Saturday, March 05, 2005

Video Game Review: MVP Baseball 2005

Wow, I feel like a liar right now. I mentioned that in my last post that "I was back and better than ever." I mentioned that I'd be posting alot more since it was the onstart of spring training. Wow, it makes me look like I'm a phony. Anywho, I'll explain my absense, First off, I've been just lazy lately and whenever I get off of work I'd play MVP '05 or GT4. I've been also lacked in posting at my other blogs(Rays Talk, Ya Gotta Believe and SWM Rays). That's starting to change because I've been doing some research for future articles and I have a few solid post-worthy subjects. Well, that's that and I'll post my official review of MVP.

Overall Presentation: One of the great things about the MVP is the crispness of the players. The fields look like the actual fields and the players faces are almost perfect matches of their real-life counterparts. What's not to like? The play is solid and they appear to have worked a bit on making the fielding a bit harder than last year, when every catch rivaled Willie Mays' "over the shoulder" catch. All of last year's major glitches have been fixed and adjusted, I'll be more in-depth about that later.

Controls: Even if you've never played this game, the controls are a piece of cake. While the game loads before you play, it'll give you a refresher on what buttons do what. The only flaw that I see in the game is the in-game menu(L2) is a bit complicated and the bullpen causes the buttons to be a bit more sensitive(the player you have warmed up will replace the pitcher with a slight nudge) and pressing triangle at any time causes the manager to storm out and argue a call. Other than that, no major problems with the control.

Hitting: Vastly improved from 2004's edition of MVP. No more of the "Lefty" glitch. Also, if you need help figuring out how to hit, you can play a few rounds of the new "simon says" hitting game and you'll be ready to hit against any pitcher you face. I admit that it seems harder to hit a homerun in a real game than in previous editions, but HRs don't matter much to me in video games anyways. No real problems here. Hitters eye didn't really help me, but I can see how it works and can help people adjust.

Pitching: One of the first things that I heard before this game came out is that the pitching is drastically harder. In my opinion, it's the exact opposite. I've had to restart my dynasty mode just because of the easiness. In my 2nd game played in MVP, I pitched a "Perfect Game" with Mark Hendrickson. I usually average between 4 to 10 strikeouts a game and I've yet to walk 1 batter. One of the things that I enjoy about this game is that the computer's pitchers are very, very intelligent. It's hard to get solid contact off of any "good" pitcher. If they notice that you swing at pitches out of the zone, they'll continue to pitch out of the zone. I'm starting to think that the inventors of Questec had something to do with the pitching in this game.

Modes: In this game, you have loads of choices to make. You can select Dynasty mode where you are in charge of improving the team in a 3-year period and beyond. You'll see your minor leaguers grow and improve, becoming all-stars and hall-of-famers in front of your eyes. In this year's edition, you have "Owner Mode" where you control everything about the team. The roster, the mangers, the training staff, the scouts, stadium prices, etc. You are also in charge of building a new stadium from the ground up. You start with a 12,000 capacity and work your way up to a humongous stadium. The way you do that is garner fans' attention by having special promotional days and setting suitable ticket prices. Also, that means if you're a Rays fan, you don't have deal with idiot moves by Vincenzo and Chuckles anymore. Gotta love that....

Here's the wrap-up of the review:
Pros:
-Baseball America helped with the player rankings, so we no longer have problems with insane stats.
-Player progression is vastly improved, Delmon Young is a monster from Day 1 on.
-Ability to edit players' hot/cold zones, ratings, appearance without being penalized.
-Pitching meter is fun to work with.
-Customizable game sliders. If the game seems too easy, make it harder for you. I've tinkered a bit with the sliders and I've yet to have any insane statistical games.
-Managers get to argue call

Cons:
-SCABS, if your player is a prospect or not a member of a MLBPA, you have to edit the name and appearance of him. Jon Dowd= Barry Bonds, Larry Friese=Kevin Millar, Kendrick Morales=Delmon Young and so on.
-If your manager gets thrown out, you can no longer warm up pitchers by yourself...Your bench coach warms up pitchers IF he feels the need for one and you can't pick which one of his replacements is coming out.
-Owner Mode is very complicated and hard. I tried it and could hardly get any fanbase.

Overall Score: 8.5 out of 10

3 Comments:

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