Baseball season is just around the corner (we are just a week away from Spring Training games!), and 2K Sports has been hard at work on its latest hardball offering, MLB 2K10. Operation Sports recently previewed the game, and now the masses (at least on the 360) will be getting their hands on the demo tomorrow. In other words, with just a few short weeks until release, it is now time for a What's Hot/What's Not feature. So what has got me excited about MLB 2K10, and what has me scratching my head? Read on to find out.
MLB Today Presentation
The addition of NBA Today in NBA 2K10 was clutch. This somewhat overlooked feature provided gamers with one of the best commentary-presentation combinations ever. Since the same technology is being implemented into MLB 2K10, MLB Today will presumably add a whole new dimension to the somewhat stagnant presentation found in the past couple 2K baseball games. Having statistical overlays and commentary that are constantly updated throughout the real MLB season is a dream come true for baseball fans. If the dynamic commentary aspects are as deep as those found in the game’s NBA counterpart, then this feature cannot miss.
Simplified Pitching System
2K’s Street Fighter-like pitching system may have sounded great on paper, but unfortunately it never worked quite right in the game. Being able to pick your pitch in 2K10 by pressing a button, and then implementing an analog-stick motion should go a long way towards making pitching more enjoyable. If anything, at least it will be nice not worrying about whether or not your initial analog-stick movement actually selected the pitch you wanted.
Revamped Franchise Mode
The ability to control all 30 teams, edit anything about a player, 40-man rosters, compensation picks and September call-ups are all great additions to the 2K franchise mode. Simply put, the folks at 2K finally seem poised to deliver an incredibly deep franchise mode that should keep gamers busy for many months. Franchise mode has been an incredibly weak aspect for the MLB 2K series during the past couple years, so this makes the additions to MLB 2K10 stand out even more.
MLB 2K10 has a lot going for it but....
Let’s face it, aside from a somewhat solid foundation in MLB 2K7, the MLB 2K series has been on a slippery slope ever since. As much as I want to be excited about this year's newest additions, MLB 2K's track record means I am approaching the game with cautious optimism. Frame-rate issues, wonky animations, strange physics and a generally floaty sensation when controlling your players have all been issues that have plagued the franchise over the past three years. 2K is its own worst enemy when it comes to creating MLB games, and only time will tell if MLB 2K10 can break the string of mediocrity.
2009 was a complete nightmare when it came to online stability for 2K's sports games. So with that in mind, I wonder if 2K can even provide a solid online experience on launch day (or at least within the first week of release). This issue is especially concerning when it comes to MLB 2K because baseball is a game where lag can not exist when playing online since timing is of the utmost importance. So here is to hoping that lag-free play and stable servers can be found in MLB 2K10.
Check Swing Resuscitation
Since the ad campaign for this game revolves around the pitcher vs. batter duel, it is perplexing that the ability to check swing while at the plate has to be added via a launch-day patch. As someone who relies on the check swing to work the count in baseball video games, I can not even fathom why 2K thought it would be a good idea to not initially include this critical option while at the plate. Is this oversight a sign that the MLB 2K developers are still missing the mark when it comes to the intricacies of the game, or was this oversight tied into the tweaked hitting controls? Time will tell, but hopefully every MLB 2K player out there has an Internet connection.
So what are you all looking forward to in MLB 2K10? What worries you at this point? Leave your thoughts below.