Major League Baseball 2K10
Posted 3 years ago By - Zach R.
2K’s MLB series has always been a step or two away from being a contender for the MLB crown. Technical issues coupled with poor AI have kept 2K and Visual Concepts from catching up to Sony’s powerhouse series, The Show. MLB 2K10, the tenth anniversary for the franchise, is looking to change that with a ton of key improvements that make it a far more realistic, yet easily accessible ball game.
And to start it off, 2K10 offers My Player mode, by far the biggest change in the game and one that finally gives Sony’s previously uncontested Road to the Show mode some competition. Like Road to the Show, you’re guiding your player through the AA league and up through to the Majors.
The main thing you need to know about My Player is that its instantly accessible, even to those who aren’t hardcore baseball fanatics. While it tries to offer up the same sim-tastic action as The Show, 2K10’s My Player is a far more laid back mode. Instead of aiming for lofty goals to gain attribute points, playing well is pretty much the only requirement to levelling up. Hitting the ball for a base hit will net you something, and I was never penalized heavily for failing to meet my goals. In fact, I don’t recall my management ever stepping in and threatening to trade me for an entire season even when I played terribly.
Actually, the way the system works, you can have a terrible game but still complete one or two actions successfully and walk away with points to upgrade your player. It’s a little less realistic, yes, but it’s a lot less of a grind, especially for the more casual fans out there. The only downside to the experience is that some positions only really see action once or twice on the field, making it harder to improve as a fielder as opposed to the endlessly overflowing points available to a pitcher. It’s a minor complaint however, and most won’t think twice about it.
Of course, if My Player doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can always start up Franchise, Season or Exhibition modes. Not much has really changed for the majority of these modes though. Franchise is still quite solid, but you’re still only able to perform two team trades which is disappointing. The only real addition outside of My Player is in MLB Today. Today let’s you play through games that are happening that day in the league. It’s a nice touch, but doesn’t feel as game-changing as My Player.
Where MLB 2K10 shines, however, is in the controls. Both batting and pitching use the right analog stick. Batting is incredibly simple. Flicking the stick forward swings to make contact. Easing the stick back then flicking forward will put some power behind your bat, while flicking left or right is a defensive swing. The left stick controls where the ball goes. Holding it up will pop the ball high, while holding it back will lay a grounder. Things don’t get much simpler than this and it’s a welcome, more organic feel for batting.
Pitching is a also a bit more refined this year. You’ll still use the right analog stick, but the pitch meter and gestures are much easier to keep track of this year. There’s even a gauge that lets you know exactly where you went wrong with a gesture if you throw an errant pitch. It’s a nice touch that makes it easy to learn how to adjust your technique and throw like a pro. The only problem I had, which is more than likely my fault and not the games, is that pitchers with a large repertoire will have so many commands that I sometimes ended up throwing a different pitch than the catcher called since some of the gestures are really similar. It cost me a hit or two during clutch moments but, again, it’s likely down to me not performing the gesture as well as I should and not necessarily the game.
Fielding is a bit of an issue, however, in spite of the solid batting and pitching. AI players will often overrun balls, take off in the opposite direction or make infuriating decisions.
Online hasn’t changed much since last year, which is unfortunate, as I suffered more than a few lost connections and experienced quite a bit of lag while playing. A few stutters here and there are to be expected but when half the games played were so laggy no one could hit the teleporting ball without being thrown out, something needs to be done. When the online does work, it’s smooth as silk, but it’s definitely hit or miss with no in between.
Graphics & Sound
2K10 isn’t the best looking sports game out there. It’s certainly not a bad game by any means but there are a boatload of problems as of this review that need to be addressed.
Character models are generally good, though there does seem to be a serious case of the jaggies, especially in My Player. There are also plenty of hitches, such as pitchers going missing from the mound, leaving the ball floating eerily in mid-air, or batter animations in general. Talk about distracting.
The audio, for its part, is pretty solid. While the soundtrack wasn’t really my cup of tea (Southern Rock and 80’s hip hop?), it fit the bill just fine. Gary Thorne provides commentary, as always, and manages to keep it entertaining. His co-commentators, Steve Phillips and John Kruk, also lend a great deal of insight, especially Kruk who will often give his take on how a player should approach a play, and pretty accurately at that.
My Player is really the big winner here. Taking a player from the scrubs to the majors is a lot of fun, and will definitely take some time. Spotty online and graphical hitches make it harder to recommend if you’ve got access to The Show, however.
Not quite ready for the World Series, MLB 2K10 at least makes the playoffs this year. Visual Concepts are turning the series around slowly but there’s still a lot of work left to do. The pitching and batting mechanics are as good as it gets, but other technical shortcomings need to be addressed before next season.
+ My Player is accessible, fun.
+ Commentary team is always informative thanks to John Kruk.
+ MLB Today is nice addition.
- Graphical hitches are also all over the place.
- Online is lag-tastic.
- Fielding AI isn’t really all that I.
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Release Date : 2010/03/02
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : 2K Sports
Developer : Visual Concepts
Category : Sports
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10