Having already penned a review for MLB 2K11, which can be read here, I have since evaluated both the PC and Nintendo DS versions of the game.
PC: Virtually the same as the next-gen version, with some differences. One is the look of the game – the PC version by far has the best graphics of any version, which is to be expected.
There are some slight differences, however, and the most confusing and disappointing one is the lack of analog pitching using a gamepad, which had been included in the PC version of 2K10. Going back to the old method – aiming, then basically doing a double-click golf-style button press – seem archaic in comparison with the analog button. However, the batting mechanic remains the same analog variety seen in the console version. Hopefully, a patch will restore analog pitching, but until then, the PC version gets a slight demerit for its exclusion. Another issue is the online play, which is just as broken as the console versions.
That said, Major League Baseball 2K11 is satisfying and more accurate than previous versions. There are more walks (pitching and hitting), more fielding errors, the computer doesn’t swing at every strike and make contact, and the My Player mode is a joy to play – unless you’re a catcher, which is still a drag defensively. If and when analog pitching is patched in, this will be the version to play.
Nintendo DS: Still disappointing and frustratingly bad. Rather than attempt to do a MLB Power Pros-style baseball game – which 2K Sports had done in the past – MLB 2K11 keeps trying to emulate a next-gen version rather than be a playable, smooth game. All that’s represented is the batter/pitcher interface and a confusing representation of symbols when the ball is actually in play. The DS is capable of so much more when you don’t try to force real-life player models into the equation (and even those aren’t convincing).
Even more confusing is the complete lack of use of the touch screen, especially when the console versions try to emulate it with analog pitching. Why not scrawl the pitch on the screen and tap rather than just select and aim? Worse, even with regular gamepad controls, the game is exceedingly sluggish, which is due to the aforementioned attempt to shoehorn graphics into the pitcher/batter interface.
A handheld version of MLB 2K11 would be heavenly for gamers, but they need to abandon the current model and start over, with more consideration towards the DS’s limits and more emphasis on smooth gameplay.
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.