(http://2ksports.com/games/mlb2k10) Rated E for Everyone by ESRB. Can you feel it?  Can you smell it?  Can you hear it?  Baseball is just around the corner!  What better way to celebrate the 2010 season then by playing MLB 2K10!?   From the publisher 2K Sports and developer Visual Concepts, MLB 2K10 is the 5th installment of the budding franchise.  2K10 is available for all major platforms, including: Ps3, Xbox 360, Ps2, PSP, Wii, Nintendo DS, and Windows PC.  This review will focus on the Xbox 360, Ps3, and PC Versions.  The main theme of 2K10 focuses on the key matchup: Pitchers vs. Hitters.  If you are a baseball nut like me, you have probably watched enough ESPN and MLB Network to see the many 2K10 commercials.  These commercials are pretty funny as you see star Hitters like (Evan Longoria, Justin Morneau, and Kendry Morales) talk trash to their Pitcher counter-parts (Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, and Andrew Bailey).  Beyond the commercials however, the game has made some really interesting improvements to the game play of this core matchup. 

(http://2ksports.com/games/mlb2k10) Rated E for Everyone by ESRB.Can you feel it?  Can you smell it?  Can you hear it?  Baseball is just around the corner!  What better way to celebrate the 2010 season then by playing MLB 2K10!?   From the publisher 2K Sports and developer Visual Concepts, MLB 2K10 is the 5th installment of the budding franchise.  2K10 is available for all major platforms, including: Ps3, Xbox 360, Ps2, PSP, Wii, Nintendo DS, and Windows PC.  This review will focus on the Xbox 360, Ps3, and PC Versions.

 

The main theme of 2K10 focuses on the key matchup: Pitchers vs. Hitters.  If you are a baseball nut like me, you have probably watched enough ESPN and MLB Network to see the many 2K10 commercials.  These commercials are pretty funny as you see star Hitters like (Evan Longoria, Justin Morneau, and Kendry Morales) talk trash to their Pitcher counter-parts (Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, and Andrew Bailey).  Beyond the commercials however, the game has made some really interesting improvements to the game play of this core matchup. 

 

Presentation:

What really stands out is the presentation.  With the True-to-Life Player rating system, Signature style and a new Motion Model ensure everything looks and feels like you are at the ballpark.  If you are connected to the Internet, their MLB Today feature delivers real-time stands, scores, and information that reflect what is actually happening in the Majors.  Now that is cool!

 

Graphics:

The graphics for baseball games get better every year.  While it would be nice if the animations were given a little bit more of a refresh, the game still looks pretty damn good.  

         

Sounds:

The announcers in this game were pretty good and the comments aren’t as redundant as previous baseball video games.  MLB 2K10 usually has mainly Indie music for its sound track.  This year, the cover boy, Evan Longoria helped with some of the music selection.  The sound track itself is pretty eclectic.  Here are the following songs on the sound track:

 

           The Black Crowes – “Go Faster”

           The Black Keys – “Your Touch”

           Black Sheep – “The Choice is Yours”

           Boss Martians – “Hey Hey Yeah Yeah”

           Cage the Elephant – “Judas”

           Daughtry – “Every Time You Turn Around”

           Hotel St. George – “It’s the Blues”

           Iggy Pop – “Lust for Life”

           Jet – “Start the Show”

           LCD Soundsystem – “Time to Get Away”

           Pearl Jam – “The Fixer”

           Phoenix – “Lisztomania”

           Ryan Adams – “Magick”

           Social Distortion – “Bad Luck”

           Tantric – “Down and Out”

           The Sugarhill Gang – “Rapper’s Delight”

         

Gameplay:

New My Player Mode is a new game play mode that a lot of people have been waiting for.  You can create your own player and work yourself up to the big leagues!  This mode is an especially addicting new wrinkle to your traditional baseball game because it puts you through the experience of a baseball player.  You can choose your favorite organization and customize your player.

 

Think you are a major leaguer right away?  Sorry pal, you are going to have to start at Double A.  This mode puts you in different situations where you have to make a play.  Whether you are at the plate in a clutch situation, or in the field each scenario you have to complete for points.

 

It gets pretty intense when the challenge is to drive in the game-winning run.  It puts you in a potential clutch situation: Bottom of the ninth, two outs man on second and a tied game.  Can you get the walk off base hit?  There are various situations where you can achieve a goal; these range from not striking out, to getting on base, to knocking in the game winning run.

 

Playing Defense is also another interesting twist.  For me, it is all about the hitting.  I think for most baseball players that would be the case as well.  But playing defense gives a sense of balance to the game.  Just like in real baseball, there is offense and defense.  Besides, it makes your At Bats that much more special.  Defense is not particularly hard, but don’t try to get fancy, just get the outs and get the points.

 

After the game, you can use the points you have earned to upgrade your overall stats.  There are many things that you can upgrade, including hitting against lefties, power against righties, and defense.  I say put all of your points into bunting!  Either way, upgrading your guy is just as rewarding as in an RPG.  2K10 has a pretty cool player dashboard that gives you a summary of your performance and where you are at in your career. 

 

This mode is that it will provide hours upon hours of addicting game play.

 

Traditional Modes – Other popular traditional play modes include the Home Run Derby and Franchise Mode.  Finally, Tournament mode allows you to set a tournament with your friends online.

         

Innovations:

2K10 really focuses on new features.  These include Total Control Pitching and Total Control Hitting.  This really makes the dynamic of the Hitter vs. Pitcher battle, intriguing.

 

Total Control Pitching – This new feature allows you to place the ball exactly where you want it.  2K10 has an innovative new way of pitching versus your traditional style of hitting the X button and timing it to hit the button again.

 

 In 2K10, after you select a pitch, you have to use the R analog button and copy the shown motion.  If you don’t get the motion correct, you could hang a pitch and it will get crushed.  Mess up even worse, then you could throw a wild pitch.  It is nice that 2K10 is being innovative and it is a new challenging twist, but it was a little difficult at first to get used to.  

 

Total Control Hitting – The cool thing about the Total Control Hitting is that you can take a power swing, a contact swing, or a defensive swing.  This adds a little bit more realism to the game play.  Not everyone is a home run hitter.  Do you swing for the fences every time with Ichiro?  No.  But if you have Albert Pujols up at the plate, let it fly big boy!  Also a defensive swing is necessary when you are behind in the count and you just want to foul off a pitch that is not quite what you were looking for.  Overall, the hitting has enough flavors to make things interesting, yet it is not too complicated and difficult.

 

Conclusion:

This game is innovative, fun, and has a high replay value.  If you are a baseball fan or an RPG geek that suddenly wants to play a sports game, this is the game for you.

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