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Thread: MLB 2K9 Demo (or Who Killed Baseball Gaming?)

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    Out of Hibernation Watti's Avatar




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    Default MLB 2K9 Demo (or Who Killed Baseball Gaming?)

    Disclaimer: This being the gaming forum and all, here goes the longest post that hardly anyone will even see.

    So I downloaded the MLB 2K9 demo yesterday...

    *sigh*

    I deleted it last night.

    If you can, please resist any impulse to buy this game, I'll explain why later. But for now let's run through a brief history of baseball gaming.

    To start, baseball is not a very difficult game to translate into a fun video gaming experience. My personal association with it started when I was probably less than 3 feet tall with the brilliantly titled Baseball for the Atari 2600. If you held the joystick directly to the left and timed it right, you could hit a homerun every single time. Doesn't sound like it, but it sure was fun for a 3 year old... You could also throw the most disgustingly wicked curveballs.

    (on a side note, Atari also provided me with my first exposure to hockey. 2-on-2 stick person action by the name of Ice Hockey. It, too, was ****ing awesome)

    Then when I was around 4 feet tall, the most brilliant invention in the history of mankind came about:



    I probably played almost every baseball game ever made available on this thing, but the highlights have to be Nintendo Baseball, RBI Baseball, and the Bases Loaded series. I could write a book on how awesome each of these games was. But I won't, because that would be a boring book. I could, though, and that's the point.

    To cut to the chase, on the SNES my game of choice was Ken Griffey Jr Presents Major League Baseball. At the time, probably around 5 feet tall, I was convinced that there was no way they could top that one for realism. Then N64 came out and, while it didn't have the greatest baseball games of all time (in fact I don't even remember which baseball game I played most, but I think it was another Griffey one), it was definitely still an enjoyable enough time. Moving on, along came the Playstation years in which there were always at least two decent, solid games to choose from, etc, etc, all leading up to a game that, in my opinion, sits comfortably in the Top 3 Video Games of All Time:



    Holy ****ing **** was this an amazing game or what? And when did I get so tall?

    Now, backtracking a bit, MVP 2004 was solid, but the fact that your left-handed hitters couldn't manage to hit more than 1 or 2 homeruns per season did leave a little to be desired. So did EA promote the follow year's offering with "A Whole New Engine!!!"?

    No.

    They had an extremely enjoyable base to work with and did what we, as sports gamers, often complain about but is really a blessing in disguise: not very much at all.

    They updated the rosters, fixed the lefty-glitch, made some minor gameplay adjustments and we ended up with what is arguably.... no, scratch that. There's no argument. MVP 2005 is the greatest baseball simulation to date. Possibly even the best sports game ever made, but NHL 09 is reeeaaally good (Here's to hoping EA follows their own past successes and makes minor but effective gameplay tweaks for NHL 10).

    Now let's look at the other side of the coin... 2k Sports.

    Long (and sad) story short: They made a cool football game that gave Madden a run for its money. EA got scared and a year or two later, bought up the exclusive rights for NFL games. 2k responded by doing the same for the MLB. Luckily both ignored the NHL. And now we have this endless battle in which we're left without a choice (yes, I'm aware of MLB The Show, but I'm talking about sim baseball here, and that's not available on all platforms, most notably the one I own, anyway).

    I know that the real one to blame here is EA for their response to 2k football, but at least the Madden series has something to offer. And I don't really like football anyway. Yeah, it has its problems that could conceivably be ironed out if the pressure were on via a 3rd party competitor (or would it be a 2nd party, in this case?). But the bottom line is this:

    2k Sports' baseball games are inexcusable.

    If you buy up the rights and eliminate the competition, GIVE US A ****ING PLAYABLE PRODUCT!!!

    2 years ago they released MLB 2k7. I'll admit, it has its appeal. It's an awesome looking game, pretty good gameplay, if a bit repetitive, but fun... Worth $60? No. But I got it on ebay for less than $10. The problem is, you can't complete a single damn season without the thing freezing up. Hell, you're lucky if you make it to the all-star break.

    Inexcusable.

    So what do they do for 2k8? They sure as hell didn't take a page from MVP's book and make minor but extremely effective tweaks to refine their product. Nope. They completely overhaul the damn thing, sending the graphics engine back to previous-gen quality (that's supposed to be grass?!) while somehow simultaneously sending the framerate down on an elevator seemingly destined for the center of the Earth, further **** up the gameplay with retarded fielding controls, add in a clever but clearly untested new batting and pitching interface, and still didn't fix the effing freezing problems?!?!!

    Inexcusable, damnit!

    Now on to last night's experience with the demo...

    The Rays vs the Phillies?

    Okay, fine, I won't pin that on 2k. But really now... the Rays and Phillies?

    The graphics are.... different. Can't pinpoint it but a little more cartoony than the past couple years. I'd actually say this might be a slight improvement. But the gameplay. So bad. If you can figure out the pitching interface, the CPU hits everything. Batting, you can hit everything. In contrast to real life, you're lucky if you can get through an inning throwing any more than 10 pitches. In fact, I couldn't throw 10 if I tried. They just hit everything and its almost always a fly ball. Once they hit it, the CPU 9 times out of 10 will select the wrong fielder for you so you'll end up intuitively running away from the ball. If you do actually get on base and can figure out how to try to steal second, you won't make it. You'll be gunned down with the ball being in the 2nd baseman or shortstop's glove when you're hardly half-way there. There's more but I don't want to get into it. It's bad. Try it out for yourself.

