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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Major League Baseball 2K1213: The Kotaku Review

Major League Baseball 2K13 is an offensively recycled product and an embarrassment to sports video games. In my five years as Kotaku’s sports writer, I’ve spent a good deal of time in comments defending the genre, and those who make its games, from the worn-out slur that annual sports titles are nothing but reskinned roster updates. Yet that is exactly what MLB 2K13 is, and its existence is forever an argumentative trump card to any advocacy I can make for sports…
Major League Baseball itself also deserves blame for MLB 2K13, and not just for buck-stops-here reasons because its name is on the box. Take-Two Interactive may have signed an outrageously priced contract back in 2005, but baseball had absolutely no long-term vision for the license either, despite clear signals sent years ago that it would have no dancing partner on the Xbox 360 under any normal deal in 2013. This game was announced, by surprise, in January, and is plainly the product of Major League Baseball reckoning with the embarrassment of missing a year on the Xbox 360 and the fact it had zero leverage in avoiding it.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 09, 2013 at 06:30 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, games, general, reviews

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   1. Tripon Posted: March 10, 2013 at 04:59 AM (#4385365)
basically, mlb2k13 sucks
   2. Endless Trash Posted: March 10, 2013 at 05:27 AM (#4385368)
Warning: Article contains some naughty words. May not be SFW.
   3. OsunaSakata Posted: March 10, 2013 at 06:41 AM (#4385381)
Dont like the commercials where the host thinks the video game events are real. I liked the earlier years with the teary-eyed Cubs fan as they won the World Series and Tim Lincecum training his video game self.
   4. villageidiom Posted: March 10, 2013 at 07:11 AM (#4385390)
My son wanted to buy this for the Wii, but there will be no Wii edition of it. I think we dodged a bullet there.
   5. AndrewJ Posted: March 10, 2013 at 07:36 AM (#4385398)
Major League Baseball 2K13 is an offensively recycled product and an embarrassment to sports video games.

Well, that's nitpicking, innit?
   6. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: March 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4385431)
What about "The Show" 2013.
   7. KronicFatigue Posted: March 10, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4385443)
I owned an Xbox 360, but had to buy a ps3 JUST so i could play MLB The Show. That was the 2009 edition and it was the greatest baseball game I've ever played. Such attention to detail. Examples: Yankees roll call, A Bob sheppard like voice introducing Jeter, camera behind Mariano when he enters the game. I even added Enter Sandman for his custom song.

Most importantly: awesome gameplay. Working the count so you could get a hittable pitch was key. That game threw off my video game playing for years, as I had to play every inning of an entire season. I've never caught up. I have games from that Christmas that I still haven't had a chance to play. I bought MLB the Show '12 this Christmas and it seems even better. I'll get to a review sometime in '16, I promise.
   8. Dan Posted: March 10, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4385462)
I liked the earlier years with the teary-eyed Cubs fan as they won the World Series

Wasn't this an MLB The Show commercial?

What about "The Show" 2013.

MLB the Show 13 is AMAZING. I got it on Tuesday and it's really a big improvement on last year's game. Player models are even better, somehow. Ball physics have been further improved, after the huge jump last year they've still managed to refine them further. Hitting feels much better now since timing is more forgiving; due to this there are far more XBH than there were in the last few seasons. They've also redone the repertoires of almost every pitcher in MLB, making them far more accurate in both pitch selection and velocity/movement.

I'm really looking forward to playing the MLB Live mode once the season actually begins. In this mode it will use actual matchups and lineups and statistics from the games on that day.
   9. Natty Fan Posted: March 10, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4385586)
#8 Dan, so far I'm in agreement. I was considering not purchasing MLB the Show this year, but when I saw the MLB Live feature, I pre-ordered it. I've always played single player exhibition games, and I liked to sit down on a Saturday and "play along" with some of the games going on that day. However, it was always a pain to look up the lineups and make the necessary changes to my rosters. I'm looking forward to doing the same thing with no effort once the season starts. I also may try the Postseason mode. Simulating a season seems like too much work, but the postseason seems reasonable.

I'm enjoying the game play so far, especially the revised hitting. I agree with most folks that last year's hitting revisions took some of the fun out of the game. It seems they've kept the impressive ball flight physics, but it seems there's a more realistic BABIP going on.
   10. Dan Posted: March 10, 2013 at 08:25 PM (#4385909)
I don't know if my experience was typical to last year's hitting and ball physics, but for me last years game had a ton of singles but almost 0 XBH. I'd have games with 14 or 15 hits, but only 1 double and the rest singles. And those would only result in 3 or 4 runs. So far in this years game I'm seeing much more realistic numbers of doubles, triples, and home runs. It also helps that it seems like more balls get by the outfielders to the last years game it seemed like OFers cutoff way too may balls hit into the gaps and the corners.
   11. sinicalypse Posted: March 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4386286)
When I got my Xbox360 in July 2011 I was compelled to get MLB 2K11 for the sake of having a baseball game. I figured that somewhere in the game is an old core of World Series Baseball, which used to be a fun game to play in the early-mid 2000s (after the initial Dreamcast offering that used a right trigger button release to swing, combining withat the poor fielding/pitching to essentially make it a hitting simulator) and I was aghast the convoluted "total control pitching" system.

Seriously, I can't come up with another SFW word beyond convoluted, because you have to execute a long precision-detailed sequence on the analogue stick in order to get the pitch where you want it to go. In games past if I could physicals get the pitches where I wanted to go I'd have success that yielded generally-lifelike results. In this game I couldn't manage anything other than throwing meat. When I turned the system off I'd find myself consistently having CG shutouts/1-run-games-thanks-to-a-solo-HR. If there was only a happy medium where I could be challenged enough to occasionally have a mediocre pitcher give up ~5 runs during a so-so start, as opposed to all (CG SHO) or nothing (10+ runs on 24 hits because I either throw it right down the middle or 4 feet outside) I reckon I'd have at least it ~50 games into a season before falling victim to my traditional ADHD attention span. C'est la vie.

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