MLB 2005 Review

Developer: 989 Sports Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: March 16, 2004 Also On: PS

I have always been a critic of baseball games. The few that I’ve enjoyed, include RBI Baseball (NES), All-Star Baseball (N64), and All-Star Baseball 2001 (N64). MLB 2005 can be added to the short list of enjoyable baseball games by my high standards. I admittedly have not played EA’s MVP series, along with its predecessor, Triple Play, aside from one which I highly disliked on the N64. The last competition left, aside from the arcade baseball titles, is Sega’s World Series Baseball, which left a bad taste in my mouth on the Dreamcast.

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Game modes in MLB 2005 include quick start, online, exhibition, franchise, career, season, playoffs, and home run derby. Quick start selects your teams, though you can change them, and allows you to choose between two players or a game against the CPU. Teams are given a batting, pitching, defense, and overall rating.

Season allows you to realign teams into different divisions and leagues. The schedule allows you to simulate dates, so if you don’t want to play, say the Devil Rays, you can have the computer play out the game instead. Standings, statistics, and news are all provided under “Around the League�. You can manage your roster in the roster manager. A second player can play as the opposing team in season, replacing the CPU.

Career mode allows you to create a player. Customize the player’s height, weight, name, batting stance, hair, etc. You can give players batting and pitching skills, however, you are only given so many points for skills. Your player starts off in spring training and must complete goals (i.e. two homeruns in a game, no strikeouts, etc.). Your overall goal is to get signed by a team and go up the ladder.

MLB 2005 has no batting interface, as I will call it. I don’t know how to describe it, so you know what I mean, if you’ve played games like All-Star Baseball. In ASB, there is an on-screen oval or square that determines if you hit the ball or not. In MLB 2005, it is determined simply by if you time it correctly and of course, where and if the ball is thrown in the strike zone.

For pitching, you select your pitch command with the circle, square, triangle, or X buttons. A ball appears on-screen, which gives you the pitche’s location. The ball fades by default, but can be turned on or off completely in the options menu. One of the best pitching features, especially if you don’t like to show the ball’s direction, is the rumble feature. The rumble feature is used to identify where the ball is located on-screen, without showing the actual icon.

While Sony didn’t hit a homerun, they at least accomplished a triple. This title gives each player the opportunity to experience baseball gaming in a new and exciting fashion. MLB 2005 is definitely going to the World Series of PS2 baseball gaming. The only question is, can it defeat its competitor?

Graphics: 6
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 7.8
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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