Aside from Sony’s highly praised MLB: The Show, baseball fans haven’t had the best options when it comes to playing video game versions of America’s favorite past time. While 2K Sports’ 2009 version of MLB 2K didn’t receive the most favorable reviews, 2K10 boasts some vast improvements and additions over previous installments, making it a much better experience.
It’s still not a perfected baseball experience just yet though.
This season’s game seems to put more of a focus on the pitcher versus batter duel, which makes sense, simply because this battle is probably the biggest aspect of the sport anyway. Pitching has changed for the better this year as well. It starts when you select your pitch, then is followed by a two part movement on the stick to deliver the ball to the batter. This definitely feels better and makes things much less complicated than how it was done in previous MLB 2K titles. Hitting became a little more realistic too. You’ll find that you have to be a little more patience at the plate. If you swing at every pitch, the pitcher’s A.I. notices and adapts, making things that more realistic.
This year, 2K Sports added a Drills mode to get you familiar with the changes in controls and mechanics. So, that helps as well.
We did find a few bugs while playing, but they were random enough to not effect gameplay too much. But, some of the kinks still need to be worked out to make MLB 2K10 the best baseball game on the market. But, 2K is really pushing to take that title. They’re even putting a million dollars on the line to help. Yes, the publisher has offered up $1 million in cash to the first gamer to pitch a “perfect game” in a contest they launched at the time of the game’s release. That’s pretty cool.
Moving on … one of the latest additions, and may we add coolest, is 2K10’s “My Player” mode. It’s by far one of the best attempts at putting a gamer into a baseball player’s shoes to date. Via the new option, you can create your own MLB player and play solely as him, as you cultivate and bring him along through the minors all the way to the big leagues. You start off in the minors, but instead of sitting through every inning of every game, you only play in the key moments — meaning your own at-bats and a handful of fielding plays; or when you’re on the mound… if you a pitcher. Each depends on the position you choose when creating your player.
Your player begins with just decent skills and as you play, you earn points to improve your skills in particular aspects of baseball — including base-running, hitting, and fielding among others.
During each scenario, there are specific goals to reach to reward your player the most points. As you build up your points, the better your stats and/or player becomes. Some aspects are a bit difficult than others though, especially in the beginning. Hitting is one of them. Since a pitcher adapts to the way you bat, you’ll find it difficult to improve your hitting skills right in the beginning, but things get better as you continue.
Overall, the “My Player” mode is great addition. There is definitely room for improvement though, which we hope evolves as future installments are released.
As far as the game’s graphics, there’s not much of an improvement over last year’s version. It’s probably a little less crisp than 2K9,but overall the presentation is solid.
MLB 2K10 is a pretty good effort by the folks over at 2K Sports. While it’s still not the definitive video game answer to baseball, it’s definitely made itself a competitor to the title … with its main compeition being MLB 10: The Show. It’s still needs some refinements and more time spent in certain areas, but if next year’s version can make the leaps in improvements this year’s did, it might just be able to make it a horse race.
Get your copy of MLB 2K10 now, over at Amazon.com.
Our Rating: 3.0 out of 5