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MLB 2K12 News Post


StickSkills has posted their thoughts on the MLB 2K12 cover, as they talk about what the game used to bring to the table and what 2K Sports has recently released.

Quote:
Back in 2006, when VORP was still thought of as a planet in Star Trek and the Rays were cramming three digits into their loss column, 2K Sports hired Ben Brinkman from EA’s MVP Baseball series as their executive producer/savior for MLB 2K7. One year after signing an exclusive third party licensing contract with Major League Baseball until 2012, the series was already struggling to stay afloat. Brinkman was determined to turn the ship around, however, and had come armed with a “three year plan” to polish up game’s graphics, gameplay, and array of features.

As it turns out, ambition doesn’t always equal fruition. And while 2K7 was praised for making some major visual strides, MLB 2K8 ran into a wall of bugs and glitch-filled gameplay and neither game moved the meter on sales. Afterwards, Brinkman was out as producer, and MLB 2K9 – the culmination of the three-year plan – continued the downward slide by adding new features often more broken than they were innovating or entertaining.

Game: Major League Baseball 2K12 Reader Score: 6.5/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / Xbox 360Votes for game: 12 - View All
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Member Comments
# 1 bigfnjoe96 @ 01/04/12 06:54 AM
The only way 2k stops developing MLB Games is if they begin to develop Football Games. I doubt it wants to become a 1-trick pony with only developing NBA Games.

The other thing is how the writer claims the ball physics need over-hauling. Not sure what game he played but last years title had great ball physics. Balls came of the bat @ a realistic rate.

The ball left players hands in a realistic manner. The ball hit surfaces in a realistic manner....
 
# 2 AllJuicedUp @ 01/04/12 08:46 AM
MLB 2k7 was a very good game, but the tone of this article suggest that Brinkman led a development team that gave it its all and maybe shot too high, while recent installments have been no effort affairs that 2k has given up on.

I'm sorry, but thats ridiculous to me. MLB 2k8 and even moreso 2k9 were disasters. Just terrible and completely unplayable games (especially 2k9, 2k8 wasn't actually that bad, but it was a definite step in the wrong direction after 2k7).

The author acts like the development team has just given up, which is total bs imo. Sure, maybe the higher ups at Take Two have thrown them under the bus, but thats hardly equal to 2k sports throwing in the towel. 2k11 was BY FAR the best in the series, and if not for some frustrating issues (that lets face it, pretty much every 2k game has had them... thats the one part of the article I'll agree on... QUALITY CONTROL 2K, for the love of god, QUALITY CONTROL!), 2k11 would be considered a damn fine game.

The pitching is still way better than The Show (although some would disagree, its at least a point of contention), the hitter is solid (much improved ball physics after the patch, a very good camera angle that makes reading pitches as good in a video game as ever, etc), and frankly, I find the entire pitcher/batter battle fantastic in 2k11 (my biggest gripe is that there are too few foul balls out of the box).

Then you factor in the fact that fielding was hugely improved (it still suffers from clunky animations too often and personally I wish they'd return throwing to the 2k8 days, but overall, it was actually enjoyable most of the time in 2k11, which could not be said for previous iterations), and the end result is that the on the field experience is actually pretty damn good (and from where it was left in 2k9, it is so much better it isn't even funny).

Heck, many critics said if it weren't for a lack of polish and the superior game modes in The Show, 2k11 could have actually been the better game, since many thought on the field that 2k was just as, if not better than, The Show. Thats saying a lot imo.

So why now is this author coming out and saying garbage like, "Yet instead of taking a cue from Verlander and toeing the rubber for one final effort, 2K Sports seems more inspired by the indifference of Roger Dorn in Major League."

Really? Come on man, yeah 2k11 may have made you scratch your head at times because of some of the decisions and lack of polish, but I don't see how thats evidence that they aren't willing to "toe the rubber for one final effort". I just don't see how a game that was well improved over its predecessor (2k11 vs 2k10) would then make you come to the conclusion that this team has given up. Lets wait and at least hear some info on 2k12 before jumping ship and declaring this game a failure...

