XBOX REVIEW: MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K5 WORLD SERIES EDITION

Back in the good ol' days of video games, any company could come out with a MLB or NFL licensed game. There used to be around 3 games out for each sport. Blitz, Madden, MVP Baseball, and ESPN Baseball are just a few of the ones out. But nowadays, companies like EA and Take-Two are getting exclusive licenses to use the names of professional sport players which leaves us, the gamers with one choice. Is it worth spending 25 bucks on this one? You bet your baseballs it is.

If you didn't know already, the only MLB games you'll be getting are from 2K Sports due to the fact that Take-Two got exclusive rights to make baseball games. So if your a fan of MVP Baseball, like myself, and your looking to quench your thirst for baseball, then you've found a damn good alternative.

Now that all that 'licensing' thing is out of the way lets get to the actual game play.

As most many sports game fans will tell you, there's nothing worse than a sports game with horrible controls. The good thing about MLB 2K5 is that it is highly customizable. Once you've picked your team, you will get to choose a MVP Baseball meter-like system or a Precision system that uses two circles which you must place as closely as you can into the target in order to hit a precise location. So if you've gotten used to the meter system in MVP, don't fret, you can still use the meter system.There are only two options with the hitting: either go natural or use a visible cursor that lets you choose where you think the ball will be pitched. As far as the controls go in this game, I would say they are some of the best controls ever.

If you've ever gone to a baseball game, you'll notice that there are many things going on. This leads me to the varied sound in the game. The crowd responds well to when the ball is hit or when they hit a home run, but when your team scores a run, why isn't there any clapping or cheering? Another problem with the sound is the sound of a hit. There is a difference between the sound of a home run and a base hit, but in the game, all hits sound exactly the same. It may sound harsh to criticize the sound a bat makes, but when your paying to get a simulation of a real baseball game, everything matters.

Most games only give you a franchise mode and two other modes, but they really went all out on this one. There are eight game modes, but only a couple are really worth mentioning. Most franchise mode's have you pick your team and then you would start your season or pre-season, but this franchise mode has you choose your manager and coaches first. Why? Why can't I just have Dusty Baker manage my Cubs? I found this to be very annoying. Pennant Fever! has you choose a team and starts your season in August which from there you have to make it to the post season. World Series Moments places you in past World Series games where you either have to make a miraculous comeback or you just have to add some runs to keep the other team from catching up. The only downside to having 20 of them is that you get nothing for finishing all of them, but it's still fun trying to make a comeback when your done three runs in the ninth inning.

Another feature is the Skybox. There are three Skybox's which hold your stats, trophies, hall of fame inductees, game room, and unlockable items. The only useful thing in the Skybox is the unlockables. You can unlock stadiums, jerseys, and cheats. You would think that the game room sounds like fun, but it's not. The only games you can play are darts, air hockey, shuffleboard, and a trivia game. Oh yea, all three Skybox's are exactly the SAME. Not much fun there.

On the visual aspects of the game, the stadiums look as they would in real life, but the players do not. None of the players looked anything like the real thing. The thing that was really impressive was the way the game were presented. While the game is loading, Karl Ravich gives you some insight about the pitchers and the teams. During the game, Jon Miller and Joe Morgan take care of the play-by-play, and they do a good job of it too.

The holidays are coming up and you can't decide what to get your baseball loving friend. What do you do? Well, you get him/her this game. Since there aren't going to be any more baseball games licensed by MLB, then this is your only choice. A good choice, but the only one, none the less. So if you don't want to wait for MVP 06 NCAA Baseball to come out, then I recommend you go out and pick this game up for you and your baseball loving friend.

System: Xbox, PS2
Dev: Kush / Visual Con
Pub: 2K Games
Release: Oct 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Luis
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.5
GRAPHICS
3.0
CONTROL
5.0
MUSIC/FX
4.5
VALUE
5.0