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There’s more good than bad in MLB 2K9. While the experience has been brought down to a certain level of easiness, there’s still a lot of things that make the game frustrating and tiresome. I’ll admit, I was never a huge fan of MLB 2K series and even the World Series Baseball franchise before that. Plus, the last two versions of MLB 2K weren’t exactly great. Still, MLB 2K9 is a great improvement over last years’ game and made me want to spend a few quality hours on it. Sadly, making a “baseball game for dummies” won’t make the games better if they keep changing the recipe and trying come up with ways to be the big boy in town…I think this is what hurts the game the most. Nonetheless, Major League Baseball 2K9 is a good example of 2K Sports desire to do things right and I applaud them for that. Just make up your mind and do it before it’s too late.
Planet Xbox 360
You get used to it, but there are also plenty of inaccuracies in the statistics, like claiming Pat Burrell was fifth in the AL in triples last year. Not only did Burrell play in the NL, but his three triples were not anywhere near the top ten for either league. The game makes similar statistical errors at least once or twice a game. The oversized ball icon, when pitching, is a bit obnoxious, but the rest of the game looks gorgeous. The player animations look even more realistic this time around and the stadiums are incredibly detailed and accurate. Fans in Wrigley Field even chant 'Throw it back' when opposing hitters park one in the stands. 2K9 continues the trend of taking steps forward in some categories, while taking a few back in others; leaving room for obvious improvement when next year's version rolls around. Maybe next year they can take more steps forward than backwards.
Nothing groundbreaking in the latest installment of the MLB 2K series that would set this apart from any other sports title. You will get your money’s worth with the Franchise mode and the constant free roster updates. MLB 2K9 is good enough to make it to the majors, but not quite worthy of an all-star title that we were hoping for.
There is so much depth to MLB2K9, and so many options and settings, that it was simply impossible to get to explore them all in my time with the game. For example, you can receive in-game scouting reports on hitters so you know where NOT to pitch them. This is beyond necessary in my opinion, but when you're shooting for the most realistic baseball game in town, you've got to have a few things like that. The point is, MLB2K9 looks amazing, is pretty enjoyable to play, and is a great representation of baseball down to almost every last detail. There's definitely room for improvement, but it's still a winner.
If you're looking for a good baseball game and only have access to an Xbox 360, Major League Baseball 2K9 is your game; it has its problems, but still offers a fun, decent game of baseball.
MLB 2K9 shows improvement from last year, especially in the core mechanics that make up most of the gameplay. Hardcore baseball fans might find the game a little too easy (I scored 27 runs in my game against the Reds in Franchise mode) but jiggering difficulty will help to remedy that. You can have a good time against your buddies playing MLB 2K9, which is what most people want from a sports game like this. Playing it on your own, thought, might be a bit of different story. Ultimately, a game like this is the electronic version of a board game: you'll keep it on your shelf until someone sees and asks to play you. Then you'll be happy you have it.
Do not miss out on this title. Despite the things you see and hear, one should really give the game a try for themselves and come to their own conclusion. As I stated, play with an open mind and you'll find that you really can have an enjoyable experience with this game and that the defects and issues really do not detract completely from the game in the end.
Ultimately, while I am not real fan of baseball nor have I played very many baseball video games, MLB 2K9 comes across as accessible and pretty fun. I'm definitely a casual player in this case, however – I'm not familiar with baseball games nor 2K's series. That said, I decided to check out some other reviews and forums after having developed my own thoughts on the game. In doing so, I got some confirmation in that there is cause for concern in the overall quality of MLB 2K9. While I feel like Visual Concepts and 2K Sports got a lot right, there are certainly some issues in terms of poor AI and general weird behavior during play that pops up a little too often to readily forgive. I have experienced these unexplainable events myself, but I really wasn't certain if it was the difficulty, settings, or simple lack of experience and practice to blame. It certainly looks like the problems are more common though, so take note should be leaning on a purchase decision for this one.
In this era of everyone having exclusive licenses with the major sports leagues, MLB 2K9 is just proof how that policy can come and bite us in the butt. Want a better baseball video game experience? Unfortunately it’s on the PS3 with MLB The Show. Xbox 360 gamers are stuck with this rough-hewn and frustrating game that could have otherwise been a gem. Instead, that no-hitter in the bottom of the ninth got broken up by a grand slam.
MLB 2K9 is improving. It seems to be a best fit for someone who is a casual fan. Not really an arcade game fan, but not a super die hard simulation fan either. 2K does a commendable job bringing some needed improvements to the series, however any real baseball fan will find Sony's MLB The Show a far better experience.
We’ve rarely been so conflicted about a baseball game, but MLB 2K9 is a paradox. It’s undeniably fun and accessible, offering plenty of addictive options for hardball fans. It also suffers from too many gaffes that are impossible to ignore. As the only MLB sim option for the system, 360 owners could certainly have it worse. There’s no doubt we’re well on our way to playing a full 162-game campaign, but we were hoping for a more complete experience this spring.
