Exclusives scare us - we’re fans of competition in our sports video games. For the second straight year, 2K Sports owns the only rights to build a licensed MLB game for the Xbox 360, and last season’s was little more than a painful foul ball off of the foot. To their credit, the gang over at 2K did an in-depth overhaul rarely seen in annual sports games; the result, we’re happy to say, is a smashing success.
As we expect by now from a next-gen game, the visuals and sound are pretty darned sweet. There’s eye candy in all over the place, from nifty wind physics that have uniforms flapping gloriously in the breeze to slick in-game graphics and awesome virtual lineup cards. MLB 2K7 isn’t just a pretty face, though, as the inherent gameplay is as deep and varied as Johan Santana’s pitch repertoire.
Everyone knows that pitching is an art, whether you’re commanding a master of finesse or a strikeout machine. The traditional components of timing, location, and speed are part of the puzzle, but the addition of manipulating the break of your particular hurler’s pitch fleshes it out even more. The mechanics are a little wacky - we don’t love with the whole expanding/collapsing circle deal - but they present so many opportunities for pinpoint location via movement that it’s almost a game unto itself.