What is the best 2004/5 baseball game?
I've got all the consoles, so format's not an issue.
I'm more interested in a fun arcade-y experience than an ultra-detailed roster-tastic game, but ulimately would like one that's a good mix.
Seriously, I had avoided any and all EA baseball titles in the past, but this year it's probably the best console baseball game on the market.
Re: What is the best 2004/5 baseball game?
Gary, it's very difficult, for me, to give MVP a recommendation. But you need to ask yourself if you care that in MVP there are:
Originally Posted by Gary Whitta
-Very few walks (every pitcher is amazingly accurate)
-Left handed hitters are weaker than right handed hitters
-CPU teams carry 15 pitchers and 10 hitters
-Dynasty mode is broken because player development doesn't work
-The CPU never steals or tries to hit and run
Now to me, these are deal breakers. But if you can live with this stuff, then MVP is for you.
I'm having more fun with ESPN Baseball (Xbox)
I'd definitely say to rent before you buy. ESPN just looks and feels amateurish this year compared to MVP, and I was a stalwart pro-Sega-sports anti-EA for last year's baseball iterations. It almost seems like ESPN is a step backwards, technologically, from World Series 2k3.
What convinced me to stick with MVP is that it just "feels" more solid, and it seems to have a much more satisfying pitcher/batter interface. I spent several hours switching back and forth between my copy of MVP and ESPN, and MVP is, IMHO, a much more satisfying game of baseball to play. Oh, and the way players will run with their arms glued down to the sides of their bodies as they run off the field after an out in ESPN irritates the hell out of me.
Oh, and for MVP, definitely find one of the excellent All-Star difficulty slider-setting FAQs, as they really make the game play much more realistically than the default slider settings.
After playing a full season of MVP 2003 (Xbox) last year and loving it, I bought the Xbox version of 2004 this week. So far, I'm extremely disappointed and wondering if I should try one of the other games.
- The graphics don't look so hot. Animations are clunky, and some of the mini-cutscenes (like the batters stepping up to the plate) seem to be running around 15FPS. Isn't this game supposed to run on other consoles?
- The CPU still has no idea when and how to run. Losing 2-0 with two out in the bottom of the 8th and a man on second, the CPU didn't feel like trying to score on a solid base hit to right center.
- The controls feel really clunky. Infield players have to finish an animation when ranging for balls to the side, causing lots of infield hits. The CPU will only take a few steps towards a fly ball, and there's often an awkward stutter when you try to take control of the outfielder. And I'm getting a ton of inadvertent check swings, even though I don't think I'm doing anything different from 2003.
- The commentary constantly says things that don't match the action. First baseman misses a ground ball, it's a clean hit. Line single to center, it's the pitcher's fault.
- Trying to create / sign free agents is a total mystery. Every time I try to sign someone, they refuse to negotiate. I can't find any options to up my offer $$$, as in Madden. The manual says next to nothing about it. (in fact, for a game loaded with features, the manual doesn't say much of anything.)
- After EA released screenshots of A-Rod in a Yankees uniform the day the trade was announced, it's felt kinda lame that they shipped the game with him still on the Rangers. Anyone know a simple way to download updated rosters and import them to the Xbox?
It's not a bad game, but after a solid effort with 2003, I was really hoping they'd clean up a few weak spots and make this THE baseball game of 2004. Instead, it feels like they've gone backwards in some areas.
I could only recommend MVP if graphics are your thing. As far as how it plays baseball, it's actually worse than 989's baseball offering or ASB 2005. Seriously, MVP plays a game that vaguely resembles baseball (the players wear baseball uniforms, and there are bases, balls, and bats) but it isn't baseball in any fundamental way.
I'm with Abner. Right now ESPN is playing the most realistic version of baseball of all the games out this year.