Review by Y2J_DX_BrOD
The way baseball ought to be-- and more!
When I first purchased this game a few months after it came out back in 2005, I thought it would be just like MVP 2004-- good, but not great. I was dead wrong. This is undisputably the greatest baseball game of the decade.
One of the things I look for in a baseball video game, while insignificant, is the fantasy draft. I was more than pleased when I found that the feature was retained for all game modes. I don't know why, but it pleases me to draft players of my choosing instead of settle for the regular rosters. Either way you slice-and-dice it, both methods are great.
Another feature I found very intriguing was the all-new Owner Mode. This, to be completely honest, in my opinion, is the greatest part of the game. Owner Mode allowed you to take the real helm of any team and make all of the crucial decisions: what to name the ballpark, what features to include, what the capacity is, the list goes on. You can turn your 20,000 seat bandbox into a 65,000 seat, fully lighted, completely corporated masterpiece. However, the highest capacity I ever reached is 33,000, but I do know people who have reached the very tippy top.
And of course, there are the all-new Mini Games. These are the real cinchers here. You can either play the hitting or pitching mini-game. The hitting mini game is set up at a run down practice field, where you go through batting practice and have a set footage goal. The distance of each of your hits accumulates. For example, if you hit a ball 350 feet then hit another one 422 feet, you have 772 feet. Your first goal is 2,000 feet, which is your goal for the first four rounds. Starting from Round 5, the amount of feet you need to hit increases by 500. Depending on how far you get, you are awarded MVP Points which will buy you nice things-- retro jerseys, former stadiums, even all-time baseball legends, like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, or Reggie Jackson.
The Pitching Mini-Game is like a modified version of Tetris. Each pitch that the pitcher has gets a color. You choose that pitch to throw at a set of colored blocks in the strike zone. For example, if the pitcher has a 2-seam fastball, it will be blue. If you throw the 2FB at a set of blue blocks within the strike zone, the blocks break and you get points. Complete the goal of points before time runs out and you advance to the next goal within the round and are given more time. You must first get 1,000 points, then 2,500, then 5,000, then 7,500, and finally 10,000. After reaching 10,000, you advance to Round 2, where the blocks are smaller and the stakes are higher. Like with the Hitting Mini-Game, how far you get will earn you MVP Points to buy all of those nice and shiny things I mentioned earlier. You can also play this game in an untimed version.
So let's recap. You get to be the owner of a multi-million dollar baseball team, draft your own arsenal, and earn points by performing baseball fundamentals. Does that not seem easy? OK then, get out there, buy/sell/trade, and get this game!
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: MVP Baseball 2005 (US, 02/22/05)
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