So it looks like MLB 2K13 is a thing after all. The news is somewhat surprising, since after last year's game 2K Sports' license expired, and it didn't look like they were going to renew it. Yesterday that all changed when the company released the trailer for this year's iteration of MLB 2K10. The trailer is...well confusing.
See? The purpose of a trailer is to promote and hype up your product. When you show off something that is this incredibly lackluster and rehashed, it's very hard to get excited for, no matter how much Gaslight Anthem you use. I want to say that this isn't sour grapes, but maybe it is? I'm not sure. I've been playing this franchise for a while, and as an Xbox owner switching to MLB: The Show really isn't an option. So my tendency is to say I won't buy it if nothing is changed, play the demo and then buy it when it drops down to $34.99.
The part I'm struggling with this year is why does this game exist? Not only was it unexpected that 2K Sports renew their license, it doesn't appear that they really care about it. I don't see why they would renew their license and then not put any effort into making a better product. I know, I know, it's just a trailer so it might be a tad early to be making assumptions...but there hasn't really been any news about this game, and it comes out within the next couple of weeks. Plus, like I said, as an Xbox owner this is my sole baseball franchise. Playing the game (and especially the last three years of it) there's been an obvious drop in quality. Sure, Joey Votto might have a bit more scruff, Josh Hamilton's stats might be a little different and we still don't get an indicator of just how old Albert Pujols really is, but the overall improvements to the gameplay experience have been virtually non-existent.
Changes from year to year typically include: "new" features in My Player mode, "better" graphics, and "enhanced" fielding. I put those in quotations because if you've played the game from year to year like me, then you know that all of that is complete and total bullshit. New features in My Player mode? Oh, you can put on a new shin guard, or play longer in the minor leagues. Better graphics? Come on, at least with other sports franchises rehashing the same product from last year gets a slight pass if the graphics are enhanced. This series still looks like it did during the 360's launch, and with how well MLB: The Show looks why hasn't 2KSports been more motivated to at least polish the visual presentation of this turd? Enhanced fielding? So...more people are going to waste time doing that jumping gazelle throw than just rocketing the ball over to first?
If these improvements were ever actually made to the series then trust me, I would acknowledge it. I would sing the high praises of how the baseball gods have shined favorably upon us (then curse them for not getting the Reds to the World Series...again), I would dance in the streets, Hell I'd even go to a hardcore show with Gary. These improvements never get made though. They'll change the truck at Great American Ballpark, maybe switch a few ads around at Busch Stadium, and put different shadows on the Big Green Monster. The auto detection on which player is going to the catch ball - short stop or center fielder, right or center field, catcher or pitcher, is still going to infuriate and turn routine singles and ground ball outs into doubles and RBIs. Occasionally from year to year they'll throw in a new camera angle, but it usually results in me switching to 2K10's camera so I can actually see what my outfield is doing once a batter makes contact.
Honestly, I hope I have to eat crow on this one. I really do. With the current gen coming to the end of its life cycle though it looks like 2KSports just put out a title to have something on the shelves for the sake of this generation of consoles. It seems more like a "Well we have to put this game out" than "We want to put this game out" and the trailer just screams apathy.
(Yes, I realize that the headline says 2012. #Joke)