Of course, I also disagree that the cover looks good, I think it looks like crap! I don't need/want puffs of smoke and all that garbage, it makes the game look silly and arcadey. So I guess I'm just coming from a completely different mindset than this author.
 
# 3 AllJuicedUp @ 01/04/12 08:49 AM
Now, if you want to argue that the 2k marketing team is a complete joke, or that the higher ups have given up, well then I'm all aboard. But that is VERY DIFFERENT than saying the development team has thrown in the towel.
 
# 4 johnnyg713 @ 01/04/12 09:22 AM
2k8 was the best baseball game of the 2k series. Ya the lag and bugs were unacceptable but the hitting, pitching, and fielding controls were the best implemented in any baseball game, ever. If they stuck with Brinkman for one more year and let him complete his 3 year plan I'm confident 2k would have the best baseball game around.
 
# 5 Ollienyy @ 01/04/12 10:37 AM
So we are basing what an upcoming game is going to be like based on the cover... I thought some of the posts in this forum were over the top but come on...
 
# 6 jeffy777 @ 01/04/12 04:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by peigone
Agreed. The ball physics IMO have definitely taken a step back since VC took charge. When zone hitting was removed from the game, it seemed to also affect the ball physics programming. The timing-only hitting seems to create more of a canned, pre-determined feeling to physics and hit variety than was ever evident with the zone hitting. Not that the ball physics in 2K11 is awful, but it was noticably better in the past IMO.
I don't think this series ever had zone hitting until VC added it in 2K9 (but then removed it in 2K10).

I still own every current gen version of 2K baseball, going back to 2K7, and I agree with Joe that 2K11 has the best physics. Maybe grounders aren't the best, but overall the ball physics in 2K11 are the best they've ever been in this series, and they're pretty good.
 
# 7 jeffy777 @ 01/04/12 05:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by peigone
Zone hitting was in back in 2K5. It was definitely in the game when Kush was developing it, and it was definitely VC who removed it.
2K7 had the step influence swing stick with the circle you could move to GUESS a pitch location (you had to set it before the pitch and it didn't aim your swing, but it just improved your hit if you guessed right).....but I don't remember any zone hitting. I could put the game back in to check, but I don't think it's there. It may have been in 2K5 though (I never played 2K5).

I know for a fact 2K9 had zone (cursor) hitting and it was a new feature that year, then they unfortunately took it out in 2K10.
 
# 8 jeffy777 @ 01/04/12 05:13 PM
Quote:
MLB 2k7 was a very good game, but the tone of this article suggest that Brinkman led a development team that gave it its all and maybe shot too high, while recent installments have been no effort affairs that 2k has given up on.

I'm sorry, but thats ridiculous to me. MLB 2k8 and even moreso 2k9 were disasters. Just terrible and completely unplayable games (especially 2k9, 2k8 wasn't actually that bad, but it was a definite step in the wrong direction after 2k7).

The author acts like the development team has just given up, which is total bs imo. Sure, maybe the higher ups at Take Two have thrown them under the bus, but thats hardly equal to 2k sports throwing in the towel. 2k11 was BY FAR the best in the series, and if not for some frustrating issues (that lets face it, pretty much every 2k game has had them... thats the one part of the article I'll agree on... QUALITY CONTROL 2K, for the love of god, QUALITY CONTROL!), 2k11 would be considered a damn fine game.

The pitching is still way better than The Show (although some would disagree, its at least a point of contention), the hitter is solid (much improved ball physics after the patch, a very good camera angle that makes reading pitches as good in a video game as ever, etc), and frankly, I find the entire pitcher/batter battle fantastic in 2k11 (my biggest gripe is that there are too few foul balls out of the box).

