Major League Baseball 2K12 Review
A good pitching mechanic can't mask the many faults of MLB 2K12.
- Right analog pitching works well
- Solid commentary.
- Very few improvements over last year
- Numerous graphical glitches
- Poor fielding transition animations
- Questionable AI decisions.
Being the understudy to a beloved star is a tough job. Your efforts seem all the more disappointing because people compare you to another, more popular performer. This also applies to 2K's baseball games; whatever they do, year after year, they just can't escape an unfavorable comparison to Sony's superior series, MLB 12: The Show. MLB 2K12 tries to stand out with an easy to grasp analog pitching system. Although this mechanic is nice, unimpressive visuals, numerous graphical glitches, and other issues make this year's baseball game difficult to recommend.
Where other games have games have incorporated a three-click system for pitching, 2K Sports uses a pitching system that makes use of the right analog stick. Each pitch has a corresponding motion. Performing a change-up requires holding the right analog stick up for a moment and then quickly flick down; to perform a slider, flick the stick right then follow that up with a downwards semi-circle. Your success with a pitch is based on both the action performed and the timing.
When initiating a throw a white circle appears onscreen. Inside, another yellow circle begins to expand. When the inner circle meets with the outer circle, you stop the motion and perform the pitch. The size of the inner circle and the accuracy of the motion determine the success of the pitch. Performing the wrong motion can result in a wild throw or one that goes off your intended mark.
While the system is easy to grasp, it’s nothing new. What is new is the addition of a dynamic tendency system which gives constant feedback regarding pitch successes and failures. When a new batter is up to the plate, pop-ups inform you of the last pitch thrown to the last batter and, if applicable, to that specific batter. These can be very helpful as you progress through a game since knowing the correct pitches to throw will help with winning games.
To prevent the overuse of one particular kind of throw, AI batters will be able to pick up on trends and effectively swing at what they face. This forces you to change how you approach each batter. By keeping it varied and paying attention to the pitcher's pitch count, you should be able to shut the door on any late-inning rallies.
On the field, there are numerous issues, especially when the AI is in control. When playing the My Player mode, your teammates are regularly out of position, which allows easy single after easy single. Nor do players adapt to events unfolding during the course of a game. For instance, when balls are constantly heading towards a specific area, players don't move to a better spot in order to prevent the same thing from happening again.
You have absolutely no control over the actions of your teammates and are forced to rely on an AI coach. On top of that, your AI manager makes illogical decisions. Playing as a pitcher, you might unexpectedly be pulled while pitching a shutout after only three innings of work. On the other hand, you may be kept in too long when everything you throw is resulting in a base hit.
I played this over at my friends house and it was like a game of RBI baseball... the fielding is horrible, the throwing between fielders is just insane. The game was 10-4 in the 5th when we finally decided to stop playing. Had 2 inside the park homeruns and 5 errors. This game is error.
it would be a lot of work setting AI infielders to adjust to the pattern that individual players hit , such as "pull" hitter etc. but , at least they would not just be positioned in the same spot over and over !
To all: Yes, I was incorrect about stating the pitching mechanic was new. The review has been changed to reflect that the right analog stick to pitch is not something new but that the dynamic tendency aspect is. I am sorry for that inaccuracy.
@APizzo667 This was actually 2Ks last year in their exclusive 3rd party license, so hopefully next year EA will throw something out there.
I was hoping MVP Baseball would make a comeback this year. MVP Baseball 2004 had what I thought to be the best pitching system for a game. Here is hoping to 2013!
Based on what I have read, this review obviously hasn't played a 2K baseball game before. Saying that "This year, 2K Sports has implemented a pitching system that makes use of the right analog stick" proves that point to me. 2K has had the analog pitching in their games since MLB 2K8. Maybe this reviewer should check his facts before writing a review about a game that he obviously doesn't know much about.
- Game Universe:
- Major League Baseball 2K5 (XBOX, PS2, XBOX, PS2),
- Major League Baseball 2K6 (X360, XBOX, GC, PS2, PSP),
- Major League Baseball 2K7 (X360, PSP, XBOX, PS3, PS2, DS, GBA),
- Major League Baseball 2K8 (X360, PS3, PS2, PSP, WII),
- Major League Baseball 2K9 (WII, PS3, X360, PS2, PSP, PC),
- Major League Baseball 2K10 (WII, PS3, X360, PS2, PSP, DS, PC),
- Major League Baseball 2K11 (X360, PS3, PS2, PSP, WII, PC, DS),
- Major League Baseball 2K8 Fantasy All Stars (DS),
- Major League Baseball 2K12 (X360, WII, PC, PSP, PS3, DS, PS2),
- NBA 2K13/MLB 2K13 Combo Pack (PS3, X360)