MVP Baseball Review

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Developer: EA Sports Publisher: EA Sports
Release Date: May 17, 2005 Available On: PSP

I have never been a fan of the great American pastime. I wanted to expand my horizons with MVP Baseball for the PSP. Baseball, to me, has always been boring to watch and only slightly fun to play. Baseball video games are probably my preferable choice when it comes to anything baseball, but EA Sports’ MVP Baseball on the PSP is not really the best way to go.

MVP plays like any other baseball game, with a simple-enough batter and pitcher interface. There is a strike zone box with colored zones to tell you where the batter has the best contact with the ball. Utilizing these areas efficiently will result in more hits and more home runs. However, the controls can take a few games to get used to. With the PSP, which only has six real buttons, the analog stick is put into use in many ways that it should not be. For instance, it aims your swing of the bat but it also leads off your basemen. So many times where I would try to hit a grounder to the left side, my basemen would lead off and the pitcher would pick them off. Factor in my lack of experience and I am sure you can see where my frustration came in.

The PSP’s hardware is certainly pushed, but it’s to a limit that it should not be. My biggest complaint with this game is the framerate and the constant loading between gameplay and replays. I eventually turned off replays, simply because they would take several seconds to fully load and sometimes resulted in my PSP freezing. The graphics are pretty good, but there is too much detail in the character faces and models and not enough in the surroundings. The fans in the crowd look like they were taken from a Super Nintendo game, and don’t look at home on the PSP. The soundtrack also slows down the menus a bit, and it isn’t very good.

With MVP Baseball, it feels like EA Sports threw an underhand pitch. For the first time in years since I have played their sports titles, it just does not seem like they tried hard to include much content in their game. I understand that MVP Baseball is a PSP title, but I feel like they could have crammed more onto the disc. The only options include Quick Game, Season, Home Run Derby, and a Head-to-Head wireless multiplayer mode. The Head-to-Head mode tracks basic statistics and such, but is not anything special really. That is where I’m disappointed. Nothing in MVP Baseball really stands out at all.

MVP Baseball is a hit or miss, depending on your love for the game and your baseball video game experience. Play in the disappointing details (like chuggy gameplay and a lack of anything special) and MVP just doesn’t feel like anything exceptional at all, especially for the price.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 7
Written by Cliff Review Guide

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