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MLB 2K12 in NBA Live 08, but with baseballs and less EA. Ok, that may not make much sense yet, but I’ll explain. There’s little worse in gaming then getting last years game at this year’s price, and that’s what we’re getting here.
When I reviewed NBA Live 08 here in 2007 I was really mad. EA Sports had released the same game, with minor new touches, for the third straight year. That’s exactly what 2K Sports has done with MLB 2K12. It’s the same game as 2K11, which was the same as 2K10. In short, there’s no reason to spend money on this if you own one of the previous versions.
The game doesn’t look better, it doesn’t play better, and it doesn’t offer anything new (beyond roster updates) to compel you to spring for it. The gameplay’s supposed pitching improvement went completely by the boards with me. This gimmick is, if you overuse a pitch, it’s rating drops. I get that. It’s icon gets a different color and you start to throw poorly. This is supposed to make you vary your pitch types while on the mound, but it’s a crooked way to do it. A real pitcher doesn’t vary his stuff because his fastball went AWOL after throwing it too much, he mixes them up because the batters start to see it coming and put wood on it. They’re taking an odd angle at this problem, if you ask me.
My Player, which I love in NBA 2K12, gets the red-headed step child treatment here. You still only play in the field when a ball is hit to you (so you’re always ready for it, which makes reaction times unrealistically shorter), and your AI teammates are your biggest enemies. On the mound it’s frustrating to watch ground balls find their way through the infield over and over because your fielders are always just out of position. I’ve given up huge innings on just dink hit after dink hit, dribblers and seeing-eye-singles that always seem to find a hole. While batting, I hate baserunning. I usually just put my controller down and watch when I get on base, because eight or nine times out of ten the batters behind me make outs. That makes improving your baserunning abilities almost impossible since, unlike in NBA 2K12, your skill points are locked into being used on specific categories. If you can’t advance, you can’t get baserunning points – simple as that. When I do decide to hold the controller on the bases, I can get obscene leads on the computer catcher.
Look at that picture. The catcher just about has the ball at this point, and I’m way, way off first. He should throw behind me and pick me off but I have no fear of that because the AI simply doesn’t do it. I’m slower then molasses going uphill in January (because of the baserunning issue described above) but the AI can’t capitalize on it.
The graphics are still serviceable at best, the lighting engine isn’t very impressive and allot of incidental or transition animations have been in the game for years now. Honestly, I’m more then a bit put off. I hope to review MLB: The Show 12 for PlayStation 3 this year, and see what all the fuss is about over there, because the buzz is gone in 2K12. Time to pull ‘im, coach – he’s out of gas.
|Updated rosters; Not allot else||Mediocre graphics; Mundane action; Suspect AI; Same game as last two years|