TODO alt text

MLB 2K8 review

An uninspiring trip around the bases

Pros

  • Fun
  • solid pitching mechanics
  • Gobs of game modes
  • Plenty of unlockables
  • too

Cons

  • Wonky batting animations
  • Lackluster presentation
  • Tough to get online

We may be mixing our sports metaphors, but there’s no doubt that 2K Sports has launched a full-court press on MLB-licensed games the last couple of years. Between the The Bigs, Power Pros, and its 2K(insert number here) sim, they’ve taken their third-party exclusive-license ball and run with it. With so many games and platforms, there are bound to be winners and losers across the spectrum. Unfortunately for PSP owners, MLB 2K8 is closer to the latter than the former.

Above image taken from next-gen version

That’s not to say 2K8 doesn’t have its strengths – it does, and plenty of ‘em. However, the essence of any sports title is its on-field gameplay, and we’re not exactly in love with 2K8’S awkward, unpolished look and feel. Little annoyances abound, such as the bizarre gliding motions as players walk off the field between innings, wonky batter animations, and a blurring effect that leaves trails behind moving baserunners. On the other hand, the actual mechanics are fairly solid, as the pitching and hitting controls borrow heavily from this year’s PS2 game and work pretty darned well. Like a veteran utility infielder, it ain’t pretty, but it’s functional.

Provided you don’t mind the less-than-stellar presentation, though, the sheer amount of game modes will give you plenty to do. 2K implements a fairly full version of their VIP profile system, which brings along the well-known SkyBox and its opportunities to unlock scads of classic teams, jerseys, minigames, and stadiums. While the list of available goodies is sadly pared down from its console brethren, there’s still plenty to occupy your time for quite a while.

Interesting game variants abound as well, including a Home Run Derby career, a new minor-league focus called The Farm, an in-depth franchise mode rivaling any found on a console, and online multiplayer. Speaking of online options, it’s a bit strange for a 2K game not to be the leader in this market, but unlike its rival The Show (which offers online leagues up to 30 teams), all 2K8 offers is head-to-head matchups over the internet - which, as of this writing, we couldn’t get to work, despite repeated tries. We’re assuming this isn’t going to be a long-term problem, but it’s distressing nonetheless.

Above image taken from next-gen version

MLB 2K8 is more of an obligatory title than a passionately crafted offering, and it feels like it most of the time. Luckily, 2K Sports is very good at what they do, and even a halfhearted effort offers plenty of good times - so long as you’re willing to overlook a few warts.

Mar 12, 2008

More Info

GenreSports
DescriptionThe slick visuals and smooth gameplay of last year have been struck out and sent to the bench.
Franchise nameMajor League Baseball 2K
UK franchise nameMajor League Baseball 2K
PlatformXbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii
US censor ratingEveryone
Alternative namesMLB 2K8
Release date3 March 2008 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
We recommend