The Bigs is like baseball-gone-NBA Jam. Big hits, big collisions, big plays, big everything. It actually kind of resembles the old Triple Play games of the late ’90s and early 2000s in a way, in that they were basically comic book-level baseball games with cartoony sound effects and over-the-top action like that found here, although not quite to this extent. The game is actually fun for a time, but would be better suited to the arcade to be played in short bursts.
There’s no season mode, so long-term investment is to be placed in the shaky Rookie Challenge. I wasn’t entirely impressed, but that’s just me. The overall gameplay was solid, if not great. The biggest problems I found were that the hitting animation lagged behind your actual swing, and that the game didn’t always recognize your attempts to ‘spin’ the baseball while pitching by turning your wrist. Once you got the basics down, it was just up to the controller to actually read what you wanted it to do. I had some trouble trying to through a runner out at first for a while because my ‘right’ flick of the controller was apparently an ‘down-right’ flick, and half of the time my fielder threw home. That’s really a personal error, but the Wii is a system that needs you to account for personal foibles more then any other system, requiring you to learn how the game wants to be played and not so much how you want to play it.
The rosters included in The Bigs aren’t full rosters. They have the starting lineup for each team, about three or four backups, three starting pitchers, two relievers and a closer. This reminded me of NFL Blitz, where they reduced the rosters to the bare essentials without compromising the game play. Here, you don’t need a full roster because of the all-out arcade nature of the game. I wasn’t bothered by it, but I would have liked to have seen a Minor League/Reserves roster to include more players for each team so you could bring up players that joined the real teams mid-season.
The graphics were easily the weakest point of the game. The sound, which isn’t great, at least didn’t attract attention to itself. The visuals, however, were painful enough to distract me to a degree. The players looked not at all like their namesakes and appeared to float above the ground (see the screenshot on this page). The textures were very muddy and unclear, the fans looked horrible, and the animations were poor to boot. If you think I’m unfairly comparing this against games on the Xbox 360 and PS3, I’m not; check MVP Baseball 2005 for the PS2 for a much more attractive game of baseball. The Wii can do better then this.
In conclusion, this is a fun distraction that resembles baseball. It’s fun for a while but it wears out it’s welcome in a hurry with a dearth of options, very poor graphics, and some game play problems that need ironing out. With some work, this series could be a viable part of 2K Sports’ future lineup, but as is, at least on the Wii, I’d skip it. Alphasim out.