Every pennant race has a team that falls just shy of reaching the fall classic. This season, MLB 2005 is that squad. Sonys virtual rendition of Americas pastime leads off with a colossal franchise mode thats easily on par with Madden's renowned owner mode. Accompanying the year-after-year bells and whistles are features that let you set up stadium promotions, sign TV cable contracts, and even request bank loans; its almost too much for one person to manage. Once you hit the field, the gameplay is pretty solid in every facet (just don't expect ground-breaking mechanics a la MVP). Plus, the seamless animations from diving catches to turning a 4-6-3 double play -are the best I've seen from this springs crop of big leaguers. But the game steps up to the graphics plate and goes down swinging. The player models are stretched out and lack definition, and overall, MLB 2005s eye candy leaves a slightly bitter PS1 aftertaste. MVP and ESPN are still my top picks this season.
MLB 2005 makes an exponential leap from its brutal PS2 debut a year ago, although there wasnt anywhere to go but up. Youll immediately notice the improved graphics, though other games still do a better job of depicting players faces, bodies, and batting/pitching stances. Responsive gameplay makes you feel like youre in control of every facet of the game, and the franchise mode is the deepest among all the baseball titles. Up from the depths of the minors a year ago, MLB 2005 is starting to look like it belongs in the bigs.
Tilt your head just right and you can use the Eye Toy camera to import a decent-looking representation of yourself in MLB 2005. Like the excellent career mode (which follows your created rookie hopeful through spring training to the show), its something you only get in MLB. However, actual play on the field just doesnt offer anything superior to MVP and ESPN. Nitpicks like the inability to check swings and quirky A.I. also annoy, but you really are getting a solid game of baseball with MLB just not quite as solid as the competitions. Maybe next year, 989, youll go all the way.
Download MLB 2005
As Spring approaches sports gamers are preparing for a whole new series of over the top baseball games that will bring the fun and excitement of America's favorite pastime to their homes ' unfortunately MLB 2005 not only isn't a home run, it's barely a line drive.
What makes this game a more ho-hum affair is that it strips what little strategy exists in an already marginally fun sport. Instead of allowing you more control over pitching, runners on bases, and hitting much of the detail work is provided by the computer. You don't have to worry about whether to slide into home, or how exactly you want to throw a pitch, instead you just push a button.
Granted there are players out there who are looking for a button-mashing sports game that delivers up all of the spectacle of the game without much of the thought ' but it's just not as rewarding. What saves MLB 2005 from the list of games not worth playing is the intensely detailed franchise mode and a bevy of other single and multiplayer options. You can play exhibition matches alone or with a friend, play through seasons, or have fun in a playoff series. MLB 2005 even gives you a chance to be crowned Sultan of Swing in the home run contest.
MLB 2005 also has decent online play options, letting you play exhibition games and tournaments against other people online or just hang out in the chat rooms. Unfortunately, this game doesn't support any roster updates ' a complete shocker.
But it's the franchise mode that is truly breath taking. This mode gives you control of just about every element of owning and managing a baseball team. You have control over everything from the price of peanuts to the cost of tickets and even what new equipment your team gets. Of course you also manage the team, drafting new players, hiring staff and handling contract negotiations.
MLB 2005 also offers up a nice selection of bonus features such as unlockable legends, old uniforms and the ability to plant your face on a playable character through the use of the PS2?s EyeToy camera.
The sound and graphics are much improved over MLB 2004, but there were an assortment of strange graphic tics that drove me absolutely nuts. I found times when an outfielder would pick up a grounder and then turn straight into the back wall to throw it home. The players also seem to do a lot of unnecessary winding up before throwing the ball to a base, sometimes resulting in safe runs.
Overall, MLB 2005 is a fair game worth trying, but I think 989 Sports Online could have done much better and their baseball franchise still doesn't live up to the ones they've created in football and basketball.