'MLB 2K12' Review

'MLB 2K12' Review

One of the most overused phrases in sports is “defense wins championships.” Well, if that’s truly the case, you’ll have a hard time winning championships in MLB 2K12 because the team at 2K Sports just cannot get defense to work properly on this game. This is a problem that has plagued the MLB 2K franchise for several seasons.

MLB 2K12 introduces a new throwing meter for this year’s game. When your player fields the ball, you’ll hold down the button or analog stick, and try to release when the cursor is in the green. This will give you the best throw. Hold too long, and release in the red, you’ll have an overthrow.  I started off trying the analog stick throwing, and after a few plays where the meter just didn’t read (which resulted in an underthrow) and a play where I wanted to throw the ball to first base, but instead went to third base, I quickly switched to using the button for the throwing meter. I personally never liked the throwing meter, it just opens the door for too many errors and plays like the one I described above. MLB: The Show introduced a throwing meter for fielding last season, and after a handful of games, I quickly switched back to classic throwing/fielding. Unfortunately, MLB 2K12 does not give you the option of classic throwing/fielding -- which, for me, is frustrating.

What is even more frustrating are the player movements in the field. Routine fly balls are an adventure because outfielders will lunge for balls when there’s no need to. This was a problem on MLB 2K7. There are also times when players just don’t react to the situation on defense.  When there’s a base hit to the outfield, and a runner is getting ready to round third base to score, your outfielder won’t charge the ball. This doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens enough. At the plate, I hit a ground ball to short, and my batter was running wide of first base as if he was going to round the bag and go for second. Why would the batter run wide of first on a close play like that? That running angle should only be taken if I was going to second base – but I wasn’t. Defense and player movements are my biggest issues with this title.

MLB 2K12 has added MLB Today Season Mode. This allows you to play along with the real MLB season every day, with up-to-date roster changes. Not much changed with MLB 2K12’s My Player mode. You still create your player and try to achieve all the goals so you can get called up to the big club. When I play My Player I’m always a starting pitcher, so I don’t have to worry about playing the field as much.

The two online games I played were fine – no lag or disconnects. I still don’t understand why (and same issue exists with NBA 2K) 2K sports has decided to do away with online lobbies. All you can do is play a Quick Match vs. a random opponent. You don’t know their record, DNF% (did not finish percentage), or if they are using a mic or not. This is just a terrible decision by 2K Sports, period.

The presentation in MLB 2K is very well done. They’ve adopted the same main menu as NBA 2K, which I like very much. But the overall graphics on MLB 2K12 just don’t stack up to the competition. I told a friend of mine that if a person walked by when someone was playing MLB: The Show, you might do a double take to see if that was a real game. With MLB 2K12, that’s not the case. Not to say the players or stadiums look bad, but you know it’s a video game at first glance.

The MLB 2K franchise has made progress since the MLB 2K9 disaster, but not enough to be called up to the big leagues.

SCORE: 5.5 out of 10

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