Totally Gaming Network
Overall MLB 2K9 is a definite improvement over MLB 2K8, yet there are still issues that need to be addressed. Once they have been addressed and subsequently fixed then this will be a tremendous baseball title. As it stands right now it is a fun title to play with your friends but it isn't living up to its full potential. If you are a baseball fan I would definitely recommend giving this game a try though. There is a free demo on Xbox Live for everyone to try and see what they think. If you like it then by all means pick the title up at your local game store. It should definitely be interesting to see how the game evolves as the regular baseball season starts up and evolves.
Both mistakes and success are a little more subtle in MLB 2K9, meaning you won't pay as dearly for slight lapses in concentration, only major screwups. The result is a gameplay experience more fans will enjoy, but an out of the box experience that might not be challenging enough for hardcore seamheads who spent countless hours mastering how to throw the perfect curve in MLB 2K8. Still, this game is by all means a successful update. After all, using the right stick in any fashion is more satisfying than simply pressing a button to pitch, hit or field, and nearly everything about the look and sounds of the game, from the blades of grass to the fans in the stands, is improved upon. Right-stick integration is the best way to play videogame baseball, and thanks to MLB 2K9 more fans than ever will see why. They may be casual fans, but these days everyone would have to agree: the more, the merrier.
Major League Baseball 2K9 fixes some of the issues from the past and sets the groundwork for a great game, but there are far too many bugs to recommend. If you have to have a baseball game this year and only own a 360, you may want to wait for the newly revealed Bigs 2. Those who own a PS3, well, your choice is fairly clear. MLB 2K9 is an enjoyable game for a casual fan, but those who are really dedicated to baseball are certain to find the bad AI annoying. Let's hope next year 2K Sports can deliver a game worthy of baseball's immense fan base
It was great to run a few bases with 2K Sports, Major League Baseball 2K9. After years of featuring The Show, it is good to know the alternative is a worthy competitor. In an all out brawl, 2K9 might have a little ways to go before it reaches the same level as The Show, but it seems like Visual Concepts is working hard to perfect their craft. 2K9 has its strong points and its new control scheme fit perfectly in my newbie hands. If 2K9 is an indication on where the future will be like for this pitch hitter than 2K Sports is loading the bases for the heavy hitter.
Major League Baseball 2K9 is really rough around the edges. Smoothing out the frame rate has improved the fielding, but this game really needed a visit from the exterminator before it shipped. Arcade-style fans will be pleased with the grip-it-and-rip-it hitting and easier pitching, but baseball purists looking for an in-depth simulation will not find it here. With 2K still holding exclusive third-party rights for MLB, it’s another disappointing spring on Xbox 360.
Overall, there's no doubt 2K Sports MLB 2K9 belongs in the 'fun' category. It looks great, and most of the time the game plays great. But it's not kind online, and pitch counts and tendencies, and hitters that act like the real thing, aren't there. There are some quirks in every game, but for a game that clearly strives for realism - and achieves it graphically - getting the battle at the plate right should be a higher priority.
I really wanted to love MLB 2k9. I really did. But it embodies everything wrong with the sports genre. It is rife with stupid bugs from the tight development schedule. Bugs that would have been fixed if there was another serious baseball game on the Wii or the 360. Confusing license and union agreements make it so half of Major League Baseball is represented through red silhouettes and computer-generated renders. Innovation from 2k8 was halfheartedly built upon, and then watered down. And with that, I will finish with a joke. “So, Bill, how are the achievements coming on MLB 2k9?” “Well, Jim, I can’t get that one where you beat a member of the 2k Sports staff!” “Why’s that, Bill?” “Well, Jim, all of them are playing The Show.”
In the end, 2K9 shows some promise, but just can't pull itself together enough to put on a big league showing. Glitches can be patched, but the bigger problem is that the overall feel of the game just doesn't work. The batting is way too easy, even on higher difficulties. The fielding mechanics seemed tacked on to the right analog stick simply for the sake of being different. There are just too many problems here for a serious baseball fan to ignore. While the game will offer some players a quick burst of hardball heroics, more discerning fans will quickly sour on this year's game. Luckily, 2K does have a decent base here to lay down a better version next year. With a couple more coats of polish, and a return to the drawing board on some of the gameplay elements, 2K could have a contender. As it stands now however, MLB 2K9 feels more like the gaming equivalent of a AA affiliate than a major league club.
