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MLB 2K7 review

Solid
AT A GLANCE
  • Great online options
  • Terrific pitching mechanics
  • Loads of unlockables
  • Visual hiccups galore
  • Delayed sound effects
  • Feast or famine hitting

Spring is here, and with it comes a relative onslaught of baseball games for the venerable PS2. Not one, not two, but three full-fledged titles for Sony’s current generation console make it onto the store shelves. Take-Two’s MLB 2K7 is the last of the three to come up to bat, and while it’s got big-league skills and options aplenty, it brings up the rear of a hyper competitive race for gamers’ dollars this season.



Above: All screens are from the PS3/Xbox 360 version of the game

Despite an impressive list of features and perfectly competent mechanics, it seems as if the folks at 2K Sports were concentrating a bit more on their stellar next-gen versions this time around. During games, there are all sorts of little hiccups and stutters that get in the way of our good time. The screen will freeze momentarily during both cutscenes and - even worse - gameplay, interrupting pitches and fielding attempts. Even the crack of the bat is delayed by a half second during the transition from batting camera to the field view. Bummer.

Pitching is perhaps the strongest aspect of 2K7. Everyone knows that it’s 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 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.



Above: All screens are from the PS3/Xbox 360 version of the game

At the plate, there’s less to do; conversely, there’s almost no time to do it. It takes microsecond-level judgment to determine when and if to swing, and if so in which direction. The Batter’s Eye feature helps a little, but with no visual cues as to the pitch type, you’ll need a lightning quick eye along with a bit of luck to turn your Rob Deer impersonation into something resembling Ichiro.

Inside Edge scouting tools return this season, giving you vital info that can help turn baserunners into runs scored (and vice versa when on the mound). While the Edge is a nifty feature, it’s hardly foolproof; Ryan Howard, Manny Ramirez, and the like can and will jack some homers when they get a hold of ‘em no matter how good your pitches are. 2K Sports’ famously robust internet leagues and websites are also back to embarrass all other comers’ comparably feeble online offerings.

Of the triumvirate of new American pastime games available this year on the Playstation 2, MLB 2K7 places right behind the superb MLB 07 The Show and MVP 07 NCAA Baseball. It’s solid enough and has depth aplenty, but the lack of spit and polish keeps it on the virtual bench. It’s worth a cup of coffee as a rental, but not quite a spot in the starting rotation.

More Info

Release date: Feb 27 2007 - PS2 (US)
Feb 27 2007 - PS2 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2
Genre: Sports
Published by: 2K Games
Developed by: Kush Games
Franchise: Major League Baseball 2K
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Lyrics

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