it as I've said, but it does make it rather easy to throw a bad pitch if you get distracted (say someone walks in front of the TV, or your thumb just slips). I suppose in this way it's more realistic.

The batting is also done with the right thumb stick, but honestly I've grown to like it more than just pressing a single button to swing. You still have the option to influence fly/ground ball swing, and trying to take it to left or right field with the left thumb stick, but the right thumb stick allows you to either load up and try to put a power swing on the ball, make simple contact, or, and this has become my personal favorite, you can flick the right thumbstick to the left or right and use a defensive swing, which more times than not simply results in a foul ball, allowing you to get a better pitch to hit.

If you want a game that keeps current rosters and such, I suggest renting 2K10 and giving it a fair shot, playing several games and seeing how you adapt to the controls. Something else I forgot to mention, when throwing to the bases, you can still use a single button to throw to the base, but you also have the option to use the right thumb stick to throw it to the bases as well.

However if you're wanting something with classic controls possible, MLB 2K8 does have that feature, however that game has rubbed me the wrong way, simply because 2K sports stopped supporting it almost a year ago. This means you can't download updated rosters, you can't play online with your friends, nothing. They want you to keep spending money on the newer and newer stuff, so they tend to disable that stuff after about a year or so.

Anyway, 2K10 is worth trying, it isn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. The several modes of gameplay are interesting, although they invert controls depending on which mode you play, as in when you're playing a regular mode like MLB today, if you press B or right on your thumbstick, you will throw to first base. However when you play something such as My Player mode (which is my current addiction), it's the opposite, so when I press B, or right on the thumbstick, it throws to third base. It was quite frustrating at first, and after I finally got used to it, I found out that there was an option that lets you disable that feature.

Hope I've helped you out, if you need to know any more feel free to ask me.



Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: April 6, 2010 10:20 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

I couldn't have read this post at a better time as I am in search of a newer baseball game to play. As a kid I played NES - N64, I loved most sports games, then around the GCube/Xbox era, they started to get too complicated for me control wise. I tried to play a friend recently on a football game for the 360 and it was way too advanced as far as running routes, total control passing, etc. I miss the simple days when the controls were simple to master because it allowed me to just have fun. 
My favorite baseball game is Ken Griffey Jr Baseball for the SNES. The controls were simple: 1 button pitched, 1 button swung, you could use the directional pad to change the style of pitch or swing. Fielding was easy: each direction on the pad corresponded to a base, so you pressed the throw button and the base you wanted. 
The problem is playing such an old game means the teams arent updated, the rosters arent real people, no special modes like franchise, the graphics arent as good, etc. So in a perfect world, I would have a game with easy controls, like Ken Griffey Jr Baseball, but with the new features.
I downloaded a demo for MLB 2K9 last year and couldn't figure it out almost. The pitching was way complicated where you had to press a button to start a pitch and then another button once the circle got to the right size, or something along those lines. Batting was also tricky, as just pressing a button wouldn't do anything, you had to use a combination to get it to work. It was frustrating and I deleted it without buying the game. 
Later a friend mentioned and I saw you mention in your post, that some of the newer games have an option called 'classic control' mode. When I downloaded the demo it didnt give me an option to mess with the controls. How stripped down to the controls get in classic mode? Does it make it old school like the early games, or does it still maintain a level of difficulty and timing all sorts of button sequences to execute a pitch or swing? Does classic control mode exist on MLB2K10? If not, what is the last game to your knowledge that does use this mode? 
Thanks for your help,



Since: Jun 2, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2010 1:52 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

Most nights I won't get on until 9 or so, but I am online pretty often.  I'll try to send a request tonight.



Since: May 9, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2010 12:39 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

Feel free to add me on Xbox Live whenever, my gamertag is the same as my screen name here, so it shouldn't be too hard to find me.



Since: Jun 2, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2010 12:34 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

Sounds good.

I played that game like crazy when it originally came out.  My buddy from that time downloaded it too, and we're already reliving the fun and hellishness of some of those challenges.



Since: May 9, 2008
Posted on: March 19, 2010 7:11 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

It was a nice little museum down there, I believe that Winston gave one of his famous post war speeches at the Westminster college there, which is where the museum is.

