Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Video game number sixty three: MLB 2K10

Video game review number sixty three in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "MLB 2K10".

This game was released today and I played it within hours of it going on sale. Why? Because the first person to pitch a perfect game in this game gets a million dollars from the developers. This isn't in-game money, this is actual cash to spend in real life. It's an awesome idea for a contest, and I had to partake. I had never played an MLB 2K game before, but how hard could it really be?

This game was exactly like what I imagine playing in the Major Leagues would really be like for me. I couldn't get a hit to save my life, not even in batting practice. When I was pitching, the batters hit on me like I was the only hooker at a bar filled with sailors on shore leave. When I was on defense, fielding even the easiest hits that came towards me usually resulted in the ball going right by. Even base running was a challenge. This game is fucking hard.

I love baseball, but I haven't played many baseball games since the old school days, mostly because somewhere in there...they got too complicated for me. I miss the "Hit "A" to swing, "B" to pitch" two button games of my youth. These days, you have to time your swing, then move the right stick back and forth...then pray you'll make contact. There's a "classic" control scheme, but it's not much better. I sat in the hitting drills, and threw 80 pitches at my hitter, but I think I only made contact with 4 of them. All of those hits were probably luck.

Pitching is just as hard. It's like pulling off moves in street fighter. It's a button/joystick combo, and you have to get the timing perfect. Again, I went to the drills (which is the closest thing this game has to a training mode)...and I couldn't nail even one pitch. They give you three tries on each of the types, but I never successful threw any of them.

I played a couple of full games, hoping that I might get the hang of it, but the computer scored 6 runs in the first inning in the first game (which I restarted), and then promptly beat me 10-0 in the second game. I suppose that's actually improvement.

My overall rating might surprise a bit. I'm giving it a 6/10. My first instinct was to give it a 2 or something, because I couldn't pick it up and play it. Even a few hours later, I wasn't getting any better. There's no tutorial, the instruction book is worthless....so if you've never played one of these games before, you can expect to suck the big one.

Still, even though I couldn't figure out how to play it...I have to admit that it's a pretty good game. The graphics are amazing (it's like watching a baseball game on TV), and the player rosters are updated in real time. There are modes to create your own player, and an online multiplayer mode to compete against other people online. The controls are impossible for a noob to learn, but I recognize that if I am ever able to get good at this game, I'd probably really enjoy it. I'm too frustrated to keep playing right now, but maybe I'll find someone I know who is good at it, and they can give me some pointers.

I posted a little video of my adventure trying to get a million dollars: It's pretty funny.

Achievements? Somehow...I managed to get a few.


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