The leap forward from the Playstation to the Playstation 2 was substantial enough to say that the games we played were in many ways vastly different. From the past generation of consoles to now the current I wouldn’t say that was necessarily the case. For example, last year we had MLB 2K6 for the Xbox 360, a game that had a lot of potential but still felt too much like a past generation baseball game. Now in 2007 we are here once again with 2K Sports Major League Baseball 2K franchise, hoping to rewrite last year’s history with an even better game of baseball in 2007. So how does 2K Sports do this year on the Xbox 360? Read our full review to find out!
Last year in MLB 2K6 you had a group of people, including myself, who were very anxious and excited to see what 2K Sports was going to do on the Xbox 360. Unfortunately last year’s game just didn’t feel all that "next gen", and many complained that the new version created more problems than it solved. Now a year later we have MLB 2K7 and it hopes to right the wrongs of last year’s game, and create a much more next generation baseball experience, especially since now it has competition.
The mechanics of last year’s game was really the biggest issue that plagued the game, mainly because much of the game was filled with glitches and weird animations that stopped this game from feeling completely authentic. In fact, much of MLB 2K7 was focused on the gameplay that has changed almost every facet of the game. First off, I want to talk about fielding, which before was plagued with weird animation problems now has much better control and much more consistency. For example my first game I made a few diving plays with my shortstop that did a small toss to second and then over to first for the double. What made this a treat was how smooth the animations were to make this feel more like a routine double, whereas last year’s game would have either missed the diving catch or had something that stopped you from getting the double. There are several of these examples here, ranging from pick off plays to cutting the ball off, which all is just a huge step forward from last year’s game.
The pitching in MLB 2K7 has a bit more consistency, and due to the signature style feature that is now in MLB 2K7, you do have much more of the pitcher’s traits portrayed in the game. As we all know each pitcher has their own unique style, and the fact that MLB 2K7 captures that as well as it does is another good addition. The pitching to me needs to be more consistent, and I believe there needs to be more of a gap between how the top tier pitchers perform in comparison to how just the mediocre pitchers perform. The game definitely seems to favor the hitters, and pitching I feel still needs more work.
One thing I absolutely despised about last year’s game was the base running, which although hasn’t been perfected in this year’s game, is still much better. You now have much smarter base runners who won’t get caught up with each other, nor will you have the constant problems of having runners continue running the bases even after they are commanded not to. The base running is blended into the display of the game on screen, and manages to really bring forth a much more involved and steady appeal.
So we have talked about the mechanics of the game, which are much better then last years game but still have several things to work on, now let’s talk about the franchise mode, which for most will be the primary place the game is experienced in. The developers have done an absolute amazing job with the menu system that makes the entire franchise mode a lot more accessible. The one thing I didn’t like about the franchise was the fact that the only real "managing of assets" outside of signing players was setting ticket prices, which felt just totally slapped on. The franchise mode however works very nice, and the depth will keep you occupied for quite sometime.
In the end, MLB 2K7 is a much-needed step in the right direction for the franchise. The game still has so many areas to improve on that I wouldn’t be surprised if many fans were still dissatisfied with this game. It has a lot of smooth new mechanics, however things just still don’t feel like they are totally on par with how well the game could have been.
Visually the game has come a long way from where it was in last year’s experience that to me just felt like a slight upgrade from what were than the current generation consoles. This year however we are seeing a much detail rich experience that makes for a much better looking game than last year. Also the animation in the game has gone in the right direction with a lot of new animations, making the game of baseball look a lot better. The game still needs work with some choppy effects, and some awkward plays but overall the game still looks quite good.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from MLB 2K7 this year, especially being that it had such an off year last year. MLB 2K7 however goes back to what it has done right in the past, and makes for a much more enjoyable game of baseball. I am still waiting for a full-fledged online support, which doesn’t seem to be all there this year. The gameplay is on the right track with much better mechanics and just an overall better baseball experience. Also what happened to the World Baseball Classic mode, which is nowhere to be seen this year, which I thought, made a nice addition to the game last year.
In the end, MLB 2K7 is a good solid game of baseball that still offers plenty of room to grow for future versions. It’s a bit disappointing that more depth wasn’t added to the franchise, and that there were still a handful of glitches. MLB 2K7 is a good game that fans of the franchise will continue to enjoy in 2007.
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.