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MLB SlugFest 2004

Developer: Midway | Publisher: Midway
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 03/16/03 | Genre: Sports

Just a little under a year ago Midway released their first arcade-style baseball title--MLB SlugFest. In its sophomore release, Midway tries to add several new elements to the game. These new elements--along with the core gameplay that already exists make this one of the best baseball titles of the year.

I really enjoyed the gameplay in SlugFest last year. While my local baseball hero A-Rod doesn't make the cover this year, the game plays just as fast and fun as last years version on all three consoles. For those of you not familiar with MLB SlugFest 2004, Midway has taken ì?­erica's Favorite Pastimeî ¡nd added arcade-like elements of seen in games like NFL Blitz. However, unlike Blitz, you will find the correct number of players on your teams but with additions like a turbo meter, hard slides and tags that attack other players, and enough offense to keep even the most anti-baseball fan happy.

With most baseball titles attempting to deliver more and more confusing controls and gameplay that takes a while to master, Midway does the exact opposite. Here you will find a game that is very easy to pick up and start playing. Does that mean it takes no skill? Of course not. As you play, you will get accustomed to the timing of swinging and hard tags/slides. Sure this causes SlugFest to lose a little bit of depth. However, I am more than willing to give up that aspect of the game in order to be able to enjoy a good game of baseball.

The commentators make a return this year and they are just as entertaining as last year. However, despite the new lines for the commentators, the sound and music of the game remains very similar to last year's title.

As mentioned above, the game plays very fast and fluid and does not slow down. The steady frame rate also does not hinder the visuals. While the graphics aren't much better than last year's version, they still get the job done. Players are well represented and resemble their real-life counterparts. However, when the developers add 쳬ightly larger headsor each of the players, exact player replicas aren't really a necessity. The stadiums are nicely done--but again are very reminiscent of last year's version.

In case you haven't noticed, I have made a lot of references to last years MLB SlugFest. It is a common practice for publishers to release a new sports title every year. However, the drawback with MLB SlugFest 2004 is that the sequel follows the original by much less than a year. Because of the lack of new features, I would suggest current SlugFest fans to give this one a rental before purchasing. However, those of you who are looking for a baseball title and haven't played SlugFest since the original was released, this is one of the best baseball titles of the year.

Hopefully Midway will work on adding in several new features for next year's version to help distinguish itself from the other games in the franchise.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 04/14/03
ESRB Details: Comic Mischief, Violence
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Screenshots for MLB SlugFest 2004

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