Then you factor in the fact that fielding was hugely improved (it still suffers from clunky animations too often and personally I wish they'd return throwing to the 2k8 days, but overall, it was actually enjoyable most of the time in 2k11, which could not be said for previous iterations), and the end result is that the on the field experience is actually pretty damn good (and from where it was left in 2k9, it is so much better it isn't even funny).

Heck, many critics said if it weren't for a lack of polish and the superior game modes in The Show, 2k11 could have actually been the better game, since many thought on the field that 2k was just as, if not better than, The Show. Thats saying a lot imo.

So why now is this author coming out and saying garbage like, "Yet instead of taking a cue from Verlander and toeing the rubber for one final effort, 2K Sports seems more inspired by the indifference of Roger Dorn in Major League."

Really? Come on man, yeah 2k11 may have made you scratch your head at times because of some of the decisions and lack of polish, but I don't see how thats evidence that they aren't willing to "toe the rubber for one final effort". I just don't see how a game that was well improved over its predecessor (2k11 vs 2k10) would then make you come to the conclusion that this team has given up. Lets wait and at least hear some info on 2k12 before jumping ship and declaring this game a failure...

Of course, I also disagree that the cover looks good, I think it looks like crap! I don't need/want puffs of smoke and all that garbage, it makes the game look silly and arcadey. So I guess I'm just coming from a completely different mindset than this author.
I agree with you about 2K11. I think it is a much better game than a lot of people give it credit for (sure, it's not perfect, but it's still good), and the series has gotten progressively better since VC took over. If only 2K would tighten up their quality control, it would be a much better game.

The author seems to think 2K will stop making MLB games as soon as the license runs out. No one really knows.....but what we do know is that there are only 2 companies that make baseball games for us here in the U.S., so we should be cheering for both because we all know competition is good for any game genre, but especially sports games.
 
# 9 rudyjuly2 @ 01/04/12 05:28 PM
I don't think 2K has thrown the towel in either. If they did they wouldn't have offered the $1 million dollar perfect game competition the last two years (a complete waste of money though imo) and they wouldn't have paid to get Justin Verlander on the cover. If they were really throwing in the towel you would see Brad Penny on the cover.

The quote from the 2K execs was an obvious one. They won't continue the current license deal the way it is which guarantees them to lose money. It was a knee jerk reaction to the EA football exclusive license. I can definitely see 2K continue making a baseball game, certainly on the 360. Unless EA jumps back into baseball gaming, which is certainly a possibility, 2K still has a stranglehold on 360 baseball gaming and should be able to make money if their license fees drop.

Quality control WAS a major issue and after two years of 2K baseball where I've generally had a good time but annoyed at some obvious problems and bugs I doubt I will be getting 2K12 unless the previews are great.
 
# 10 jeffy777 @ 01/04/12 06:14 PM
And let's not forget how much better the online play has improved in the 2K series the last couple years. It's often overlooked that 2K11 has the smoothest online gameplay in any baseball video game to date. Compare that to before VC took over (2K8 was unplayable online).......so obviously they haven't just thrown in the towel.....but I agree with Rudy that simply ironing out the bugs would go a long way. 2K11 is good, but it could've been great.
 
# 11 wat3 @ 01/04/12 06:19 PM
This might make me sound old but does anyone rememeber World Series Baseball 2K on Dreamcast? I wish 2K would go back to some of the gameplay from that game. Not so gimmicky and really fun and felt good today.
 
# 12 SoxFan01605 @ 01/04/12 07:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by peigone
Zone hitting was in back in 2K5. It was definitely in the game when Kush was developing it, and it was definitely VC who removed it.
Actually, it was Kush that removed it. It was removed either for 2K5 or 2K6 (not sure-the game was an abomination so I mostly skipped it).

Kush and Blue shift were both VC studios. VC took it "in house" for 2K9 which, ironically, is the first time zone/cursor (really more cursor) hitting was seen on this generation of consoles. 2K7 didn't have zone hitting. It was the same two modes we see now ("classic" and analog-though analog wasn't as good then).

