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Major League Baseball 2K11 XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 8.0
Sound 9.0
Value 8.0
Distributor: 2K
Review Date:
April 2011
Anthony Luscombe


Major League Baseball 2K11

Major League Baseball 2K11 or, in short, MLB 2K11, is a MLB licensed baseball simulation video game published by 2K Sports. MLB 2K11 is available for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, and Wii.

2K Games, have produced here a superb simulation of professional baseball, every ballpark, player and club that participate in the American and National Leagues are represented. This game also allows for Dynamic Player Rating System (DRPS), which updates a players ability with the last four weeks of a real player's activity, this will include form lapses and also purple patches. The DRPS will only affect the batting and pitching; it will not affect a player's fielding ability.

Also included, is the chance to win $1,000,000 USD for pitching a perfect game on the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions of the game. A ‘perfect game is defined by Major League Baseball as a game in which a pitcher (or combination of pitchers) pitches a victory that lasts a minimum of nine innings and in which no opposing player reaches base. Thus, the pitcher (or pitchers) cannot allow any hits, walks, hit batsmen, or any opposing player to reach base safely for any other reason. It happens as rarely as hat-tricks or even double hat-tricks in test match cricket.

An area which I found a little tricky getting used to initially was the pitching. In previous baseball sims, you would simply select the type of pitch, such as a fastball or curveball, then all you would need to do was place where you would want the ball to go. In this game, you need to select the type of pitch, and this varies on the ability of the pitcher. Then you need to aim the pitch using your left stick and finally in an attempt to recreate the actual wind-up, the right stick is used for example a basic fastball, straight down then up. For a curveball you push the stick forward, then rotate it clockwise from 12 o’clock to 3. The display will show you a diagram on the right stick motion depending on the pitch you choose. By mucking up the timing, it can affect the strength and thus speed of the throw. If the motion of the right stick is wrong, you will get a wild pitch and the ball will fly out of reach of the catcher. You can go with selecting pitches yourself or allow the catcher to tip you on which pitch to throw as the game is quite tactical and certain batters are better suited to certain throws. This method of simulating the pitch is quite engaging and I have always found in baseball or cricket games the bowling or throwing a pain. I always preferred the fun part of batting.

The whole defensive or fielding aspect of this game is quite good and enjoyable as you have good control of the fielders. You can easily chose where to throw a ball from the outfielders by moving the left stick to the right and hitting throw button, this automatically goes to first base. When a ball is lofted high into the outfield, you take control of the nearest fieldsman. As you close in on the ball, a circle appears around where the ball will land. The better the fielder, the bigger the circle, and once you are close enough the fielder will automatically make the catch.

In batting, the swinging motion is controlled through the movement of the right stick. If you push it forward, you will swing a contact swing, but if you move it back and then forward, you will pull off a power swing. One fun part of this game to allow you to get into the swing of batting MLB2K11 style is the option of the Home Run Derby. Basically you just attempt to knock balls over the outfield fence and score points for every homer.

If you are unaware, baseball is quite similar to cricket in that a major interest to fans is the statistical aspect. In this simulation it goes into incredible levels of detail that makes it hard for the casual watcher to comprehend but is quite useful. The game will pull from real life data, and show the projections for each pitch you might throw–including where the batter is weakest–and give you recommendations based on actual statistical probabilities. The same goes for batting, although it is not as helpful to predicting a pitch that you are likely to deal with.

The online component of sports games is bog standard nowadays, The MLB Today feature is an intriguing game mode. MLB Today will offer you a look at the real scores and games being played in real time, and you can jump into any game you want and play it yourself. As I have mentioned earlier, it also incorporates the DRPS which brings down the real life stats of the players and also the chance at winning the million USD.

Graphically it is what can be expected from a major sport’s games publisher like 2K Games. It looks and feels like a tv broadcast of a game. The player’s are recognizable and between balls, you get different camera angles to really recreate the look and feel of the game to transport you to the ballyard. All the stadiums are beautifully recreated as well.

The sound is what you are likely to hear on a television broadcast of a baseball game. The commentators chit-chatting away and the noise of bat on ball and the unique din of a baseball stadium, such as the crowds and the organist playing in the background.

If you are a baseball fan, or even if you want to learn the vagaries of America’s summer pastime then you could do a lot worse than to get this game. All aspects are fun to play, the batting is addictive, the pitching and fielding requires more input from the player than what has been traditional in batting and fielding games in the past.


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