2K Sports

Published on March 3rd, 2009 | by Brian Browne

MLB 2K9 Review

Developer: Visual Concepts
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [Reviewed]
Release Date: March 3, 2009

From playing last year’s installment in the series, I definitely was hoping that things would change in the game. That being said, the people at Visual Concepts did not disappoint with MLB 2K9. A lot of companies claim to “listen to the consumer”, but with the improvements seen here, it seems the team behind this game actually did. The pitching interface change was a huge bonus for me in playing this game. Gone away are the days of the “Meatball” and now when a bad pitch is thrown, it doesn’t automatically turn into a home run. Batting, is still done with the right stick, but is easier to influence the location of the ball by using the left analog stick.

Visually, the game continues to improve and looks fantastic. They uncluttered the HUD, but managed to give the same amount of information as before. The game actually feels like you are watching baseball with commercial “breaks” in between innings complete with end of game highlights. Commentary is done by the team of Steve Phillips with Gary Thorne and is fresh instead of the recycled material seen in previous years. There were changes in respect to the stadium crowds and they will react to big moments in the game (i.e. if a hitter needs a clutch hit, the crowd will stand up to encourage/cheer him on). The managers and batboys in the dugout also have their own individual animations in the game. Some of other features seen in the game include:

  • New Postseason Mode – Jump right into the postseason without having to play through 162 regular season games. And if you win it all, experience a World Series celebration in true championship style.
  • More Signature Style – 2K Sports adds to its impressive library of player-specific animations with more than 300 new signature animations, bringing players to life at the plate, on the mound and in the field, allowing you to play ball like never before.
  • 2K HD/Real-Time Atmosphere – An all-new Virtual Director brings in-game broadcasts to life in real-time with smart camera placement, angles, and cuts. Real-Time Atmosphere adds to the presentation package by bringing nuances to life throughout the duration of a game. Lighting, umpires, ball boys and coaches all move and progress naturally and seamlessly for a true-to-life ballpark experience.

The only part of the game that I was not impressed with was the ball dynamics and control. Routine fly balls often would be missed and turned into doubles or triples. All in all, this was a great improvement from last year and seems will only get better with Visual Concepts behind the controls.

Rating: 9.8/10 ★★★★★★★★★¾ 

Good

  • Presentation and commentary
  • Pitching and hitting controls

Bad

  • Ball and fielding dynamics at times feel “choppy”

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