Major League Baseball 2K9 isn't a terrible game but it isn't a good one. 2K Sports has been working on their MLB series for a while now and they're the only option on the Xbox 360 - but they really need to keep working. The game has some great modes and features, but the issues of the hitting being too easy, the fielding too fiddly and the pitching a bit temperamental, combined with the many graphical issues and animation problems, really makes you wonder if the game is even finished. 2K made a valiant effort in recreating a game of baseball that looks and feels authentic, with great looking stadiums a few other cool little touches, but all the faults add up and you find yourself hating the game after every loss. If you own an Xbox 360 and MLB 2K9 is your only option then it might be worth a try, but there's a lot to overlook and more than enough flaws to make three strikes (and it's out).
The Video Game Critic
Even so, it's a shame a game as fun as Major League Baseball 2K9 suffers from such a severe lack of polish. Didn't 2K's quality control team know that baseball season was starting in April this year?
Whether or not MLB 2k9 is for you depends largely on whether or not you’ll find its issues a mere annoyance or a deal braking violation of how the game of baseball should be represented in a video game. If a truly authentic hitter/pitcher battle is what you crave, for example, this isn’t going to do it for you. If what you really want is to just sit down and have some fun playing something that looks and feels a lot like baseball, even if it’s not the most authentic game on the market, then this game will do the job. The only thing that holds it back from getting a higher review score are the numerous bugs and system crashes I’ve experienced, something that could absolutely kill the game for too many people.
If you're a fan of the MLB and are strictly an Xbox 360 owner, then you'll probably find something to like in MLB 2K9; after all, you pretty much have to. Unfortunately, you'll also have to put up with some of the shoddiest fielding AI I've seen in a while, and enough bugs that will cause semi-frequent frustrations with the entire game, including one that I'd consider to be pretty much a game-breaker at this point. While I won't recommend the title to just anyone, and while I don't think it's seen a great deal of improvement from the previous year's entry, I imagine that there will be a few die-hard sports fans who will pick up MLB 2K9 regardless, just to get their baseball fix. Keep in mind the problems that could possibly await you, and hopefully, you'll get a bit of entertainment out of this game.
Cheat Code Central
The list of grievances is long, but there are a few bright spots. The presentation is stellar as I mentioned earlier. Animations for pitches, batting stances, and even some pretty solid pro moves are cool (when they work). It looks awesome. Watching Jermaine Dye snag a pop fly with a diving catch or seeing an outfielder run off a wall to gun a runner out at third is an enjoyable sight compared to the rest of the game.
MLB 2K9 may be a sign that 2K Sports should stop building upon this unstable foundation and start anew, much like the transition EA went through when Triple Play Baseball was killed and MVP Baseball debuted. This is not the baseball sim it portrays itself to be and if this were reskinned with more development time, this could be a sufficient sequel to The Bigs, which was 2K’s successful arcade baseball game from 2007. Of course, there’s a real sequel coming in a few months, which is revealed on the MLB 2K9 disc itself. If you’re the unfortunate baseball fan without a PS3, PS2, or PSP, you’ll have to make do with whatever you’ve been playing until now to fill the void of good baseball games to play while those on the PS3 should not even go beyond the demo in consideration of getting this game.
Either MLB 2K9 shipped in a half-finished state or the developers have never seen a baseball, much less thrown one around. You can see that the foundations have been laid for what could be a creditable baseball game, but design screw-ups render playing it an exercise in frustration that grows more bothersome every time you hit the diamond. Like Chicago Cubs fans say at the end of every September: "Wait till next year." Maybe 2K Sports will get it right with MLB 2K10.
Want to play baseball this year? Buy a glove and ball and play with your friends. Even if you have no athletic ability in your genes, you'll have more fun playing it for real. If you have a PS3, buy MLB: 09 The Show. Just don't buy, rent, or play this game unless you want a good laugh. 2K needs to give this game some steroids, because it needs an edge on the competition.
With glitches, plain visuals, confusing gameplay, and overall boring gameplay it is hard to recommend this game. If you are a baseball fan in need of some achievements or have a friend that wants to play it, go out and rent it otherwise your best bet is to hope that 2KSports The Bigs 2 arcade baseball title is far better than this incredibly mediocre simulation.
The continuous march of the year-to-year line-up of sports games always plants the same hope in the disappointed gamer: “there’s always next year.” MLB 2K9 can be a soothing experience 20% of the time for an Xbox owner with no other options for a baseball simulation. Unfortunately, there’s a shortcoming around every corner, waiting to pounce.
When 2K won the rights until 2012 to be the only third-party company to produce baseball games using the MLB license, I feared that the series would spiral into mediocrity due to a lack of competition. This year is proof that this has transpired. It's time for MLB to re-negotiate this contract and let someone else step up to the plate and encourage competition. Especially for the sake of 360 owners who have this as their only baseball videogame option (since MLB 09: The Show is a Sony exclusive).
MLB2k9 looks good but is poorly executed. Quality issues and bugs abound, and pretty visuals and some neat features just aren’t enough to save the game.