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Major League Baseball 2K12
Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: 2K Sports
Developer: Visual Concepts
2K Sports' professional baseball series returns with the expected tweaks and changes that an annual sports franchise requires. The core play modes, batter-pitcher interface, and fielding system is similar to 2011's game, but with various refinements. On the field, players will master a new throwing system that requires a degree of timing to execute perfect strikes. Instead of pre-loading throws to a base, for example, players must allow their fielders to plant their feet to maximize a throw's accuracy and effectiveness.
On the mound and at the plate, the game's dynamic AI will have each pitcher and batter's ratings increase or decrease during the course of play based on the results of his last pitch or at-bat. Each batter-pitcher confrontation also uses Inside Edge scouting reports along with STATS data to incorporate actual pitcher and hitter tendencies. Hit variety has been addressed in 2012's game as well, with more physics-based results instead of simulated outcomes. Other changes to the presentation include more realistic looking mitts, new catcher animations, and more than 80 hours of added commentary from Gary Thorne, Steve Phillips, and John Kruk. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Package Contents: 8-page Instruction Manual
Major League Baseball 2K12 nudges the series forward when it could use a push or shove. The updated features are not significant, making the game more for those who have skipped earlier versions than for owners of 2011's game. The batter-pitcher interface is largely the same, the graphics are mostly unchanged, and the play modes and gameplay aren't that much different than its predecessor.
So what can players expect? The rosters, uniforms, and stadiums have been updated, as with every yearly release of a sports game, and there have been some refinements to the batter's swing animation to make it look more realistic. Yet, overall, the on-field animation is still below average, with fielders consistently making strange moves and base runners acting like they have a broom up their posteriors.
The batting mechanics still rely on the analog-ased swing system, which has you rocking the right analog stick to connect with pitches. The pitching system by default has you choosing a fastball, slider, or other pitch and then following a gesture-based motion with the analog stick to execute it. The controls on the mound and at the plate work well, and there is some noticeable improvement in the hit variety once the ball leaves the bat.
After the ball is in play, things take a turn for the worse. Fielding still feels disjointed, and the hiccups in frame rate from earlier versions are still interrupting the game's overall flow and pace. Fortunately, there are some bright spots. The commentary and stat overlays are the game's best features, drawing you into the action with detailed stories, lively banter, and timely analyses of each team and batter.
There's only one new play mode in Major League Baseball 2K12, and it's an extension of the MLB Today feature from 2K11. Instead of playing individual games each day, you can follow the real-life schedule of your favorite team throughout the season. Once again, you need to have an online connection to take advantage of this mode, which updates your team's lineup, roster, and even the commentary to reflect actual happenings around the league as the "real" season progresses.
If you enjoyed 2K11 and only care about having updated rosters and commentary to go along with the season's length MLB Today mode, then 2K12 will be perfectly adequate for your needs. If you're expecting widespread changes and fixes, however, then 2K12 won't make the cut. Major League Baseball 2K12 is hardly a disaster, but it is a disappointment for those hoping that the developers would significantly address the visuals, frame rate, and careless mistakes associated with earlier titles in the series. ~ All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.