So, Kush is actually the one to remove it (though, by the time they did, they were called 2KLA, I believe) first. I say first because VC then removed it from 2K10 and 2K11 after bringing it back for 2K9, unfortunately (something I was very vocal about at the time ).

Regardless, I agree zone hitting would provide (in theory, at least..as always, it comes down to how well it's programmed) better hit variety. I also agree it's an area in need of improvement...though it's funny that all this talk stems from a lazy article supposedly triggered by 2K12's cover...lol.
 
# 13 jeffy777 @ 01/04/12 07:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoxFan01605
though it's funny that all this talk stems from a lazy article supposedly triggered by 2K12's cover...lol.
Well said, ha.
 
# 14 bigfnjoe96 @ 01/04/12 08:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN 3:16
EA is making a baseball game 2013. And isn't it funny they guy leaves the Show to work on Madden. Wait and see he'll be working on baseball game soon enough.
I totally believe this is the case also.
 
# 15 bigfnjoe96 @ 01/05/12 10:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by peigone
That's an interesting point. Although one could also see that as 2K realizing they need some kind of extravagant marketing ploy, knowing the game wouldn't sell on its own merits otherwise. Honestly, which other game companies feel the need to entice people to buy their games by offering someone a once-in-a-lifetime chance to become a millionaire?

Here's how I see it: it's great that VC has been able to fix Kush's mess and put together a playable game (2K11) for the first time in half a decade. But they've done it entirely by subtraction. They removed features, removed sliders, and removed editing options. Meanwhile, they've added nothing new to the series over the past three years. All they've done is gotten the game back to where it should have been in 2008 or so. Which is fine.

But let's face it: from a graphics, animations and gameplay POV, the 2K series is still a good three or four years behind most other sports games out there. And VC has shown zero inclination to bring something brand new and innovative to the table with this series. IMO the article is spot on: the series appears to be in a kind of development limbo. And given all that, it seems unlikely as the article says that anything is suddenly going to change for 2K12. If that weren't the case, then surely we would have heard something by now about all the great stuff VC is working on. Once again their silence speaks volumes, just as it does every year at this time.
C'mon man, to say VC hasn't brought nothing new to the series is not true. Though MLB Today, Living Roster's, Custom Camera's & Broadcast Presentation, are more of an NBA staple, bringing those features over to the MLB side has made this game the last 2 years much more enjoyable.

The game play is also much better. What 2k hasn't done well since taking over has been fixing/polishing the AI Code, & Animations. Graphically it is what is, as this game uses the same Graphics Engine as NBA 2k does.

What really bugs me is that VC still can't get this game to run @ 60fps with out a hitch. So annoying & takes away from the game.

Lastly, not hearing anything yet about the game is not unusual. Info doesn't trickle in until mid-Jan. This is how they do things. Not sure how that practice means VC is doing nothing & setting people up for failure
 
# 16 jeffy777 @ 01/05/12 05:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfnjoe96
C'mon man, to say VC hasn't brought nothing new to the series is not true. Though MLB Today, Living Roster's, Custom Camera's & Broadcast Presentation, are more of an NBA staple, bringing those features over to the MLB side has made this game the last 2 years much more enjoyable.

The game play is also much better. What 2k hasn't done well since taking over has been fixing/polishing the AI Code, & Animations. Graphically it is what is, as this game uses the same Graphics Engine as NBA 2k does.

What really bugs me is that VC still can't get this game to run @ 60fps with out a hitch. So annoying & takes away from the game.

