It was only few years ago that 2K Sports secured the MLB license, and it was that time when EA decided to go a different route with their baseball franchise. A lot of that decision I believe had to do with the fact that the company had fantastic success in the game industry with college sports like College Football, and though they could make a college baseball game live up to the same sort of standards. Now in its sophomore year, it should be interesting to see how MVP 07 NCAA Ball does this spring training on the Playstation 2. Can EA prove that the license doesn’t make a great baseball game? Read our full review to find out!
One of the biggest surprises I think for most is that I am reviewing this game for the Playstation 2, a console that is definitely getting very close to the end of its life cycle. However EA decided not to go the next-gen route and decided to keep the game exclusively on Sony’s Playstation 2, where it made its freshman season such a success. The question then arises, is there enough new ideas here to make it worthwhile to continue playing baseball on your Playstation 2?
Ever since the first baseball game on the Playstation 2, EA has been working and striving to innovate the game of baseball on the consoles. For so long we saw the same style controls and the same style of gameplay from everything baseball game, and over the years EA has changed more and more to make the experience deeper. The past couple of EA Sports games have been implementing the analog sticks, which is once again an even bigger part of MVP 07 NCAA Baseball.
The biggest new feature to this year’s baseball game is the cleverly named "Rock and Fire" pitching. The name is much more flashy than the actual implementation of the pitching mechanic. This is not to say that the new mechanics are bad, because they do actually give a much deeper look into pitching. Similar to what we have seen in the Tiger Woods games, the pitching has a meter that you use the right analog stick for. First you select your pitch and place it where you want it to go. Then you pull back on the right analog stick hit the first green zone and then pull it forward. It does take a few times to get used to the mechanics, but after a few innings you will be doing just fine. The new control scheme is simple yet effective and just takes the game another step forward.
Much of the rest of the game has remained the same, if not with just some pretty simple upgrades. MVP 07 NCAA Baseball still has the same sort of modes to choose from, including the Dynasty Mode that has the same amount of depth as what we saw before. The dynasty mode feels similar to the other college sports games on the market, and continues to strive with great depth and a big emphasis on recruiting. Playing as my UCI Anteaters was a fun experience throughout the game, and the dynasty still manages to hold up very well.
In the end, there is just not a lot else new in this version of the game, which to me is a bit of a letdown. Last year with its first try in the college realm you felt like you were getting such a new unique experience. Now however the game still has all of the same great elements that make for an enjoyable game of baseball.
With the Playstation 2 reaching further to the end of its lifespan, we are seeing more and more games show their age, and MVP 07 NCAA Baseball is one to join the list. This is one of those games that standing still looks quite good, but when the first pitch is thrown you can just see that the animation just not what it once was. The game continues to improve on stadiums and character models, but there is no doubt that we have seen the best of what the PS2 has to offer.
I believe many are going to be a bit disappointed that they are still playing this title on their Playstation 2 and not their PS3 or even Xbox 360. With that being said, MVP 07 NCAA Baseball still packs a good punch that makes for a fun gaming experience. The new pitching mechanics are good and manage to keep the game feeling fresh. However I do feel that MVP 07 NCAA Baseball still has plenty of room for it to flourish and grow.
In the end, MVP 07 NCAA Baseball is a good solid game of baseball that just doesn’t do that much new in 2007. The one nice thing about this game is the low price tag of $29.99 that makes this a very affordable game of baseball. If you liked last year’s game and want to have a new college baseball game to throw around, this is a great choice.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.