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ESPN Baseball won’t surprise you with something altogether different, but you’ll love the things that make this one addictive PS2 baseball game. While it doesn’t come close to MVP Baseball 2004, this should be your second choice if you’re looking for a fun baseball game.
None of the new modes are exactly groundbreaking, and neither are the pitch, turbo, and confidence indicators that have been added to the control setup. Even the revamped ESPN look is simply window dressing when you get right down to it. Other games this year let you manage minor league teams, control specific base runners, or juggle the careers of individual players. These are major improvements. For ESPN Major League Baseball, Sega opted to stick with what worked last year but made a few minor tweaks and additions here and there. So, like last year, this is a great game. However, it's one that the other games have had time to catch up to and, in some areas, surpass.
The ESPN presence pervades the game in a good way, giving it that broadcast feel, and the game is full of nice true-to-baseball touches like outfielders tossing balls into the stands as they head to the dugout. The gameplay is certainly realistic, but overall the physics of how the ball moves feels a bit too floaty at times. In the final analysis, ESPN MLB trails after MVP Baseball and MLB 2005, making it a good choice only for those who aren't satisfied with those league-leaders.
And I was left feeling disappointed. I would say that this game seems very rushed out the door, but this is one of the last baseball games to be released this year. With all of the other baseball games on the market, it might be best to shop around before you choose which one is best for you. The gameplay in ESPN Baseball is still here from WSB, but the graphics must have stayed home sleeping.
Gamers have already been dual shocking the ball around the park for a couple of months this season. A game that would want to make them start their season anew would have to pack a world of dynamite new features. Developer Blue Shift attempted some daring new tricks and ideas in its ESPN Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, not all of them work. If you've been playing MVP Baseball 2004 all season, there's no reason to make a change, but if you've just finished up your virtual hoops or hockey season and are looking for a way to get some virtual fresh air and sun on the diamond, you might want to give ESPN a look.