As you might have seen in my review of MLB At Bat, I grew up loving baseball and still want to be a fan. It’s harder than it was as a kid since life gets in the way of things, but thanks to fantasy sports and video games I can at least try.
I’ve gone through a lot of the baseball games on the App Store and I’ve been waiting for someone to finally get me the real teams. I guess it seems obvious that it was Major League Baseball themselves that stepped up to the plate and got the game we’ve been waiting for into our hands…- well, close to the game we’ve been waiting for anyway.
MLB World Series 2009 is a good, fast moving baseball game that looks good and plays well. It’s got a few flaws (that we’ll get to) but in the most important ways it’s a very nice game.
First thing that I notice in any sports game is the controls. MLB World Series does a great job with the hitting and running, and a decent job with the pitching and fielding.
Hitting involves not just pushing the button at the right time, but also tilting your device to make sure that you make contact with the ball correctly. This tilting is a great addition to baseball games. The better you get the bat on the ball, the better your hit will be. I’ve seen some reviews where people say that all they hit are singles and it’s because they aren’t getting the wood on the ball. I love watching a curve or slider come in and try to see where it’s going to cross the plate.
This gets rid of the whole, one button for regular hits and another for power hits. I hate that. The game doesn’t have a “bunt” option but that’s okay. I mean a bunt in video baseball is like a “punt” in video football. Come on, if it’s 4th and 27 on Madden you’re still going to call a long pass…- admit it.
Running is done with a simple pressing of the base you want. This includes going back to a base if you think you can’t make it. They’ve also added a slide button for close plays.
Pitching is pretty basic. Like most games you have four pitches and they’ve tried to add a finger swipe to make it more thrilling, but it really doesn’t do much. You can also tilt the device for pitch location. The best part is that the view of the pitch is from behind the pitcher…- the way God intended it to be.
Fielding can be done automatically or manually. Automatic is pretty obvious and manual really only means that you tap the base you want to throw to, so there’s not much difference, but it works.
The look of the game is really good. I thought the game actually has a nice “TV” feel to it while watching. The frame rate gets a little choppy at times, but not enough to really mess things up for me. I find this to be the best-looking baseball game on the App Store.
You’ve also got different modes to play. There’s the season mode and quick play to make things interesting, but the best is the playoff mode. You can pick which teams are in the playoffs and play your way through to the World Series. The game also allows you to do “simulate” games you don’t feel like playing. This includes half innings.
So the game is really good and I am having a grand time playing it. But there are a few things that are missing.
The biggest is the names of the players. Sure the Major League Baseball Players Association is probably the strongest union in the world, but MLB should have gotten around that. I mean it sucks to see “First Basemen” when a player comes up to bat. They could have at least given the option to let you put in the name you want. This way you could put in the actual names of the players on your favorite team, or put in whatever name you want. This way I could finally play for the Orioles.
Sound is also a little week. I like that they kept it to the sounds of the park…- it’s like sitting in the stands. But where they missed it is with the crowd’s reactions. I was the home team and the other team scored a run and the crowd cheered. What’s up with that? A simple thing that MLB could fix easily.
And speaking of the home field…- there are some great stadiums in the game, but not all of them. This means that if you are a fan of a team without a stadium you have to play your home game sin someone else’s stadium. I love Fenway Park, but I don’t want my O’s playing a home game there! Just create a “basic” stadium that you can choose and I’m happy
These are some simple fixes and I’m hopeful that MLB will find a way to make them…- the biggest being the player’s names. The price might also scare some away but if you are a true fan it’s not too bad. I like this game as much as the main handheld versions, and this one is a lot cheaper.
MLB World Series 2009 is not a homerun, but it is a line drive into the gap and with some good base running (updates) this could be a triple, or even an inside the park homerun.
Look Of The Game Is Like Being There
Real MLB Teams &- (Some) Stadiums
Love Playoff Mode
No Players Names (Damn MLBPA)
Crowd Sounds Aren’t Acurate
Price Is A Little High