MVP Baseball 2004 (Xbox) by Electronic Arts

MVP Baseball 2004 (Xbox) by Electronic Arts Box Art

Xbox 360 backwards Compatible

Release Date
March 9, 2004.

Average Overall Score:
9.10 / 10

When our parents were growing up, baseball was a sign of simple times when a night at the ballpark would bring the family together and act as the agent for many long lasting memories. Today baseball doesn?t have the same feel."

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Friday, December 17, 2004

User Reviews

Score: 91
Overall User Average: 9.00 / 10 (91.0%)
Gameplay User Average: 9.00 / 10
Graphics User Average: 9.00 / 10
Sound User Average: 8.40 / 10
Date reviewed: July 26, 2005.

Overall: EA's baseball titles up until their 2003 MVP game weren't the best choice for baseball fun in my opinion. But luckily when they switched the name from Triple Play to MVP, the game quickly turned into what I think are the best baseball games on the market. MVP 2004 is truly great becasue it's easy to pick up and play, yet the gameplay is also much deeper than it's competition. The pitcher throws the ball, EA swings, and they hit a home run with MVP Baseball 2004.
Gameplay: MVP's gameplay is very easy to pick up and play, yet i love how it's so much deeper than the competition. When pitching, there's a meter that goes from one side to the other, and you must press a button as close to a green square as possible to make your pitch go where you want it too.

Pitching is also more fun thanks to the ball marker now being invisible from your opponents eyes. Instead, you'll rely on controller vibrations to tell you when you're getting outside the strike zone. For batting, you simply tap A to swing (and up and A for a more powerful swing). There's no batting cursor, which i actually think is better than having one. But the best addition to the game is the fielding. When you need to throw a ball when in the outfield, you must hold down the button to throw so a power meter can fill up to where you want it. Bad fielders need the meter to be filled all the way to make a long through, but the better fielders just need the meter filled half way to make a long throw. This adds the much needed depth to the fielders that other baseball games need to try and add in.

For modes, there's the usual things like exibition, the season mode, etc. And it's all a blast to play thanks to the great gameplay.
Graphics: Visually, MVP Baseball 2004 looks pretty good. The fields look nice, and the camera views are good too. Animations also look good, as does the rest of the game. It's nothing that'll blow you away, but the graphics are sufficient. I think 2K4 looks a little better than MVP 2004, but I personally think that since MVP has a deeper gameplay, you won't mind at all.
Sound: The sound in the game is also very strong, from the cracks of the bat when hitting to the cheering of the crowd. The music in the game is also pretty good, and is mostly alternative. Like the rest of the game, the sound is solid.

Overall: 90 %
Gameplay: 100 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 80 %

Date reviewed: November 1, 2004.

Overall: Great game. The dynamics are very realistic and pitching and batting are rather intuitive. Graphics are incredible as well as the game play.
Gameplay: Pretty good. Batting is pretty easy as is pitching. Fielding is a bit tricky though. Especially trying to dive.
Graphics: Graphics are astounding. The players actually look real. And the mechanics of movement are great as well. Stadiums look so real.
Sound: Sound is good. The announcers are annoying though. Everything else lives up to the rest of the game however.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 90 %

Date reviewed: March 25, 2004.

Overall: This year's installment of EA Sports MVP Baseball tries to add on to last years re-building season. They do a pretty good job, but fall short of completely over taking Sega's ESPN game(we won't truly know until its released). But horrible commentating puts a very bad spin on an otherwise good game.
Gameplay: The slide bar pitching controls are back, not a lot of change in that department. However, this years batting system has recieved a few tweaks. You can now not only push or pull the ball, but you can also decide how you want to apply the bat to the ball, based upon the area in which it is pitch. This new system allows you to hit the ball where it's pitched, without the over or under responsiveness of a cursor system. While adding to the graphics, the fielding commands have dropped off the charts. Over the last few years, EA Sports has been adding new features into its games by taking advantage of the right thumbstick. This so far, with most of their games, has been hit or miss. Well let me be very clear, they missed big time with MVP. It was a good idea in principle to change the fielding controls, and allow the moves to be performed with the right thumbstick. EA didn't execute their plan very well. Sliding, diving, and jumping is now controlled by the right thumbstick. It is extremely tricky though, especially when you want to perform a certain fielding move to get to a ball that is just out of reach. If running to the warning track to catch a ball, you are unable to slide forward towards the wall to make a diving catch, most of the time the player will jump into the air and miss the ball by a mile. The controls are also dodgy when trying to jump onto a wall and catch a ball out of play. Sometimes instead of jumping onto the wall, the player will jump straight up in the air where they are standing. Other times, they'll jump into the air in a different direction and will miss the ball by many feet, if not yards.

One great feature that has been added in the 04 additon of MVP, is game management. This allows you to manage the game rather than play, for all the hardcore baseball junkies out there. You can pinch hit, warm up the pin, set alignments, sub pitchers, and even intervene and play the game on your own at any point before an at-bat. MVP has also adopted a GM system for Dynasty Mode that is similiar to ESPN Baseball 2k3, with a point system based upon the previous years performance. Another new feature is player attitude. Players can become disgruntled and upset because of other players, their performance, or team performance. The only problem is that there isnt much that you can do to rectify the situation, except maybe trade them, give them more money, hope they get out of their slump, or start winning games. I've noticed that promoting them to starter from AAA and AA doesn't do a lot for you either. Another thing that would be nice, is the ability to punish players that are disrutive in the clubhouse. This years Dynasty Mode also allows you to not only control the minor league teams, but play as them as well. So you can see first hand how good your prospective talent is. Some of your Dynasty goals are based upon AAA and AA performance.

So all in all, MVP gives you a solid gameplay performance, but not really anything spectacular. We will just have to wait until ESPN Baseball 2004 is released, before we know where this one ranks among the all-time best baseball console games.
Graphics: As usual, EA has improved the detail of its graphics from last years edition. Players look more like their real life counter-part, and less generic and dull.
Sound: The ambient sounds in the game are amazing. The way the crowd reacts to the game in play is something that is very refreshing from an EA title. Yet the announcing is not only dull, its repetitive and boring as hell. EA hired Harold Reynolds from ESPN's Baseball Tonight, to voice over its training videos. I have a question...Why the hell wasn't he commentating in the real game? I mean, wtf, you dropped the !&%$@#* ball there buddy. The sound would be spectacular if it werent for the annoying commentating, way to go EA.
Suggestions: Stop hiring these Joe Schmoe announcer idiots, and hire someone that is exciting and captivating. Also...stop going so !&%$@#* overboard with the right thumbstick controls, geezus.

Overall: 70 %
Gameplay: 70 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 60 %

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