MLB 2K10 – Review

Major League Baseball 2K10 is this year’s iteration of 2K Sports annual baseball title. This year they really focused on the battle that takes place between the hitter and the pitcher and, in this aspect, they really succeeded. The tension is definitely there whether you are trying hit it out of the park or you are on the other side trying to hold off the opposing team from scoring. Unfortunately, there are quite a few areas where this game stumbles and, while it is better than MLB 2K9, it is still nothing spectacular. The commentary this year is great in some areas and in other areas it tends to stumble. There were times where the commentators seemed to be a step behind in terms of what was taking place on the field or they would repeat the last thing that they just said. Other times they were spot on in terms of what was taking place on the field. It’s definitely a mixed bag that will hopefully get ironed out in the future.

The addition of the “My Player” mode introduces a career mode to the franchise and your enjoyment of this mode will depend on which position you pick. One of the best positions would probably be the pitcher where you can participate in that battle with the hitter. In the My Player mode you start out in the AA system and you have a set of goals that you must complete before you get called up to the major league. There will also be times where you are put in clutch moments where you will either end up being the hero or walking away the loser. As you successfully complete objectives you will be awarded skill points. You will be able to distribute these points however you want to try and build up your player. You are also only placed in situations where you will be the difference. For example, if you are playing a whole game, you won’t actually play the whole game. As a pitcher you will only throw pitches. Once you get your three outs then it will go to the next inning where you will have to do it all over again. If you want to concentrate 100% on your pitching then that is fine, however, it would have been nice to be able to do some hitting as well. This can also take you out of the experience a bit as you really aren’t playing a full game.

MLB 2K10

No matter what mode I was playing there always seemed to be weird bugs that would appear. There was one instance where someone hit a deep ball and I had to run all the way back to the warning track to catch it and my player seemed to clip the wall a bit. There was another instance where my player didn’t appear at all. On that occasion I watched a bat “fly” to home plate as a player never appeared on my screen. It was like a ghost was carrying the bat to home plate. Additionally, the graphical fidelity of this title isn’t really where it needs to be. When the camera zooms into the crowd after hitting a fowl ball you can tell that a lot of the crowd basically looks like cardboard cutouts. The same thing is true in certain stadiums where they had a road behind it and you could see traffic driving by. The cars looked really bad which helps to take you out of the immersive atmosphere of the ballpark that they are trying to create. There are some elements of the title that look fantastic. The on-screen display looks clean and they did a great job of making it look like it does when you are watching a game on television. Once again, this area of the game is a mixed bag and hopefully future iterations will be more consistent all around.

After going through a bunch of the single player modes I was curious to see how this title performed online. Unfortunately, this too was a mixed bag. It seemed like fielding worked pretty well for the most part, however, for whatever reason, hitting always seemed to have some lag. Baseball is obviously a game that requires precise timing at the plate and if you are experiencing any kind of lag it is going to completely throw off your game. It took me a little while but I was finally able to compensate for the lag by swinging the bat as soon as the pitcher threw the ball and hoping that I would connect. There were even some instances where the lag wouldn’t kick in until the pitch was on its way, at which point I didn’t really have a prayer at successfully hitting it. There were also more than a few times where I would get a screen saying that it was “waiting for opponent” in the middle of the game. This experience became very frustrating because there times where the online worked beautifully and I had a great time playing. Then there were those other times where everything just fell apart. Hopefully 2K Sports will release a patch in the future to help alleviate these issues.

Overall, MLB 2K10 has its share of good and bad things that you can say. They absolutely nailed the tension that takes place between the pitcher and the hitter. The crowd seemed to come alive at the appropriate moments whenever the home team was on the verge of a really big play. The core game of baseball was pretty solid and this title does a great job of keeping up to date with what is currently happening in the league. Unfortunately, as I outlined above, 2K Sports still has quite a way to make this series the unquestionable choice for baseball fans and gamers alike. If they can iron out the bugs online I think there will definitely be people who get a lot of replayability out of this title. They are definitely on the right track to creating a stellar baseball title. Hopefully next year’s version will be the one where all the pieces come together.

Score: 7/10

Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network

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