Formats: Playstation 2, PS3, PSP, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, WII
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports
Baseball simulations have always been the toughest translations to the video game world. Just by the very nature of the game, there is a tremendous amount going on and with so many moveable parts, it’s easy to get lost in the playability of the game.
And for that reason, MLB simulations never have been as popular as say the Madden Series of EA’s NHL hockey simulation.
But over the years – and especially after EA lost the license back in the early 2000s – the annual games have gotten a little better and better every year.
This year’s entries MLB 11 The Show and MLB 2K11 give the player a very interesting take on the National Pastime. But unlike the Sony proprietary product “The Show”, 2K11 is available for all platforms including the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 and Wii.
So with that added advantage, 2K11 is able to reach a wider audience and frankly is a better game. With unique playing features for pitching and a very easy flick for hitting, it doesn’t take long to start enjoying the game.
Actually, 2K11 is very similar to its predecessor 2K10 in play with a few notable exceptions. The fielding has been changed this year to make throws more accurate on a meter and the rosters have been updated, but other than that, it is the same game.
That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
Players can play games in a number of ways, including MLB Today – IE the current day’s schedule – Franchise Mode, My Player Mode or just exhibition between two teams.
In MLB today, the player can play the games going on in the park right now. The rosters are updated online and reflect the current players. This is the default mode of the game and is fun to play, especially if you want to second guess the manager of your favorite team or see if you can mimic real life.
Franchise Mode allows you to build a franchise and have it grow to become a World Series contender. It’s a lot like Front Office Manager – another 2K game that came out in 2009- with the ability to play the games incorporated in. Of course, to play this effectively, many games will be simulated as the player is concentrating on making trades and signing free agents.
In My Player Mode you become a minor league prospect who struggles to move up the ranks to the big leagues. This is a lot of funs, but you only play the situations your player is involved in. So if you have an outfielder, only turns at bat and fly balls to your position will be played with other plays being simulated. In My Player Mode, the player gets skill points for performing particular tasks, but sometimes better situations will get you no points, such as it asking you for a fly ball, but you get a strikeout. That’s an area that needs to be improved in the future.
With exhibitions, players can play games between any two teams, including the All-Star teams and All-Time teams of the American and National League. They can also play in any ballpark and weather condition. Ultimately, though there is isn’t as many options with 2K11, as The Show and even older simulations give you a selection of classic ballparks, while 2K11 only offers New York’s Polo Grounds.
Graphics-wise, 2K11 can use some improvement as the players do have dead stares and don’t look very realistic. Yet, these are improvements over past years, so it is a work in process.
Achievements on the XBOX seem to be glichy at times, with some not popping at the times they are supposed to.
Overall, though MLB 2K11 is an excellent simulations. But much like anything it’s not perfect. If you do not own 2K10 and you are a baseball fan, then this is a must buy, but of you have the past simulations, then this is a rehash and all you will get are updated rosters.