Guess what... MVP
is a baseball game... and you play... baseball! In fact, you play ball very, very well. The timing of the many intricacies that are in the real game of baseball is captured, without a doubt, better than ever. Everything from pitching and hitting to running and fielding is perfectly timed, and has the perfect amount of A.I. to back you up by default. There’s always an exception to every rule, however. In the case of MVP Baseball 2005
, fielding on bunts can often be frustrating, as controlling your infielders can sometimes become a nightmare in close quarters.
I’ve also got to say that the number of animations within the game is outstanding. Everything is covered, from reaching over the fence to catch a foul ball to sliding into the second baseman to disrupt his double-play attempt. In fact, timed just right, you’ll be able to watch the ball go squirting out as the infielder fumbles around in an attempt to throw to first base. Unfortunately, for as many great animations as there are, the game does suffer from some choppiness as those animations transition from one to another.
This year’s MVP Baseball includes many typical game modes, including Exhibition, Home Run Showdown, and the 120-year Dynasty Mode. But what would a new game be without some new (and welcome) additions. The new Owner’s Mode allows gamers to run the entire team, from the players to the ticket prices, over a 30-year period. A few mini-games are also included to help you improve your batting and pitching skills. One of the biggest additions is in, believe it or not, gameplay! The new Hitter’s Eye allows players at the plate to get a quick glimpse into their immediate future. With a very quick colored flash, the batter can “read” the pitch that is approaching, which helps batting greatly... after getting used to it. Probably one of the biggest additions, however, is the ability to take your play online through Xbox Live, where a number of stats are tracked so you can see how you rank among the country’s top players.