Friday, March 7, 2008

Swing for the fences with MLB2K8

I picked up "MLB2K8" for the Xbox 360 this week, and so far I have mixed feelings about it.

My favorite aspect of the game is the pitching. Many baseball games use a 3 click meter, but "2K8" requires only the right thumbstick. You simply move the stick in a certain pattern to throw the pitch. The system took me awhile to understand, but it feels so much more rewarding than the old meter style.

Batting also takes advantage of the right thumbstick. You simply press back on the stick as the pitcher releases the ball and release for a contact hit or press forward for a power swing. I have yet to get the timing down with the “swing stick.” It does feel more natural than hitting a button to swing, I must say.

"2K8's" visuals could definitely use a shot of HGH. The game does not even look as good as last years version, which I attribute to the developer shooting for a solid framerate. Unfortunately the game still runs like a slideshow at some points. Thankfully it mainly chugs during cutscenes or inning transitions.

I have only encountered one bug in five or so games, but it's a big one. A friend was trying to throw me out while advancing to second on a wild pitch during a head-to-head game. He picks up the ball with his catcher and proceeds to hurl it THROUGH the wall behind home plate. At this point the only thing we can do to continue the game is for my runner to score... all the way from first base.

The innovative hitting and pitching are a breath of fresh air to the baseball video experience, but developer "2k8" needs to get a framerate patch out as soon as possible. If not, this game is headed to the minor leagues.


Dan Whisenhunt said...

So your Xbox 360 is working again, I take it?

Chris Pittman said...

For the moment I'm back in the game (knock on wood). The unit still makes quite a bit of racket at times, but I will live with that as long as the machine loads games. Heaven help Microsoft if this unit breaks when GTA4 is released.