|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: 2K Los Angeles||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: 2K Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 4, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Ahh, finally it is that time of year again. The smell of freshly cut grass, the sweet sound the crack of the bat makes, the false sense of hope all Orioles fans (myself included) have until mid April when reality sets in. Yes folks, it is finally baseball season, just as the boys of summer are trudging their way onto the field preparing for the 162 games to come, developers are also blessing us fans with our eagerly anticipated video game baseball fix. Luckily for those Nintendo fans out there, this year marks the debut of 2K Sports vaunted Major League Baseball series onto the Wii console. Does 2K8 ascend to baseball glory or is it just a bloated has-been akin to Jason Giambi?
On the surface 2K8 appears to have all the elements of a winner; your standard season, franchise, and homerun derby are all there. As you dig deeper though, the flaws quickly come to the surface, yet since this is their first attempt at serious baseball on Nintendo's fun box we will take a look at the pros and cons. Unfortunately, as this practice will indicate, the cons far out weigh the pros.
We'll start with the pros. The Motion controls are simple and make the game easy to jump right into (these will also be included in the cons). Unlike 2K8 for the 360 or PS3, the Wii edition sports simplified motion controls that are easy to pick up and play. They work well, creating an enjoyable and simple to grasp game of baseball. Aside from just the simple motions, running the base paths, controlling fielders, and defense as a whole is executed efficiently.
In addition, the overall flow of the game is exactly what you want on the diamond; this includes the look and feel. Sure, the graphics are not up to snuff, in fact they are downright awful, but at least the players move like the real deal. The atmosphere in general evokes true baseball spirit, with solid presentation and mostly good announcing from the best team in the biz, Morgan and Miller. If this were the only incarnation of this year's title, the review may have been a little bit higher, but as I stated there is a flipside to this coin. Thus, despite the fact that this game is fun, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to turn this prospect into a five-tool superstar.
Here we go with the dreaded cons. Looking just at the Wii version, with no comparison to the others, the most glaring absence is online play. 2K Sports titles are known for their great online system. For years they have been the best, and their obscene exclusion is baffling. You cannot even download updated rosters; sorry Mets fans, but Johan the Great still resides in Minnesota.
Now to hit up the usually solid gameplay and sound departments. As much as I love Joe Morgan and John Miller, they seem to think every check swing is a third strike punch out. Often times Miller seemed to be predicting a tragic end to my at bat after the very first pitch. Also corny bat sounds need not emit from the small speaker on the Wii-mote; the added sound effects streaming from that thing just sounded tacky.