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MLB 2K6 Preview for Xbox
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MLB 2K6 

Preview for Xbox

- William Usher, " Cyguration ", Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, February 12, 2006 

Review Preview


2K Sports
Kush Games
U.S. March, 2006

MLB 2K6 Screenshot Gallery

MLB 2K6 Screenshot Gallery

MLB 2K6 Screenshot Gallery

MLB 2K6 is going for some big hits with some big features. 2K Sports is bringing gamers some new modes, upgraded batting features, a new pitching system, and more realistic gameplay. I’ll give you a detailed rundown of the new modes, options, features, and improvements.

Inside Edge

The most important—if not the most anticipated—mode of MLB 2K6 is the Inside Edge. The Inside Edge has been used to scout and track the stats of baseball players in real life since 1984. Now, this remarkable technology will be an intricate feature in 2K Sport’s MLB 2K6. Its purpose is to give players an inside edge on their opponents. The technology grants gamers with a view of the baseball players’ tendencies, hitting preferences, pitching habits and more. For instance, if a particular pitcher on a particular team has specific stats, the Inside Edge will give a layout of the pitcher’s ability, as well as his throwing preferences. Players will finally have an inside look into their opponents’ playing style and strategies, simply based on each individual player’s stats. This feature will definitely be the turning point of baseball video games.

Jeter up to bat

As if it’s any big surprise, 2K Sports and Kush Games acquired the services of Derek Jeter to perform his very own throwing, batting and sliding motions. After slipping into the skin-tight spandex with the golf-ball sized motion capturing devices, Jeter proceeded to go through his famed motions for the developers. Even though Mr. Jeter hadn’t thrown a ball for three months, prior to the mo-cap session, he managed to pull off some amazing throws for the guys at Kush Games. So you can expect top notch movements, swings, throws, and slides for the players in MLB 2K6. Fused with the Inside Edge feature, this will be one of the most realistically presented baseball games to date.

Bigger pitches with Payoff Pitching

The Xbox 360 version of MLB 2K6 looks fair, to say the least. However, the graphics and player models haven’t undergone any major improvements for the current gen systems. Instead, a lot of gameplay mechanics have been upgraded. Intertwining with the Inside Edge, the pitching and batting have been improved to coincide more effectively with the new technology. As mentioned before, pitchers’ throws and tendencies will be displayed using the Inside Edge. So, when going up to bat, players will see the likelihood for the pitcher throwing a specific kind of ball.

When playing as the pitcher, a new method has been implemented for pitching. Payoff Pitching takes into account the different factors for throwing different pitches, how difficult each pitch is and the reflection of the pitchers disposition. Players will now have to use more skill for throwing effective—but more difficult—pitches. For instance, putting more bend on a curveball is determined by how much effective force you put into the pitch, along with manually aiming at the intended target. Throwing each pitch differently will be entirely up to the player’s pitching style, and the pitcher’s abilities.

For those whom find it difficult getting accustomed to the new pitching interface and setup, the old-school pitching mechanics have been left in place. However, utilizing the Inside Edge technology along with the new pitching mechanics, players who pitch effectively will be rewarded with boosts to their overall pitching rating.

There’s also great consideration taken into effect for multiplayer action when using the new pitching setup and interface. The action online won’t be affected by the new setup and mechanics (because other online players won’t see your target reticule). Yet those playing against each other on the same console will have a new interface. The interface is set up where the pitcher is given the necessary instruments to carry out the pitch they want. This is done without their opponent knowing which pitch they’re going to use, or how they’re going to throw it.

Experts in the outfield

When in the outfield, players can throw the ball around with a pressure sensitive feature for the face buttons. A slight tap of any one button will make the outfielder toss the ball with an accurate—but slower—throw. Holding down any of the buttons, however, will cause a powerful—though a less accurate—throw from the outfielder.

Fielders will also play a much bigger role in the overall performance of the game, and its outcome—mainly because players can control the fielders’ positions just before the pitcher releases the ball. In MLB 2K6, using the right analog-stick will enable you to control and position your players in the field. So, if you’re planning to throw a fast ball that will probably head out to right-field, you can move your right fielder there before you launch the pitch.

There’s even a first-person mode for the catcher. When someone tries to steal a base, the mode allows players with the ability to catch their opponents by throwing the ball from the catcher’s view. This mode is completely optional and probably best suited for expert players. This is because there is only half of a second to aim and throw the ball to the respective baseman. Success is based on throwing the ball accurately for the tag; too high and the baseman will have to go out of their way to get the ball. If it’s too low, the ball’s in the dirt.

And of course, the competency of the plays and the ease of use will be determined by the teams’ stats. In coalition with the Inside Edge, each stat for the teams’ players will affect certain play features. For instance: the reticule size, throwing, aiming, pitching and batting will all be different for each player, based on their stats. So catchers with higher stats will be easier to use in first-person as opposed to a player with lower stats.

Batting skills for the elite

The Swing Stick is a batting feature new to MLB 2K6. Like many other newer sports games, the Swing Stick allows players to use the right analog-stick to manually choose how they bat. Instead of picking a batting option—or selecting from the kind of swing you would like to take—players will use the analog stick’s movements to determine the swing. For instance, you can load the swing by pulling back on the stick and holding it for a bunt, or you can move the analog stick left or right after pulling it back to hit towards left or right field. The feature even allows players to switch hit with their batters manually, which will of course affect the batter’s performance.

Getting into the game

For MLB 2K6, Kush has included a new morale and crowd interaction system. Teams and players will now have an impact on a home or away crowd. So if you happen to be playing as the Yankees, don’t expect any warm welcomes from the Red Sox fans. Crowds in the stadiums will be affected by the overall performance of the plays, the players and the outcome of the game. The morale of players will also be affected by their team performance, as well as the opposition’s performance.

World Series

Multiplayer modes have been confirmed for both the PS2 and Xbox. As mentioned earlier, some playing features will vary in the interface, etc. for the two player and online modes. For instance, it doesn’t seem as if the first-person catcher feature will be available if playing an opponent on the same system. However, it will appear in the online mode, along with the new pitching interface. If you’re still interested, you can look for this game to hit store shelves for the PSP, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox and Xbox 360 in March, 2006.

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