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'MLB 2K10' for Xbox 360 Impresses

Gives 'The Show' a run for its money

By Mark Fagan, 12:15PM, Fri. May. 14, 2010

'MLB 2K10' for Xbox 360 Impresses

Having lived in the shadow of Sony's ultra-impressive The Show for years now, 2K Sports' Major League Baseball 2K10 finally steps into the light to compete for bragging rights as the standard-bearer of baseball simulators.

This is the first year I haven't cursed my decision to purchase an Xbox 360 instead of a PS3, with MLB 2K10 finally coming into its own. The Show is only available for PS3 owners while MLB 2K10 is available on all popular formats. Aside from Madden, The Show had always been my go-to game, so adjusting to having to play 2K Sports hard ball was difficult and depressing.

The most important factor in a baseball video game for me (other than playability) is that it is a realistic representation of the game. Arcade-style power-ups and so forth aren't really what I'm in to. I want to be Brad Mills and Lance Berkman all at once. 2K Sports has really stepped up to the plate with this year's model. The accurate situational play that I had come to love with The Show is now a part of the 2K game. For hardcore baseball fans like myself that's a must and leads to hour after hour spent in front of the big screen trying to lay down a successful bunt or close out a tight game.

Working the count is integral. You will have better luck hitting on a 2-0 count than 0-2. If you swing at trash that's all your opponent will serve up. Warm up your pitchers and watch your pitch count, or prepare for a pummeling.

The graphics, for the most part, are improved while the gameplay has seen more significant upgrades. The fielding is much more realistic, and there's no more dropping of routine fly balls that could kill a game in previous years. This is surprisingly the first year players are able to preload their throws. Better late than never.

The baserunning is better and much easier to control with multiple baserunners in action. Difficulty with controlling baserunners in years past was another frustrating part of the 2K experience. Stealing bases is going to take some more practice.

The pitching system is still a little wonky, with a definite learning curve involved (I threw a ridiculous amount of wild pitches my first few games), but once you get used to it it makes sense. While not perfect, it's 2K's best pitching system to date.

The hitting is similar to last year's with players choosing between a power swing, contact swing, and defensive cut. There is still some room for improvement with the hitting mechanics, but the current system will do for now.

Much props to 2K Sports on their best MLB game to date! It still has some work to do to eclipse The Show, but it's headed in the right direction.

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