MLB 2K13 cover star David Price
There is the popular idioms, “Same old, same old” and “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Most likely a significant amount of the readers have said or thought this about MLB 2K13. On the other hand, there is MLB: The Show 13, which has promised to have a different feel between Regular Season games, Playoff games, and of course the World Series, along with toning down the infamous difficulty on offense, along with the addition of game modes such as Online Road to the Show amongst others. While MLB 2K13 won’t be having any revolutionary features, they have the most impressive feature in MLB simulation; Total Control Pitching. Now for those who aren’t up to speed on this years installments of Major League Baseball simulations, then please sit down, grab a blanket, some warm cocoa, and prepare for a crash course. While the MLB was strategically waiting out Dec 21 2012 before signing a new deal with Visual Concepts, the developers best known for developing Take-Two Interactive‘s 2K series of sports games, Sony Computer Entertainment San Diego Studio (SCE San Diego Studio) was making some intriguing enhancements to their MLB: The Show series. The announcement of MLB 2K13 stunned the world, as few expected a deal to actually be reached between MLB and Visual Concepts.
The two companies continue to release more information on the new features of their respective titles as the calender draws nearer to a Chicago Cubs World Series. The Show showcases a presentation that closely resembles a MLB broadcast presented on FOX, where MLB 2K takes more of an ESPN feel. The big difference, and what makes Major League Baseball 2K13 the better game is the pitching. The Show presents a challenge to its audience by subjecting them to extraordinarily difficult batting. Imagine being put in the batter’s box against Randy Johnson. Most likely, there won’t be much contact made in the first place, nor is there likely to be any impactful result if contact should be made. Rather than make it insanely difficult for the players, MLB 2K13 revolves around the pitching system. Total Control Pitching, as Visual Concepts named it, puts a spin on pitching that has not been duplicated or even replicated. From a dynamic Fastball pitcher like Jeff Samardzija to a pitcher with some mean breaking action in their pitches like Stephen Strausburg, the player feels as if they are on the mound shooting for the Perfect Game. Batting isn’t as unforgivingly difficult as in The Show, but the battle between the pitcher and the batter creates a challenge. When Shawn Kemp comes up to the plate in the 6th inning of a close game, and that pitcher is starting to get worn down, it is up to the player to battle their way out of the inning with a strategic range of pitches and velocities. This is allowed by 2K’s pitch system that identifies how predictable a pitch has become over the course of a game by marking them green, yellow, or red. The Show features three different pitching styles to choose from, but none of those options come close to the pitching of MLB 2K. There is one innovative style, but for the most part the pitching is out dated… Like, “get this thin line exactly over that thin line, and by the way it will be moving light speed if the player really wants to give his/her pitch good velocity” out-of-date. But that is OK, because The Show is truly built around batting, and the rest falls into place.
This year, however, Sony has promised to make hitting less difficult. They admit that the error margin was far too small, but they promise also to stick to the trademark difficulty and feel of The Show that has gotten them to this point. In terms of MLB games, it is good to remember that baseball starts and ends with pitching. Good hitting is clearly needed if teams want to score points, but even the best hitter can fall victim to a knee-buckling Curveball. Thus, due to a much more robust pitching system the MLB 2K series edges out Sony’s offering. Regardless, fans should check out both titles this, as they look amazing. MLB 2K is without a doubt the better game in terms of Major League Baseball simulations. However, The Show is very entertaining, and the depth of the Franchise mode make it hard to write off in the long run. Each series has its strengths, but overall, Total Control Pitching for the win!
tags: 2k games , baseball , mlb , mlb 2k13 , MLB: The Show 13 , opinion , SCE San Diego Studio , sports games , Visual Concepts