Hands On Preview: MLB 2K11

As some of you may know, the Major League Baseball 2K11 demo dropped on Xbox Live Marketplace, allowing gamers to play a short four inning game between the Giants and the Rangers. While a demo is a hard way to base a full game’s entire gameplay on, some of the problems with 2K10 seem to have been fixed.

For one, the computer batter is no longer impatient, swinging at the first hittable pitch he sees. He’ll take a strike or two, even down the pipe, to get the pitcher’s count up. Batters can also be fooled in the strike zone, too, and will take strike three – something that was difficult to do in previous editions.

The analog pitching is still the same, which is a good thing. However, from the gameplay, it feels like getting the hitter out is a little harder now, unlike the previous editions when one pitch would always be chased (yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Slider.) Fielding seems a little stiffer, but it turns out that fielding ratings have a real effect now; if you’re not a good OF, you’ll be slower and you have to get closer to the ball to catch it. The computer, incidentally, actually committed an error in the infield, something you seldom saw in 2K10. The pitcher’s glove isn’t a vacuum, either. Hitting feels the same, though – tapping the analog for contact, pulling it back for power. It’s hard to say if it’s improved, but it isn’t a detriment, at least.

While this writer still has some reservations towards MLB 2K11, the demo has me feeling better about the full product, which comes out next week. With the promised fixes and tweaks to the My Player career mode, MLB 2K11 could finally be the 2K Sports baseball game that finally fulfills its promises.

Jonah Falcon is a blogger for TMRzoo and GameStooge.com and covers all gaming consoles and platforms including Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP and computer games designed for Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Jonah provides his readers with reviews, previews and up to date gaming industry news and rumors.

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