Spring training is over | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Spring training is over

It's that time of year again. And if you love baseball and own one of the major video game consoles, then it's time to

It's that time of year again. And if you love baseball and own one of the major video game consoles, then it's time to "play ball."

"Major League Baseball 2K8", or "MLB 2K8", for short is an improvement over last year's game. When the 2K6 version of this game came out, it had a lot of issues that were hard to get past, but when the 2K7 was released it addressed a lot of those issues and fans were for the most part pleased.

On the outside, New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes grabs the game cover, pushing aside last year's cover boy, Derek Jeter. But announcers Jon Miller and Joe Morgan return. Inside, "2K8" features refined gameplay, and fixes some of the problems from the last title. Developer Krush Games went all out and included the following changes for "2K8": 90 playable, real-life minor league baseball teams and players, player trading cards, a new pitching scheme - in which the pitch type is chosen with the analog stick - and a revamped analog batting system. A new throwing system and other changes that make this a better game.

Not being a huge baseball fan, I don't have many bad things to say about this game. However, hardcore players may have issues with this title, mostly due to game's frame rate. The developers have pointed out that, starting with "2K7", they are revamping the series over three games, ending with "2K9". That's all well and fine. But why do they have to fumble around before putting out the product gamers desire? Time is always a factor in developing games, but putting out a sub-par game in between is a rip-off. As a regular gamer, I agree that the frame rates in this title are not what they need to be, with the Playstation 3 version being the worst. The stadiums look nice and the sounds are top notch. But, for whatever reason, some of the players look nothing like their real-life counterparts. Another issue: when you hit a home run to right field, the hitter looks to the left, at, well, nothing. I guess this game is slightly better than last year's offering. But if you're a baseball fan, you might just want to play the 2K7 version until the 2K9 edition comes out. Again, not being a baseball super fan, I found this game to be enjoyable where the fans of the series might not.

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