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Midway Sports has been known for pushing the sports envelope in broad directions. After all, this is the company that introduced smoking slam dunks in NBA Jam that would make Daryl Dawkins jealous. The same designer whose bodyslams in NFL Blitz would make Jack Lambert wince. Well, the extreme sensibilities taken to these previous titles have been branched out to America’s favorite pastime: baseball. That’s right, we’re not talking about a leisurely summer afternoon watching fungoes launched into outfields. We’re talking Round 3 of Mike Piazza Vs. Guillermo Mota, just without the running away, glove throwing, missed punches or restraints. Get your mound charges ready, cuz it’s time for MLB Slugfest 20-04!
There are certain sports where you can just forget the rules and regulations for a more hardcore and fast-paced game and although we usually see this kind of thing in basketball, seldom is it seen in the game of baseball. Imagine slamming your fist into the first baseman and knocking the ball out of his hand just so you can go steal second base. Imagine great pitching being rewarded by having your next pitches practically break the sound barrier. This is what you’ll find in MLB Slugfest 20-04, one of the most interesting takes on the game of baseball ever.
Midway's power-packed take on America's game was, well, a home run last year, so the '04 edition of SlugFest is only natural. This year's model packs in several enhancements that, frankly, should have been in the original game but will make fans happy nonetheless.
MLB Slugfest 20-03 came out of the gate late last year, arriving in June when many baseball titles had shipped in March. Even with its late arrival, it captured the fancy of baseball fans and trash talkers the world over, finishing as the number one selling baseball game of last year (although there are those who refute this claim). Fast forward nine months, and Midway is up to bat again, with this year's addition, MLB Slugfest 20-04.
MLB Slugfest 2004 is Midway's second entry in the arcade-style baseball field and a predictably improved follow-up to last year's installment. The game retains all the gameplay aspects that made the original a success and adds a handful of new things in an attempt at improvement. The additions are noticeable, but it may still be tough for owners of last year's game to justify a purchase, considering that it hasn't even been a year since the release of MLB Slugfest 2003.
Those who've already experienced last season's MLB SlugFest may have already surmised that this isn't a simulation. Midway is shooting for their usual with their latest outing. Like NFL Blitz, the series transcends any preconceived notions, appealing to those who appreciate not its thematic trappings, but rather core values: A penchant for whiz-bang special effects and senseless violence. Given this caveat, and the numerous slight enhancements made since when last the series debuted, well … by all means, grab the foam fingers and 16oz Budweisers … it's time to play ball!
If the current crop of games does nothing but bore you and leave you yearning for games like R.B.I Baseball, then Slugfest may be right up your alley. It's a fun game to play, but just doesn't have enough depth to warrant a $50 price tag, especially if you're a solo gamer.
Spring has sprung and it's time to play ball. It seems like only yesterday that Bonds smashed #600, Tejada won the AL MVP and the Angels won the series with that stupid monkey in the stands. Oh well, I'm just happy I didn't have to put up with that annoying chop chant. C'mon people, that thing's been stale for years now.
Game Informer Magazine
Not only are old mistakes revisited in 2004, but the batting and fielding controls seem to have gotten worse. The hitting interface has become a high-end guessing game, with strikes and balls called in almost random fashion, and fielding is difficult even in the best of circumstances. Sure, hearing Jimmy Shorts make funny comments is entertaining, but the baseball that comes along with it is poor enough that I don’t think it’s worth suffering through. I know it’s supposed to be an arcade game, but you’ve got to meet us halfway, fellas. Slugfest is a good game for people who want to either A) play a violent sports game for 20 minutes, or B) blow off some baseball-related steam. Next.