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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Sports

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q1 2005

 

 

- Improved Batter Interface really ramps up realism

- Owner Mode allows anyone to role-play Steinbrenner (not that you'd want to)

- Fast-playing, realistic baseball action

 

 

- The graphics are a bit stale

- Online play can be laggy

 

 

Review: MVP Baseball 2005 (GC)

Review: MVP Baseball 2005 (XB)

Review: All-Star Baseball 2004 (GC)

Review: MVP Baseball 2004 (XB)

 

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MVP Baseball 2005

Score: 8.9 / 10

 

MVP Baseball 2005 is only a slight improvement over last year's model; however, that slight improvement moves the game from the really good category to the great one.  All of the most important elements in a baseball game are done well in MVP Baseball 2005: hitting, pitching, fielding, franchise and on-field management, and presentation.

 

mvp baseball 2005 review          mvp baseball 2005 review

 

Graphically, MVP 2005 is solid, if not overly impressive.  The players' faces range from incredibly lifelike to downright creepy.  Movement is more reliably realistic, especially transitional animation during base-running and fielding.  Otherwise, the graphics are smooth and free of annoying graphical glitches like glaring aliasing or slowdown.

 

Both the in-game sound and the soundtrack are excellent.  I was especially happy to see so many up-and-coming artists featured on the soundtrack as opposed to already established artists with over-exposed songs (though those are represented here also).

 

Of course, no one should be particularly interested in graphics or sound if the gameplay is sub par.   Fortunately, MVP Baseball 2005 excels on the gameplay front.  The series fielding, improved during the name change from Triple Play, remains solid.  The pitching expands on the improvement seen in last year's edition.  However, it is the batting that gets the biggest overhaul in this year's edition.

 

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Dubbed “Hitter's Eye”, the new batting interface and controls allows for more precise situational hitting.  In playing a full season, I rarely had trouble executing the correct batting maneuver in a given situation (not that I was always successful).  It is great knowing that you are going to be able to advance a runner with a fly ball or correctly placed grounder when needed.

 

The new batting options along with all other skills can be practiced in dozens of addictive mini-games that are not 

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quite as numerous as the Madden franchise, but much greater in number than we've seen with previous baseball games.

 

All of the standard modes are present in MVP Baseball and all are fully tweakable.  MVP features Exhibition, Dynasty, and Owner modes.  The Owner mode allows for all of the customizability we baseball geeks are used to from text-based baseball sims but with attractive interfaces.  These include the ability to manage even the most minute details of running a baseball franchise while focusing on the big picture of winning games and making a profit.  This mode also includes a create-a-ballpark function.

 

mvp baseball 2005 review           mvp baseball 2005 review

 

Overall, I couldn't be happier with MVP Baseball 2005.  For next year, all I need is more mini-games, more un-lockable content, and a couple of pitchers who don't give up poorly-timed gopher balls.

 

- Danny Webb

(July 18, 2005)

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