There is no doubt in my mind that there is a strong market for an arcade baseball title. With all of the controversy that spreads the game of baseball, it is not a bad idea to just sit back and have a good time with the sport. With that being said 2K Sports felt the need to fill the void with their latest installment into the deserted arcade baseball realm in The Bigs for the Sony Playstation 3. The big question however remains can 2K Sports manage to bring in a full fledged arcade baseball title or does the game go to over the top? Read our full review of The Bigs to find out!
I have played my fair share of arcade sports titles in my lifetime, and there are not very many that really stand out. I have had some good times with Midway’s Slugfest franchise, but it never carried the same weight as their Blitz franchise. There were quite a few arcade baseball games early on in gaming, but even those didn’t keep its enjoyment that long. So with the success of 2K’s simulation style baseball game, the big question now remains can they have the same success in the arcade field.
Well as many might guess The Bigs takes things over the top, not just in the sense that the player models are big, which you guessed it - the players are oversize, but the game itself does everything "Big". Let’s start with the core gameplay of The Bigs, which revolves around a very over the top loud feel that makes the game very easy to pick up and play. What I liked right away with The Bigs was that it didn’t take the "arcade" title too far, it kept things within reason but yet still was able to hit a compromise of some over the top action with yet the game of baseball still attached to it.
One of the more surprising aspects of The Bigs is the decent collection of game modes that are spread throughout the experience. The game holds the normal set of basic modes, including exhibition, quick game, and even home run derby. Outside of those standard modes you also have a pinball Homerun Derby, which takes place in time square and is actually a really good time as well as the Rookie Challenge the game’s career mode. The rookie challenge is rather simple but for an arcade title manages to be extremely deep. To be 100% honest, I wasn’t expecting to spend much time in the games Rookie Challenge mode but it actually turned out to be a very well rounded experience, one in which actually could be very good in a normal baseball title.
The big question is does the gameplay offer enough for the experience, and the short answer is absolutely. The Bigs actually ends up being one of the best all around arcade sports titles around. The controls are smooth and resemble that of really any baseball game on the market, the mechanics in the game are polished and the overall experience just resembles what an arcade sports title should look like. I was surprised to just get this overlying sense of satisfaction with this title something I haven’t felt with a arcade sports game in a long time. I really enjoyed the power meter. The implementation of the meter was excellent and it really seemed like an overly fair system to use. In the end, I have to say that I was extremely impressed with the high quality experience that The Bigs offered.
I have to say that right from the initial booting of the game, The Bigs stood out as a top notch next generation sports title. I think the fact that the game didn’t have to go for exactly "life like" actually helped give the developers more creative room to breathe, and thus the overall experience is a much better game to look at. I have to say the most impressive aspect of the game are the character models, which although oversize, still carry a very lifelike appearance of the players. The game also has a solid frame rate, and have just a good sense of style from start to finish.
Many times I find arcade games to be far too repetitive and to just continue to play them can be a chore. However with The Bigs, you have a game that actually continues to be fun outside of just the initial few sittings. This is due in part because of the added modes to choose from, including the Rookie Challenge, which is one of the deeper arcade modes I have seen. In essence, the overall experience of The Bigs was extremely impressive, the gameplay is just solid from the beginning to end.
I was surprised to find that 2K Sports actually seemed to have more success this year with their freshman arcade baseball series, which actually comes out as a big success. If you enjoy the occasional arcade sports game, then checking out The Bigs for the PS3 would be a great idea.
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.