Total immersion is all gamers want these days. They want accurate stats, seedings and signings. Well, what better way to experience this total immersion in an MLB game than completing a 162-game season? It's one feat that many, even our staff writers, struggle with.
So staff writers, have you ever finished a 162-game season?
Jayson Young: I have to go back to 1994 for the first and only time I've completed a full MLB season. Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball came out in March for the Super Nintendo, and while it lacked the MLBPA license, it made up for it with a great soundtrack, fun graphics and simple gameplay. Developer Software Creations creatively maneuvered around the lack of a player license, as even though the players had to have fake names, they still resembled the real MLB players in their appearance and attributes. The Dodgers, for example, still had a muscular slugger wearing #31 as their catcher (Mike Piazza), while Atlanta boasted the fastest player in the game in its outfield (Deion Sanders). Most of the fake names were amusing, as each club featured a unique theme to its roster. Oakland had famous authors like Mark Twain and Leo Tolstoy, while Philadelphia featured hometown heroes, Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed.
Griffey was also big on presentation, with batters chewing bubblegum, arguing with the umpire and breaking bats over their knee after striking out. Having a headline and box score appear in a fake newspaper after each game was also unique for the time.
The gameplay in Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball wasn't a huge step up from RBI Baseball (NES/Genesis/SNES) or Baseball Stars (Neo Geo/NES), but Nintendo's top-notch presentation gave The Kid's game a bit more flair than any other baseball title from the 16-bit era.
Caley Roark: I've never been able to do it. It's partly a time commitment issue, but more than that, it's that I like the offseason too much. I really enjoy the transaction side of sports games and, in baseball at least, I get too impatient. I can't wait to get to the off-season, and end up simulating a good portion of my games.
I'd really like someone to make a fictionalized sports game that strips away the reality and sets up a game that stresses roster management. I like the size of the 25-man MLB roster, the short NFL season and the intensity of the NCAA tournament. Someone needs to stick those ingredients in a blender and generate a game the pushes what I love about the MLB game without the grind of a 162-game season.
Bishop Tart: Baseball games are always the hardest season to try to complete -- and I'll be honest, I've never completed a full season. Every year I go into the new baseball games saying, "I'm going to finish a full 162-game season this year". I usually get about 20-25 games into the season, and honestly, get bored or get caught up in another game.
Will I ever be able to actually complete a full 162-game season? Maybe. Right now in MLB 12: The Show for the Vita I'm about 40 games in and rather enjoying myself. That might be due to me, as a die-hard Braves fan, leading the N.L. East by a significant margin or because the game is just fun to play.
Matthew Coe: I've completed a 162-game season just one time. It was several years ago when I had a lot more free time. I remember piloting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a decent season, but not to the playoffs.
The game was Acclaim's All-Star Baseball 2005 on XBox. It was the last All-Star Baseball that was ever published. Acclaim would soon file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and their IPs were sold off.
AllStar Baseball included a lot of things that today's baseball games lack. Great commentary, unique features, solid gameplay, classic players, stadium tours, past teams, over eighty stadiums (including past and future versions of current MLB ballparks), four hitting options and both franchise and expansion team modes.
The game even has a This Week in Baseball mode that allows you to replay historic events and try to alter them. You can even replay the infamous Bartman game if you're a Cubs fan.
The insightful commentary sticks out to me as one of the things that helped immerse me throughout. The franchise mode, while not as meaty as today's offerings, had just enough to keep me coming back for another game. It's the only time I've seen an entire season through to game 162 and probably the last time I'll ever be able to make that kind of time commitment.
Dustin Toms: Just once, in The Show 10, did I finish a full season. It was rather realistic too, I must say. I tend to be a huge fan bad teams, so I was running with the Seattle Mariners.
At the All-Star break, Seattle had a solid six-game lead over the Angels. There was still a lot of work to be done, but I had the head start. Once action picked up again, I went on a 10-2 streak, increasing my divisional lead by five more games. Sitting 11 games up is a nice place to perch yourself.
But then it all fell apart. I lost the next 19 games; the Angles and Rangers passed me; I missed the playoffs by one game.
Haven't played a full season since. Thank you, SCEA, for being so darn realistic.