Lastly, not hearing anything yet about the game is not unusual. Info doesn't trickle in until mid-Jan. This is how they do things. Not sure how that practice means VC is doing nothing & setting people up for failure
Joe is right. It's not true at all to say VC has added nothing new to the series. In addition to the stuff Joe mentioned, VC added My Player Mode, Postseason Mode, Practice Modes, much better Stealing Controls (actually being able to time your jump), they added seven new sliders last year including the Pitch Control slider (which is HUGE in terms of gameplay), plus they totally revamped the commentary (getting rid of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, thank God!), and IMO this series now has the best commentary in any sports game.....then there's other things like the additions to Franchise mode (Trade Finder, Sabermetrics, etc.).....they made online play the smoothest we've ever seen in a baseball game (which is also huge)....plus they put out A PC VERSION....etc.

I could go on, but it's pretty clear that VC has added to and improved this series quite a bit since they've taken over.

And as Joe said, the lack of news means nothing. People said the same the last couple years, but yet 2K11 was a nice improvement over 2K10, and 2K10 was a big improvement over 2K9. It's been said a billion times before: 2K's marketing sucks....but VC has been putting out an improved game each year now for the past couple years, so all signs point to 2K12 being an even better game.....just don't expect perfection, lol.
 
# 17 bigfnjoe96 @ 01/05/12 06:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILurk
I don't know why some people can't just face the truth about the MLB 2K series. It hasn't been handled correctly for the past 5 or so years. It's been passed from one set of developers to another set of developers and now it's just a shell of what it was supposed to be.

The gameplay has very little depth to it. The mechanics of hitting the ball are way too simple to capture what a batter thinks/feels at the plate because all the user does to swing is either press a button or move the analog stick up. There's nothing more to it, which is one main reason why I stopped playing MLB 2K11.

The analog hitting is essentially pressing a button. There's no punishment for bad timing the weight shift, so the user can just hold back well before the pitcher's windup, then tee off on a pitch without worrying. That's lame. I really don't consider that any way to represent batting in a licensed simulation MLB game that claims it delivers " the Major Leagues down to the minor details ".

The hitting overall did get better in 2011 though. They finally made the batted balls go the correct direction based on the timing of the swing, but that's 101 stuff. It's not something worth actual praise in a baseball video game released in 2011.

I'm not saying the game is horrible, but it isn't where it should be by now. I'd like to see MLB 2K12 pull a 180, but how or why would it now ? We're all aware this is the last year 2K will have the exclusive MLB license and they are losing money on the MLB 2K series. Why would they invest time, money, and effort into the game at this point ?
Obviously this series isn't for you. Might be time to move on

Sent from Awesome Phone
 
# 18 jeffy777 @ 01/05/12 07:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILurk
I don't know why some people can't just face the truth about the MLB 2K series. It hasn't been handled correctly for the past 5 or so years. It's been passed from one set of developers to another set of developers and now it's just a shell of what it was supposed to be.
And I don't know why you can't accept the fact that some people happen to enjoy playing 2K11. Sure, it could be better, but just because we enjoy it doesn't mean we need to "just face the truth" and accept your opinion about it....lol...
 
# 19 authentic @ 01/05/12 10:35 PM
I played this game (2k11) for about 15 minutes and took it back because I bought it used at GameStop. The game has potential in the fact that the presentation is pretty darn good. The commentary I thought was pretty good in the 2 innings I played. I just think they have dug themselves too deep with the bugs and glitches in recent years. We have seen crazier things though. I remember back when EA made Triple Play Baseball I think it was called? Then they switched to MVP and the game suddenly is still being said to be one of the best baseball sim's of all time.

If this games good in 2012, I'll probably buy it. I'll play the best game available.
 
# 20 mkharsh33 @ 01/05/12 11:48 PM
I felt 2K11 was a strong step forward in this series... Not sure what the author's point is. There is much to build on based upon the fun / simulation like experience I had. I got a set of sliders tweaked that game me EVERYTHING I've wanted in a baseball game since I played Tony LaRussa baseball back in my college days 20 years ago. Though not perfect, 2K11 was a great baseball gaming experience...
 

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