If you haven’t heard, the future of the sports video game industry is going to be changed somewhat as Take-Two’s 2K Games have broken EA’s monopoly with the acquisition of the MLB license. This of course means we are going to have to say goodbye to a lot great series. So with that being said, this will be the final year of EA Sports long-running baseball franchise. So will it be a home run for MVP Baseball 2005, or a strike out instead? Read our full review to find out now!
The sport of baseball is of course considered America’s pastime, and for those of you who were asleep for a few weeks in October missed history, when the Red Sox won the World Series. Being your pretty average baseball fan, I must say that although I’m not a fan of the team, it was an amazing treat to get to watch this happen. It really made me excited to watch this year’s season as well as play the video games. MVP Baseball 2005 is not a game that tries to revolutionize the series by any means, as it keeps most of the core gameplay from last year’s game intact. But instead of doing that they decided to refine some of the rough edges from last year and add some new features as well. So does this concept work or is this just a weak attempt at a new game?
For those of you who haven’t played the MVP Baseball series, you should probably be caught up on what the game is all about. MVP Baseball 2005, in my opinion, goes for the pure simulation style gameplay and tries to give the gamer full control over what is taking place in the game. So whether you talk about the manner in which you’re sliding, or the speed in which you throw the ball around the horn, the game allows you control basically over everything. This at first can seem like a very daunting task, but once you get used to the game’s rather complex system, it becomes a very rewarding system that pays off in the long run. The pitching in MVP Baseball 2005 is probably the most advanced, as your target indicator only shows up for a matter of seconds before it goes away. You of course pick a pitch and then the meter come up in which you want to try and hit the perfect spot to throw a perfect pitch. This at first can be a bit intimidating but after a while you will get the hang of it.
One of my favorite features in MVP Baseball 2005 is the fact that the game has two franchise style modes found in the Dynasty and Owner modes which are both very deep in there own respects. Of course the two modes differ in what they are deep in as the owner mode of course offers up more of the owners duty (who would have thought) and then the dynasty mode offers up a lot more work on the team itself. Both modes I found to be extremely satisfying and really did the job greatly. Lets just say if you are really a baseball fanatic you could honestly get lost in these modes for months if not years.
The other new features added this year were the mini-games, which are more of a joke then an actual addition to the game. I say this because they are not really mini-games per se, but rather a practice mode disguised as a mini-game. In the mini-games, you have batting and pitching modes, which are really meant to just improve your skills. The batting is the more enjoyable out of the two as it offers up more of a mini game then the pitching. The pitching mini-game attempts to combine Tetris with pitching but to be honest it just doesn’t make for a fun experience.
If I had to pick my favorite upgrade to this year’s game, it would be the addition of the Xbox Live support, which I have enjoyed thoroughly. The thing I have noticed about MVP Baseball 2005 is that the game offers up very close and exciting experiences online, and that the gaps between skill levels are not as great as many other sports games. This means that if you are a novice, you still should be able to hang around with some of the mid-ranged players, and vice-versa. There isn’t anything really special about the support, it is pretty average, but the actual experience online is excellent.
Overall the gameplay of MVP Baseball 2005 has really been refined to a great baseball experience this year. I must say that I am very impressed with how smooth the game runs, and how smooth the gameplay is. Some of the additions are a little "gimmicky", like the hitter’s eye, which doesn’t add a whole lot in terms of the gameplay. But all of the additions did have a strong enough presence in the game to really make for an excellent baseball experience.
You can start to see that sports games are hitting its strive in terms of the gameplay on all the consoles as they all seem to be improving each and ever year. So does MVP Baseball 2005 for the Xbox improve upon last year’s game?
In MVP Baseball 2005 we can see that the developers of the game really didn’t spend as much time as they have on other games as this year doesn’t have all that much improved. From what I can see the only major difference in this years game are the batting animations, which have been vastly improved giving a much more realistic portrayal of batting. Besides that, the games still has the same sort look and feel as last year’s game.
MVP Baseball 2005 is a game that really doesn’t improve all that much from last year, but still comes out with a very good-looking baseball game.
MVP Baseball 2005 was a game that at first I really did not enjoy all that much to be honest; to me it seemed too hard. But after a while the game gradually grew on me, and I must say although the system was not as easy to pick up, the long-term effects of the game were great. For investing time in this game you really get a great reward and that is what I liked so much of MVP Baseball 2005. The game has two great franchise modes and also has great Live support.
In EA’s final year (unless they come up with some other sort of baseball game without the MLB license) they really went out hitting a home run with MVP Baseball 2005. The game is an excellent baseball simulation that will keep you occupied for quite a bit. It is unfortunate that this is the last year for the series as it would have been really interesting to see what the series could do in the next few years. With that being said if you’re looking for a baseball game this year, MVP Baseball 2005 would be 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.