MLB Slugfest: Loaded
MLB Slugfest: Loaded puts the burn in baseball by carefully blending over-the-top action with a game engine solidly built around baseball basics. Don't expect a game that will realistically portray the baseball gaming experience. Don't expect a minutely detailed line up of players who are reproduced down to the last stat. But do expect to have a blast playing a game that cranks baseball up a notch and whittles away all of the boring elements of the nation's pastime.
The controls in MLB Slugfest: Loaded are all pretty basic and easy to learn, but what you can do with the buttons may take a little getting used to. One of the ways Midway made MLB Slugfest: Loaded so much fun is by making baseball more of a contact sport. So now you can do hard tags, basically punching a runner in the gut with the ball when you tag him out; stiff arms, knocking a player in the field out of the way when you're running for a base; and slides, sliding into a base and a player if they are in the way. You also get to use the turbo meter made famous in NBA Jam and like NBA Jam if your player is doing well you can also catch on fire - making you permanently turboed up for a time. In addition, MLB Slugfest: Loaded allows you to switch off all of the power-ups and contact playing, turning it into a regular boring baseball game.
The game sports four modes of play, quickplay, home run derby, online and franchise. The franchise mode is pretty in-depth but doesn't seem to really fit with the over-the-top, better than real life theme of the game. What does work well with MLB Slugfest: Loaded's theme are the oodles of crazy unlockables in the game. You can unlock new stadiums, strange player outfits and bizarre character models.
The game's graphics and sound are both well designed, but neither really add to or take away from the game. I do like the running commentary, provided by Tim Kitzrow and Jimmy Shorts, but their short list of jokes can get old after awhile.
MLB Slugfest: Loaded is a fun game chock full of interesting new elements and unlockable goodies, but it would drive any serious baseball fan absolutely batty, so I'd say if you're into the in-depth, detailed gameplay you should give this one a swing and a miss.