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989's MLB 2005

Tonner Cyn

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These are still early impressions as I've only played less than 10 games.



Very nice. Obviously, faces are going to be a bit generic on the small screen, but batting stances and pitching deliveries are very authentic. I haven't played the console version so I can't compare, but for the PSP I am very happy.



The audio seems to be just right. There's a good amount of ambient noise going on around you. The commentators are decent for the most part. There are times they fall behind a little and they do seem to get repetitive even with the few games I've played, but they are not annoying.



I'm still a little mixed, and just wondering what MVP plays like. My first game was on rookie setting with all defaults. It was a slugfest, even if the score didn't reflect it completely. Both teams had over 20 hits. After that, I decided to move on to Veteran setting. That reduced the number of hits, but my first game on that level I had 20 strikeouts. Most of that is my fault as I tend to chase every pitch. I realized that I should be guessing location as well as pitch type, and that has helped my contact quite a bit. I also moved the user contact bar a few notches up, but I've moved it down so it's only 2 above default; I might change that again as I get better. There hasn't been a ton of power in the games I've played - only 3 home runs total iirc. Baserunning is also something I have to get used to. Many times I get called out for trying to take an extra base, even when it seems like I should be able to. The outfield arms are also quite strong and have nailed me at the plate more than once.



So far, I'm enjoying the game. It took me just a couple of games to get pitching down and I'm getting better with hitting every game. I haven't had a ton of power, but I am playing as the Angels who are rated pretty low in that category. This seems to be a worthwhile baseball game. As I play more I'll add my thoughts.

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Quick update:


I've started a season. After winning the first game, I promptly lost four in a row. I'm in the middle of a game right now and winning, but we'll see - I've lost a couple close ones in there.


I'm still playing on Veteran level but I'm making adjustments to the tuning sliders. So far, by slowing down the CPU's pitching speed, increasing user contact to 11, and going to the offset camera position (not sure I'll stick with that), I've been able to make a lot more contact. My last completed game was too much though - 30+ hits between the two teams, though the score was only 5-4. I'm still striking out a bit too much, but hopefully that will change as I fine tune and get better at guessing location.


One thing I forgot to mention that bothers me. There are quite a few passed balls. Sure, I don't mind if you completely botch the pitch meter, but I've had a few happen with fairly accurate pitches.

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I applaud these companies attempts at creating new franchises without the license (Midway, 989, Take2), and I honestly am not a big sports fan, so I'd be fine playing the next 2K football without the NFL. But lets be honest, sports game sell like they do because of their association with their licenses. Otherwise we'd be playing Pop Warner football, Little League Baseball, etc. These games, if they're lucky, could form a niche market, but will never be mainstream without the licenses. Even with the licenses they couldn't compete well with EA. It's too bad.

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I applaud these companies attempts at creating new franchises without the license (Midway, 989, Take2),


Except MLB 2006 has full licenses. Players, stadiums, teams -it's got it all. The baseball licensing deal takes effect next year and doesn't prohibit first party developers like 989 from continuing to make fully licensed games.

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I have not tried to play an online game at this point. I haven't taken the PSP online at all, so I'm not exactly sure how to even do it.


And yes, this game is fully licensed. The stadiums in particular are rendered quite nicely. I do wish they allowed some sort of franchise mode or at least the ability yo move players from team to team* though.


*There are trades in the game, but the computer will not accept a one-sided deal. So no getting Jeter, Sheffield, ARod, Johnson on the same team. Er... :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm curious to hear about MVP as well, though it is highly unlikely that I will pick it up.


As far as MLB goes, I'm still playing. I'm about 50 games into the season now and have managed to get very close to .500; I'm also only 1.5 games out of first in the AL West now.


I think I have the computer settings pretty well set, though I may have to take mine down a notch or two. It wasn't too long ago I thought the same thing and proceeded to go on a 6 game losing streak - my longest yet. Lately though I have been on a tear and have won like 18 of my last 20 games. They're not typically blow-outs either.


There are a couple of glitches, but only one is potentially game-upsetting. That one is that at times when pitching, the X button does not register at first. When it finally does, it seems to act as if the button has been pushed twice, setting the power of your pitch. When you press it next - thinking you are setting the power - you are actually setting the accuracy. If you don't catch it and react accordingly, you'll get a wild pitch almost every time.


The other little glitches involve the computer's use of pinch hitters and runners. The information displayed is always incorrect - they cpu puts in a pinch runner but it displays a pinch hitter. It doesn't affect gameplay, it's just inaccurately displayed. I've also heard the announcer say the wrong name at times when talking about the batter.


My only other complaint is stealing second with a runner at third. I'm not sure how to get just the runner from first to advance. That might be my own fault though...

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