    Now I'm not one for staging protests, boycotting products, telling people what to do and what not to do.

    But don't buy this ****ing "game".





    MVP Baseball

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    Win it again..for Tanner! nosoupforyou's Avatar




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    did you ever play earl weaver baseball for the PC?

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    Out of Hibernation Watti's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by nosoupforyou View Post
    did you ever play earl weaver baseball for the PC?
    Oh, nice catch! I did, actually, and it was pretty damn awesome. If you wanted stats, boy did that game deliver...

    At the time, though, my computer was one of those 200lb Compaq behemoth briefcase types, like this:


    (and no, that is not me in the picture, just found it on google )

    Complete with the monochrome green screen and all...

    Interesting fact: I grew up 2 doors down from Aaron Rowand (Giants outfielder) and used to go over to his place to play EWB because he had a color monitor. I also kicked his ass in Wiffle Ball on a daily basis (from my perspective, at least)

    Oh, the memories...
    Last edited by Watti; March 17th, 2009 at 10:52 AM.

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    Win it again..for Tanner! nosoupforyou's Avatar




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    nice

    I lived on EWB - I was so stats driven + playing rotisserie baseball, I was in heaven. and they had separate stats vs lefties and righties! wow!

    I really miss that game.

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    Out of Hibernation Watti's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by nosoupforyou View Post
    nice

    I lived on EWB - I was so stats driven + playing rotisserie baseball, I was in heaven. and they had separate stats vs lefties and righties! wow!

    I really miss that game.
    I created some of the most ridiculous stadiums in that game, too. It really was way ahead of its time.

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    Team LGK eddieshack23's Avatar




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    Great info. I gave up trying to play video baseball games with my first Playstation in the late '90's.

    I have tried NHL 07 on a PS2.

    Haven't made the jump to a PS3 or Xbox yet.

    My stepsons rule on Xbox, mostly the shooter games.

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    Totally forgot that Manny was on the cover of MVP 2005.

    I think I'm at the 2011-2012 season. Of course, with the Angels winning the last 7 World Series. =P

    I even created players for my season as it went on. I mean, the draft gave fake players already... so I took the liberty of making Randy Orton an Outfielder. Vince McMahon my catcher (he controls everything!), and Eddie Guerrero (before he passed away) as a crazy knuckleball pitcher.

    Good times! I still fire that bad boy up once every few months.

    You're right about 2K9. I guess we'll have to wait until 2K10... I heard MLB The Show is really good, and IGN gives that game a high rating. I'm confused though... is that game made by 2k sports? If not, how did they get the "rights" to do so? Either way, I don't have a PS3 and probably won't get one until they drop the ridiculous price tag some more.
    Facebook: facebook.com/grtoocool Twitter: @LGKTooCool

    While it seems like most of you are allergic to the "like" button, I just want to personally say thanks for looking anyway.

    Rink Dawg

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    woundedwarriorproject.org Dexter's Avatar




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    MLB the Show is the way to go. Sega has exclusive third party rights to MLB. Sony is allowed first party rights to produce The Show for the PSP, PS2 and PS3.
    Support Be the Match through Tanner's site

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    Out of Hibernation Watti's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool View Post
    I even created players for my season as it went on. I mean, the draft gave fake players already... so I took the liberty of making Randy Orton an Outfielder. Vince McMahon my catcher (he controls everything!), and Eddie Guerrero (before he passed away) as a crazy knuckleball pitcher.
    lol Nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool View Post
    Good times! I still fire that bad boy up once every few months.
    Yesterday I played through a game for the first time in about a year (after being disappointed with the 2K8 demo, actually... ). I love how you can go months and months without playing it but pick it up and be right back in the swing of things, the controls are so intuitive. I hardly even recognized the Dodgers line-up, but JD Drew went 3-for-4 with 3 home runs, 7 RBIs. Probably should have bumped up the difficulty level...


    Quote Originally Posted by KingsNate View Post
    MLB the Show is the way to go. Sega has exclusive third party rights to MLB. Sony is allowed first party rights to produce The Show for the PSP, PS2 and PS3.
    I still don't quite fully understand it either... Does Sega = 2k Sports?

    Also, if I remember correctly, wasn't the original deal that killed MVP Baseball a 5-year deal? So does that mean EA might be able to revive the series after next season?

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    woundedwarriorproject.org Dexter's Avatar




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    On January 2th, 2005.

    Take Two announced an exclusive seven-year agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association, giving them the rights to use the names and images of professional baseball players in videogames. Negotiations with Major League Baseball to use the names, logos, and stadiums of Major League teams have not yet concluded, however.
    Take Two owns Sega,(2K, 2K Sports) and Rockstar. You might remember EA's attempts at taking over Take Two before GTA IV was released.
    Last edited by Dexter; March 17th, 2009 at 12:08 PM.
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