MVP 06 NCAA Baseball
|a game by||Electronic Arts|
|Platforms:||XBox, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||7.5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||6.7/10 - 9 votes|
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|See also:||Sport Games, Baseball Video Games|
Poor MVP. Publisher 2K Sports and the console manufacturers now have exclusive rights to the MLB license, so EA's MVP series has been booted from the bigs (turnabout is fair play--EA snatched up the NFL license first). With the forced change from the pros' wooden bats to college's metal whoppin' sticks, MVP has also lost its rep as one of the best baseball franchises. Now don't misunderstand, 06 sports two very welcomed innovations: right analog stick batting and throwing. But the problem here--and it's a biggie--is the execution of these new mechanics. Using the stick to chuck the ball around the diamond feels quite natural, yet the throwing meter doesn't react fast enough when turning double plays, and even perfect tosses force the first baseman off the bag too often. At the plate, the new system makes it easier to check-swing, but you'll rarely connect for an extra-base hit or home run. Luckily, you can always go back to last year's playing style, but even then, the game has rough spots: Infielders miss routine pop-ups, and the announcers continuously repeat themselves. G. Ford may turn a cheek to these problems, but I feel like MVP 06 was rushed to get out in front of the big-leaguers.
Bryan's being too harsh on these kids. It's not easy to nab baseballs rocketing off of metal bats--even major leaguers don't face that. Seriously, though, yeah, MVP 06's fielding system drops the ball, literally. Sure, I got used to the analog stick fielding/throw-ing, but it always felt cumbersome. Most everything else is great, though. The analog swing system takes only a few innings to master and feels very intuitive, while the dynasty mode keeps you busy as you navigate play-off trees and spend time recruiting. Provided you can live with the ping of metal bats and lack of MLB stars (which definitely stings), MVP 06 is a great hardball sim.
Remember the days when games like World Series Baseball for the Saturn provided deep, exciting gameplay with simple, intuitive controls? No? Well, I do, and while the spirit lives on in the MLB 2Kseries, it doesn't in MVP 06. This baseballer does a good job of simulating the minor-league quality of college ball (read: errors seem more realistic and common), but the overly convoluted functionality of the game kills it for me. Swinging the bat with the analog stick isn't as timely or precise as pressing a button, and when you factor in trigger pulls and other diversions, it becomes less a joy and more a chore to try to get a batter on base.