Tagged: MLB 2K9

MLB 2K9 Review for the XBOX 360.

There have been many complaints it seems scattered across the message boards at various gaming websites about this game. 

First, this game seems much, much better than the past two versions.  Two versions in which I actually disliked playing after a while because the gameplay was so incredibly flawed.  The computer threw what seemed like 80% “pure-strikes,” and it was nearly impossible to draw a walk. 

I don’t necessarily play baseball games because of a desire to stand there and take a walk.  But it was almost impossible to do so, and took away from the realism. 

The pitchers also fatigued very early when the sliders were set at their default, often having my starter needing relief help after 4 innings. 

And of course, for some reason, I could never seem to get the difficulty right.  It was too hard, not giving me a chance.  Or too easy, where I wouldn’t allow more than one run a game. 

I toggled with the “sliders” and still was very disappointed.  So I traded in last years version for a used headset, because mine broke.

But anyway, 2K9 is clearly better.  There are a few flaws, but the enjoyment has been there so far.

First, the computer by default has at least thrown more pitches out of the strike zone–which is a positive.  Now, if I choose, maybe I can actually draw a walk.

Many people have complained about the fielding aspect of the game, but I haven’t had any trouble at all except for a few online misplays.  And anyone who plays online knows that the connection dictates some of the outcome.  When the ball is hit, it may slow down a little, glitch some, etc, resulting in a misplayed ball.  But I have played 10 or 11 online games and misplayed probably three balls, so it isn’t an overwhelming problem.

The players and details are pretty amazing.  Something the game has done well with in the past.  They look realistic, and that does matter, although the gameplay is more important. 

The one problem that I have encountered, and others have too, is that they don’t always look to where they are throwing.  For example, if the ball is singled to left, and I throw to second, the fielder will throw the ball there, but he might be looking toward home.  This doesn’t happen all the time, just some of the time.  As long as the ball goes where I want it to, then I am okay with it.  But for a game in this day and age, it does seem to be a somewhat stupid flaw that should have been addressed. 

Hitting does seem to be a little easier than it should, even on the difficulty that I play on.  It seems like the overall “Line Drive%” is like 50% on balls in play, which is way too high. 

But this can be avoided in online play, to some extent.  Online players sometimes complain when balls are thrown out of the strike zone.  Which makes it less fun, obviously.  If “only strikes” are thrown, then the game ends up being like 20-17.  That is stupid.  It is definitely difficult to lay off pitches thrown out of the strike zone, especially if they break in the dirt.  But side to side, isn’t quite as hard (although I did have trouble when one guy kept throwing the two-seamer that broke away from me, and the slider that broke in, or vice-versa).  But it makes it more fun.

I just played a game in which I lost 6-3.  Isn’t that much more realistic then those high-scoring offensive shootouts?  More fun, too? 

Anyway, I am like 10-3 in online play, and so far have enjoyed the online games very, very much. 

But I have only played three games on the default difficulty and my record is 3-0.  So I have not played nearly enough games to pickup on any true flaws that the computer has.  Only the intentional walk which doesn’t make any sense, which happens on occasion.  But I will need to play more games, to give an accurate review of the franchise mode.  Although, as fun as online play has been, I can’t say that I will be playing much of the franchise, even more so because I signed up for my first “Online League” ever. 

But in the franchise mode, I of course did a fantasy draft, this time with the Orioles.  It was serpentine mode, kind of like in a regular fantasy draft.  So there was no way for me to cheat the game or anything. 

Lineup w/DH:

1. Brian Roberts 2B
2. Geovany Soto C
3. Grady Sizemore CF
4. Pat Burrell DH
5. Brian Giles RF
6. Frank Thomas 1B
7. Garret Anderson LF
8. Andy Laroche 3B
9. Troy Tulowitzki

Brian Roberts, in the game, was still only under contract for a season, and that is the big reason why I drafted him.  For some reason I found myself avoiding expensive contracts, even though IT IS a video game. 

As for Frank Thomas?  I avoided the 1B position along with the corner OF’s for a while in the draft.  And the result was three players that aren’t exactly great, however all three are on one-year contracts.  Meaning there is no long-term commitment.  And Giles did have a good year last season.  Frank Thomas can still hit a little too, well, probably anyway.  Tulo should be batting a little higher in the lineup, again, I haven’t messed with it much because I have been playing online.

Rotation:

Verlander
Garza
Smoltz
Sanchez
Hughes (Buchholz in the minors, too)
Nate Robertson as depth in the minors as well

Bullpen:
Putz
Betancourt
Saito
Okajima
Balfour
R. Ramirez

The rotation I am very happy with, especially having both Hughes and Buchholz.

And the bullpen is stacked, as you see. 

The team has a theme, young players have longer deals.  Veterans have one-year deals.  Roberts’ extension wouldn’t be bad, but I avoided as spending any real money on this team.  I have $89 million to spend, and only have a payroll of $57 million at the MLB level, and $17 million at the minor league level, allowing me to spend, leaving me with roughly $16 million to spare. 

My defense is set up the middle, and all the players can hit too.  The corners are somewhat challenged defensively, but whatever, all of their contracts expire after my 52 game season anyway.

But the game is definitely fun to play online, and although I cannot speak too much for franchise mode, the game is worth picking up iof your internet connection doesn’t hinder online play.     

 

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