MLB Slam! Review
|Developer: THQ||Publisher: THQ|
|Release Date: December 10, 2003||Also On: None|
MLB Slam! wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t received too well by the general gaming public and press. I now know why, but the central core of the game is still rather fun, or at least, can be. The gameÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s full of baseball statistics, but they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t come to use in the game. These players are literally no different from one another, except skin-tone. They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look different, play different, or hit different. Talk about attack of the clones.
Being the first baseball attempt on N-Gage, Slam is already at a disadvantage. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also at a disadvantage because there has yet to be a 3D sports title that has succeeded on a handheld. Moreover, THQ Wireless, the makers of the worst N-Gage title in Moto GP, are behind this. If a game could get past all of those hurdles standing up, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be more than willing to applaud it. Unfortunately, Slam didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
Slam features all 30 MLB teams, again with accurate rosters. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get the chance to play as your favorite team, but donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rush to judgment. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a Cubs fan and are expecting to play at Wrigley, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in for a surprise that I doubt youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll like. The publishers might argue otherwise, but from what I could tell with my own eyes, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only one stadium that you play in. If thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more than one, they lack variation so much that it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t visible.
As stated, all the players have identical abilities, despite real-life skill. The strike zones too are the same. Hitting a ball will involve moving an on-screen cursor, waiting for a pitch, and swinging at the correct time, while hoping lag wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t screw you up. Hit it into the outfield and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re almost guaranteed two bases.
As far as outfielders go, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll sometimes respond, and other times, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to run out there with infielders. Then, on occasion, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll switch players, not knowing who youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re switching it to, and your computer opponent will score an unprecedented in-the-park homerun, on what should have been a single.
Other than the hiccups, which cost you runs, the game generally does the work for you. It wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take much effort to get a grounder, or for that matter, to catch a fly ball, which probably shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be caught from the in-field. Another problem I had was throwing it home, where the ball would instead be sent to first or third.
The final part, and least obstructive of >the three, is pitching. A rudimentary assortment of pitches is allowed to be selected from. Whether that is a fastball, changeup, etc. You can determine where you want the ball to land in the strike zone, and a meter will determine the power. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t judge if the computer responds to variation or not, but theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll generally strike out, if the pitch is good enough. Quite often theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll swing long before a ball is thrown, if it is a slow pitch.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a baseball fan, and I just reviewed MLB SlugFest: Loaded. Comparable to nearly all baseball games on the market, MLB Slam! is an under-performer. It lacks serious depth, AI difficulty, responsive controls, stadium selection, etc. To put it simply, you should expect to be paid to play this game, not dish out your own money.
|Replay Value/Game Length:||4|
|Written by Kyle||Review Guide|