Game Daze: 'Major League Baseball 2K7,' 'MLB '07 The Show'
Share with others:
'Major League Baseball 2K7'
Any baseball video game with "K" in the title probably is more pitcher friendly than not, so logic would suggest. Yet the PS3 version of this baby tips its ballcap at the Wii and turns its motion-sensitive Sixaxis controller into a virtual bat. Step up to the plate, big bopper. Eat up those pitches.
One of our home-run derby moonshots measured 492 feet. The next ventured 532 feet. Is this Sixaxis or World Axis? Because these balls are flying around the virtual Earth.
"Major League Baseball 2K7" (K Sports: PS3, PS2, X360, X, PSP, DS; $19.99-$59.99; rated Everyone) is a good-looking game and an easier one to play than the one reviewed below. The PS3 version also offers a bit of a workout with that controller as you wind up, swing away and reach those fences.
Careful with that bat/controller, though. It is touchy. When you learn to use it correctly, you can direct the ball in a myriad of directions, although it didn't take long for a young teen to relatively master the virtual hitting stroke.
The play itself seems to show the occasional flaw. Speedy Pirates center fielder Chris Duffy reached the blue-flashing landing spot in plenty of time, yet somehow a hit bounced onto the warning track behind him as he stood there.
A couple of at-bats later, on the opposite side of center field, Duffy made a running, over-the-shoulder catch that appeared far more improbable than the earlier hit. Maybe it's just another facet of those inexplicable Pirates, who rank 30th and last overall among MLB teams in this game.
PNC Park looks especially crisp and clean, with a lovely skyline in the background, even though the ad space behind home plate shills only for this video game's sponsors. The players' faces aren't so sharp. Neither is the awfully youthful crowd, but game designers created a visual display elsewhere so detailed that the players' uniforms flap neatly in the wind.
As for sound, ESPN's Jon Miller and Joe Morgan provide their fine brand of broadcasting. But the music ... well, one tune seemed to be performed by a bad Bob Dylan tribute band, so the big-hitting young teen promptly hit the mute button.
One note to fans of portable play: The disappointing DS version lacks the good looks and gizmos that make the other versions stand out. Even at its bargain price, it strikes out.
'MLB '07 The Show'
Some smart aleck in production enjoyed making one change: In this edition's PNC Park, the scoreboard advertisement for Giant Eagle was changed -- because it isn't an official video-game sponsor -- to another, uh, large animal.
Would you believe a grocery store named ... Giant Rats?
It's here in "MLB '07 The Show" (Sony Computer Entertainment America; PS2, PSP and coming next month for PS3; $39.99; rated Everyone). Then again, this game doesn't do considerable justice to the rest of PNC Park: Its left-field corner is too pronounced and large; the crowd is stiffer even than real life; and the Allegheny River looks more clear blue than the office water cooler. And this from a game so meticulous as to make muscles bulge in ripped forearms.
There are some nice doodads in "The Show," such as Upper Deck trading cards that show, on the back, each player's hitting zones. Yet it was a mite slow to load and confounding in its game play.
Twice, one team had two runners accidentally meet at third base -- hey, didn't we cover that in virtual spring training? Another time, Cincinnati's Ken Griffey Jr. squared to bunt -- we know, never take the bat out of the hands of a power hitter -- but somehow the pitch dived over his left shoulder for a strike?
Rats and double rats.
First Published April 18, 2007 5:12 pm