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Review: MVP Baseball for the PSP

June 03, 2005 at 07:45 PM
MVP Baseball

MVP Baseball for the PSP is a good but not great game and the majority of reviews agree. The game's release date was pushed back several times, but a lot of flaws (some glaring) remain. A lot of untapped potential that will hopefully make next year's iteration of the game a great one.

The gameplay and graphics are pretty decent, though I'm still getting used to hitting with the PSP's analog stick. I had to bump the difficulty all the way down to Rookie because the CPU pitchers were blowing everything past me. I've gotten more used to it now though and it's certainly more entertaining not getting my ass kicked by the computer. Fielding is sometimes a chore as well, as it takes a while to trust the game's decision on which player to put you in charge of. Balls hit in the gaps or between two infielders always leave me guessing about who has the best chance to get there. Your best bet is to trust the computer because it seems to know in advance that the ball is going to take some crazy carom off the wall and will put you in charge of the right fielder most of the time.

Overall the gameplay is well done and successfully mirrors the fun and functionality of the console versions of the game. (Strangely, it retails for $20 more than the console versions of the game.) It doesn't play exactly the same way, but it's fun and functional and gets the job done. Gameplay is clearly where EA spent most of their development efforts, because MVP Baseball is lacking in a lot of other areas that could've gone a long way to making this a must-have game.

MVP Baseball screenshot

The most unforgivable transgression MVP makes is having horribly out of date rosters. The game was originally set to release with the launch of the system back in March, but was pushed back repeatedly and finally shipped on May 17th. With all that extra time you'd think they'd have a chance to touch things up and have the most accurate rosters possible right? Wrong.

Carlos Delgado signed as a free agent with the Florida Marlins on January 25th, in MVP he's a free agent to be picked up by whoever wants him. Sammy Sosa was traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the end of January, in the game he's still a Cubbie. It goes on and on. These would be big mistakes if the game had come out in March, but for a game released when it was they're unforgivable. If there were downloadable roster updates it wouldn't be a big deal, but that brings us to MVP's other problems...

No online play. Yeah there's head-to-head play in ad hoc mode, but other than that the game ignores the PSP's wireless capabilities. No game or roster updates, no online matches, no online leagues, no nothing. All of these things would go a long way in turning a game that is a enjoyable diversion into something I could see myself play for long while. It's a baseball game so I can live without a Dynasty mode, but there's essentially no strategy or management features at all. There's no salary cap, no negotiations with free agents, no team chemistry, no hot or cold streaks. The only thing that separates season mode from a single game, is that you play lots and lots of them in a row. Sure there's injuries and the rare CPU-induced trade, but that's it.

Rating: 3/5

Get it from Amazon.com!

MVP Baseball for the PSP is a solid game with pretty graphics, but no depth and little replay value. The lack of polish is surprising given the extra time they took to get it out. I'm enjoying it now but I doubt I'll be playing it two or three months down the road. Probably not a game I would recommend to most people, but it's worth a rent for baseball fans or an eBay purchase for those of you with PSP-owning friends. Everybody else should cross their fingers and wait for MVP 2006.

Posted in Entertainment & Reviews | 3 Comments | Add yours

Comments and TrackBacks

1 David hale said...

they shouldnt make baseball games for psp cause you cant control the pitching meter, and you always throw a ball or a very hit able strike

Posted on August 11, 2005 at 08:43 PM

2 Brian said...

I actually didn't have any problems pitching in MVP. A lot of people don't like the PSP's thumbstick but I thought it was a great implementation of the idea and pretty much the only way to get it on there. I guess I got used to it playing Tiger Woods.

Posted on August 12, 2005 at 08:53 AM

3 Bobby said...

I though the game was really cool when you got to be the batter. And i also like how i could pitch the ball like Michael Jordan. I love the game. But i hate this game.

Posted on February 20, 2007 at 09:25 AM