This MVP would have benefitted from more time in the minorsEA didn’t release a new edition of its Triple Play Baseball series last year.
It instead revamped its baseball game. The result is MVP Baseball 2003, a game that brings some fresh aspects to the genre, but with mixed results.
The new MVP puts a lot of emphasis on pitching. Normally in baseball video games, the player selects a pitch and the pitch is executed when the player pushes a button.
Not with MVP. After pushing the pitch button, the player has to push the button again to stop the strength meter within a certain marked zone similar to the way a player controls the backswing in many video golf games.
The more accurate the player’s reaction to the moving meter, the more accurate the pitch. It may sound complicated, but once the player gets the feel of it, it’s a snap. It shouldn’t take anybody more than five minutes to master.
The batting is also a little different from most other games. Timing is everything. Instead of trying to hit a cursor that indicates where the ball comes in, players need to push the button to swing at the moment the ball crosses the plate. Your reaction time completely determines the difference between a ground out and a home run.
The Verdict: The good news is MVP Baseball 2003 is a new look at the ol’ ball game. It tries to bring a new dimension to a gaming genre that has seen little change of late.
The bad news is it might have been a little premature. The game details need a lot of work. Players run through other players on the base paths; fly balls are often caught in a chasing mode that seems odd at times. The interface is also too small to identify and get a handle on the action.
This is a game that will please serious fans of the genre who can forgive some flaws, but the flaws take a lot away from the game.
MVP Baseball 2003
Rating: * * *
by Brian Lee