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MVP Baseball

Developer: EA Canada | Publisher: Electronic Arts
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 05/18/05 | Genre: Sports

Do not buy this game if you respect yourself and the game of baseball. Assuming you have played MVP Baseball 2004 for consoles and PC, the PSP version of MVP is an exact port of MVP 2004 with the first patch that came out for the PC and PS2 console. It has outdated rosters (The same rosters 2005 for consoles and PC SHIPPED with) and cannot be updated via infrastructure mode.

Hitter's Eye, new baseball physics, throwing to players who are running, improved player leadoffs, an improved pitching meter, and drag bunts among other improvements did not make it into this game. The load times are horrible. Not just for starting a new game, but for loading player images, player info, and general menu navigation. The game as a whole just feels very unstable, and is much too slow to start up and play quickly on the go.

Season Mode is in this version of MVP baseball with a neutered version that won't really appeal to hardcore fans or casual fans. You can trade and sign players, and play games on your schedule. Whoopee. The Homerun Showdown also made it into the final version, and while it's a decent time killer for a few rounds it's not the main course. The real meat and potatoes are the pitching, and fielding as well as the hitting. The pitching system is good, but not as refined and realistic as the MLB pitching system. The hitting is purely a guessing game unless you turn the pitch speed down. Every aspect of the controls suffers from a pretty noticeable lag in the sluggish controls. Imagine playing online ALL the time. In spite of all this, it CAN be fun at times, no not even close to what it could have been.

The graphics have very nice player faces. That's about it. Graphical glitches are very abundant, and players are blocky due to their low polygon count away from the face. Animations are still very slick. That is, when the framerate doesn't stutter. The stadiums have graphical glitches as well, and a muted color palette. The menu systems are very neat, but also have a very slow response. EA Trax made its hated appearance as well! At least we get the pleasure of hearing songs we don't like, and the ability to watch two music videos we don't care about.

The presentation is a very average job for the most part. No intro music, but there are instant replays. Some flashes here and there, and not much more. The commentary in almost full form from the 2004 version. It's pretty nice having a two-man team, and fairly detailed sayings on a handheld game. Then again, it's the same stuff you've heard since 2004, so it's old news right out of the box. You can only hear "Sit down MEAT!" so many times.

Please do not cave into EA and buy this game. MLB for PSP is much more fulfilling, and actually shows effort on their part. If I have to grade this game I would have to give this a C-, but an F for effort. It's fairly obvious they just wanted to get their best-selling baseball game on the market for PSP for some more Benjamins.

This article appeared in the July 2005 Issue of CVGames. You can view this Issue by clicking here.

By Ben Cardin - 07/16/05

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