2K Sports continues to improve their baseball franchise for the Xbox 360. All those improvements have made ito toMLB 2K10. What has changed in this edition is the gameplay mechanics that have had mixed reviews. 2K Sports has finally listened to players’ complaints about the imbalance in fielding system. Many of the cheap errors and artificial glitches associated with fielding have been toned down. For instance, it used to be that the ball would just go flying right over our player without catching it – now that’s no longer the case. There are still a few technical hiccups such as fielders having exceptionally strong arms but these issues can be easily over looked. Needless to say, the biggest improvements of the game lie in base-running. Last year, it was nearly impossible to steal bases, but thanks to a more balanced AI, gamers are now treated to spectacular plays as they make their way home.
MLB 2K10 features some of the best sports visuals on the Xbox 360. The stadiums look impressive, starting from the active scoreboards to the perfectly trimmed grass turf. The little subtleties such as crowd going crazy for foul balls and homers add a nice touch to the broadcast. We like how the game starts at dusk then eventually turns into a night game as the innings go on. However, the crowd needs a little more excitement when reacting to home runs. It could also use better remodeling as it is a bit blocky. In the animation department, everything works smoothly. 2K Sports has shown their determination to go out of their way to please baseball fans. Their amazing effort is seen throughout each match, particularly the batter/pitcher duel, which are much intense thanks to the newly HUD design.
The biggest addition to MLB 2K10 is “My Player” mode, which adds another level of baseball authenticity. It’s an absolute blast to work your way through the minor league as well as achieve goals to become an MLB player. This is the kind of unique content a baseball game needs to provide lasting appeal for America’s pastime. The one aspect that is going to get fans really hooked is the revamped action on the field. As you will see, the sequences that take between athletes are up-close and personal. For example, when you are about to touch the first base after a hit, the screen slows down, giving you an angle of suspense on whether you are going to be safe or not. Base stealing has also received visual upgrades, where the camera will focus on your running as you attempt to score closer to home.
To sum it up, MLB 2K10 is a fun and intellectually pleasing baseball game. It might not be a perfect baseball simulation but it is solid nonetheless. Though the game reigns supreme in presentation, the amazing commentary is worth mentioning. It analyzes down to the wire (and even addresses a player’s last year’s stats), very much like actual games. What’s more is that several of the bad mechanics – such as clipping issues, easy homeruns, poor collision system – have been corrected. With all the praises, there is still room for improvements. Adjusting player’s attributes like pitching “composure” or batting influence seem to have little effect on the playing field. But what’s really frustrating us is the lack of cooperative play, which should already come standard for any sports titles. Needless to say, MLB 2K10 works as advertised and will give fans a closer baseball experience than ever before.