av_gamer's Major League Baseball 2K12 (PC) review

Another minor update

Last years champions, the St. Louis Cardinals

Another baseball season is upon us, and as usual, new baseball video games are ready to play, just before the opening pitch. MLB 2K series is back again, trying to perfect the system 2K Sports created nearly a decade ago. Sadly, it's this reason that this years game will be more of the same to most people, despite the good improvements in this update.

Let's start with the biggest improvement in this years addition. Anyone who follows baseball, will remember the great pitching season Justin Verlander (the cover athlete) had last year. 2K sports tries to honor this by focusing on the pitching for this version of the game. The game adds a pitch tendency system. What this does is allow the AI batters to learn your pattern of pitches as the innings go by. If you continue to use the same type and location of pitches, the batters will capitalize on it. This combined with the ruthless pitching empire of last years game, make pitching very difficult. You have to constantly change pitches and location to keep batters guessing. This makes the pitching in this game the most realistic yet. The tendency system also works for batters. If you keep track of the pitches the AI opponent throws, you'll make solid contact with the ball; of course this is very difficult with aces like Verlander, Holiday, and Sabathia.

The player modes are no different from the previous years. You still have a deep franchise mode that lets you do pretty much everything possible during the season of baseball. The My Player Mode is also more of the same. You choose the position you want to play, and build you character up, completing enough goals to make it to Coopers town. There is a new MLB Today interface with the game, but its more for show than anything.

David Price, one of the aces you can control

The graphics in MLB 2K12 is mostly the same, and that's this games biggest downfall. While they do try to fool you by adding more details to the players, like stronger noses, eyes, etc, the overall graphics is still the same from previous years. If you're looking for 2012 to be the year 2K Sports updates the graphics and presentation, you'll be disappointed.

The sound, however, has been improved. Starting with the three commentator team. They added a lot of new lines of dialog. The new commentary is mostly centered around the pitching. Now, they'll update you on the types of pitches being thrown the most; which pitches get strikes and which ones get hit, and finally what the pitcher should do to either keep being successful, or to keep from being pulled early. The music has also been improved. Instead of just the predictable rock tracks like in previous years, 2K Sports added Hip Hop, Pop, and even Dubstep... yes Dubstep.

Ultimately, MLB 2K12 doesn't do much to improve the series. The graphics aren't much different and the learning curve has been made even harder with the unforgiving pitching for beginners. If you're use to the series by now, maybe the update is worth it, but if you want easy to access baseball, you might want to look elsewhere.

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