Review by Mikaa

"Is there a bad baseball pun to cover just how BAD this is?"

In my (nearly) 22 years of life, I have seen scores of bad games on dozens of systems. Some of them have gone on to become infamous examples of disasters. Such games include (but NOT limited to) Superman 64, ET 2600, and Grabbed by the Goulies (Xbox). In some cases, the developers ask for it, as they don't even try to make the game playable or fun. But in most, the developers are given a tight rope that is so tight, there is no way any human could pull off a good game. A GREAT example of this is ET 2600, where the developer had a mere six WEEKS to design a game.

But then, there are other games, released by companies that are normally known for quality, that are shining examples of the lack of care that goes into making a profit. Major League Baseball 2K7 (MLB DS for the word count) is such a game.

I don't know the full story of this game, why 2K announced MLB DS originally in a 2K6 coat for December, only to cancel it. I don't know why 2K had the DS version of their baseball game delayed until two whole weeks AFTER the release of all other versions. I don't know if the developers had only those two weeks to design, complete, and ship the game.

Whatever the reason is, there is almost no excuse for this bombshell of a dud. Ironically, whereas most modern baseball titles include annually updated franchise modes and create-a-team options, MLB DS doesn't even have a SEASON mode. No season mode, no franchise mode, no online mode (more due to Nintendo than 2K...), and no stat tracking.

There IS a playoff mode, a home-run durby, an All-Star game, and... was there more? Oh, a half-baked multiplayer mode that requires two carts to play. Seriously, is it that hard to add single-download?

Be warned - there is no soundtrack. If there was even any music, I never even noticed it. No licensed music, no original compositions, no real fanfare.

Graphically, this game is an unholy mesh of Nintendo 64-like 3D for the batting and pitching and a 2D fielding screen that looks like it was lost somewhere between NES and Atari Lynx graphics. I wish I was kidding on the last part, but when the stiff animations chug along at the same speed of Baseball on the NES, I began to wonder if I got a bad cart.

But then there was the batting and pitching. I've never been a huge fan of the pitching mechanics of most modern baseball games, and the system presented here will not help convert fans of older games to it. You highlight a pitch with L and/or R, select it with A, then wait a full four seconds before you even hurl the ball.

Batting is just as bad, as there is a two-or so second delay between hitting the button to swing and the actual swing. This might be due to the touch control options that the box promotes, but I never found any reaction to the touch screen.

Fielding is bad enough when bad animations make you think you are doing something wrong, but when the camera flies past your fielder before you can even see where he is, I have issues. The camera issues might not be so bad if your fielder even TRIED getting near the ball, or if there was an auto-field option. Sadly, the fielders never try to venture out of their default positions despite plays, and (worst of all), NO AUTO-FIELDING OPTIONS EXIST IN THIS GAME. This results in a single player getting completely hosed by the computer, which doesn't suffer from the bad controls that the human does.

Ironically, the only real good thing about this game is the stadiums, and even they are muddied by the ick graphics. The 2D top screen display doesn't display any distinguishing marks, and the lower screen's 3D only shows things at a distance.

It's a shame that this game was so bad. While EA is realizing that the DS is destroying the PSP in sales, 2K Sports could easily have acquired a foothold on the DS sports turf. Sadly, 2K's end product gives the impression that the company cares for its consumers about as much as I care about the things in my septic tank.

Really. Was it so hard to make a baseball game on the DS? Heck, EA has (slowly) begun to put effort into both Madden and FIFA on the DS, given their early DS releases. Will 2K figure out that the DS is a seriously bad place to loose consumers? Or will they treat the DS like the GBA, the system of kids? Only time will tell.

Score: 1 of 10

+ Best Features: Was there any?

- Worst Features: Where to begin? The box art is hideous, the controls are bad, the graphics are a train wreck, the AI is cheap, and no single download.

* If You Liked: How about Pit Fighter? Or War Gods? Seriously, I can't think of a game worse than this since I played King Kong on the DS.

* Guilty Pleasure: The inclusion of a new bullet, below.

* (Ugly) Reality: Despite how bad this is, people are still going to buy it, 2K will get money, and churn out another dud next year. Have a nice day.


Reviewer's Score: 1/10 | Originally Posted: 03/22/07


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