But yeah Perfect Dark is also on my short list of all time favorites, and they certainly got it right. Slightly bummed that I can't cheat my way through the challenges to unlock all the guns, but I guess that's why I'm supposed to actually be good at the game. We'll have to play it some time I suppose.



Since: Jun 2, 2008
Posted on: March 19, 2010 2:53 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

I actually downloaded Perfect Dark last night, but didn't get a chance to play it.  I can't wait to try it out, though.  That was always on the very short list of my favorite games.

I didn't realize there was a Winston Churchill Museum in Fulton.  Strange.  Good luck on the assignment.



Since: May 9, 2008
Posted on: March 19, 2010 2:39 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

I know what you mean, video game nostalgia has gotten to me over the past week as well with the Xbox 360 releasing a remastered version of Nintendo 64's Perfect Dark, I've been entranced in that game for the past two days, haven't even gotten any game time in on 2K10 since then.

I'm the same way with football games it sounds like, I don't play them very often, but the Madden franchise was the one I got hooked into as early as 1995, but during that time Tecmo was my favorite football game, and I'm kinda disappointed they didn't stick with the football games.

Sadly now I have to take a break from the video game and real baseball game realm, as I've got to go check out the Winston Churchill Museum in Fulton. Gotta love spring break assignments. Hopefully the Cardinals put up some serious offense and can topple the Marlins today, Adam Ottavino is really starting to impress me. 2 solid innings for him as I'm heading out the door. Adios.



Since: Jun 2, 2008
Posted on: March 19, 2010 2:29 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

Having online access for the consoles definitely gets those patches out there quickly.  While I thought the Wasdin glitch was amusing, I can understand why someone wouldn't like it.  I guess it's not really credible at all either.

The 2K license purchase was definitely disappointing.  I don't play many football games, but I didn't like EA's buyout of the NFL license, either.  I thought 2K football was better than Madden, but 2K football went away.  Then as a response, 2K buys the MLB license, killing MVP, which I obviously thought was the better franchise.  It was just a crappy double-whammy.

I think the My Player Mode you mentioned was actually done in The Show, but if it works as well as you say, it sounds like a cool feature anyway.  I read another review which praised the mode as well.  The MLB Today feature sounds pretty awesome too.  I'll definitely try to give the game a rental, unfortunately there are so many good titles out right now it's hard to dedicate time to any one of them.  For that same reason, you also don't need to apologize for robbing hours of my life.  There's too many good games out right now, so it's easy to lose a few hours here and there.  But that's obviously a good thing for the medium.



Since: May 9, 2008
Posted on: March 18, 2010 3:17 pm
 

Baseball Video Games

Ah yes I miss the good old days when glitches were rampant in games and so easy to exploit, they've gotten a lot better at working all those glitches out though and I rarely see much along the lines of anything eye popping like the John Wasdin glitch you mention. Interesting that it would be someone who has passed through the Cardinals organization in the past.

You sound about as disgruntled as me that 2K was able to buy the license to MLB games, but 2K10 has made fairly good first impressions on me, the only real problem I ever had with it was pitching (95% of what I do on the game), but that just turned out to be more an issue with my wireless controller simply losing signal while I was in the motion of throwing the pitch.

I can't say enough about the "My Player Mode", it's just so unique. The whole controlling just one player is quite amusing, and frustrating at the same time when you have a shutout through 10+ innings and you can't anything to help out. They also reverse the throwing to the bases when you're just controlling a single player as opposed to a team based mode, which is slightly annoying to get used to.

Another feature that game has that will really fuel your baseball feature is the "MLB Today" mode that pops up as the main menu on the game. There it has every single game being played on that actual date, and most of the time even has the correct starting pitchers, so you could get on there today for example, and play the Cardinals spring training game against the Braves, and as long as your console downloads the rosters for the day right, it would be Tim Hudson vs Rich Hill if you played that game. I've got to admit, I'll be having a lot of fun with that mode once the regular season starts, would be especially interesting in my opinion to simulate the games before they're actually played, just to see how the results compare. I know a lot of people do that with the Super Bowl now, and it doesn't seem accurate in that case, but amusing nonetheless.

I'd say you should go rent the game to see how you like it, and I'll apologize in advance for robbing you of hours of your life. It's got a ton of features, and so far I haven't ran into any of the supposed "major" glitches, although the Xbox 360 version has already had at least two patches released since I got the game, so they may already be fixed.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com