06:21 AM - January 8, 2011 by dmbfan1970
Feel free to ask me any questions about the game. I wonít be able to help those who want to know about batting gloves, colors, scoreboards, stadiums, walk-ups, stances, nuances, etc, etc because Iím just not that in tune with it. Sure, I love detail but I donít know how its changed so please donít ask.
I know I planned on video but it just didnít happen. I was so in to how analog controls work and what was new in the game that before I knew it my day had gone.
However I will be able to share with you what I saw and learned (or didnít learn!) today and my hands on experience with it. Letís first start off with the analog controls. This was one thing I deeply wanted to see and test out for myself. Keep in mind that you can do whatever combination of controls you want (online or offline). Want to do analog pitching but old interface for fielding and batting? You can. Online users will be able to have their own profile of their preferred control scheme as well before entering a game.
Analog Pitching: Letís just say that I would be real surprised if anyone goes back to the old meter style way. Simply put this is the best addition for the use of analog. A lot of hard work and thought definitely has been put into this and it delivers. I will try to put in words how it works.
First you pick your pitch (button assigned pitches of course). Then image an ice cream cone. This is what is represented on the screen. Near the left and right edges represent the strike zone. Moving the stick where you want it to go in the strike zone (a corresponding circle will show up inside the cone based on where you placed the cursor. It will only show up on the left, right or middle at the top of the cone). Once you have the location, pulling back on the R-stick will start the new meter. Once the meter starts filling up you will want to push back up on the R-stick when it gets to the yellow line marker (similar to yellow line on meter in past). Its just not a matter of pushing straight back up however. You will need to move the R-stick slightly towards the location of the corresponding circle (when you chose location). The closer you are to the circle the better chance youíll hit your spot. The FASTER you move the R-stick up the faster the speed of the pitch.
I think this works really, really well and Iím very excited about it. I think it makes pitching a little harder to hit your spots. Also in regards to pitching when your pitcher tires (less than 35%) the break on your breaking pitches is far less significant. No longer should an online opponent dominate you because the pitcher has wicked breaking pitches and uses them even when they have no energy.
Analog Fielding: Ramone explained to me how they derive at user error by percentages to the left and right of intended throwing base but I wonít be able to reiterate here exactly as I donít precisely remember. I believe (correct me if Iím wrong) that if you use the R-stick to throw to the intended base (letís say 1st base for simple sake) and are within 4 percent of the directional base on either side (up or down from 1st) then your throw will be accurate. Of course if said player is terrible then his ratings will have some effect on this so he wonít always be accurate. However if you are a gold glove 3rd baseman throwing to first and you are within the 4 percent you are going to make that throw 100 percent of the time. Here is what happens when using the R-stick to throw. You will know immediately if your throw is going to be accurate or not. Your circle (under the player) will light up GREEN. If it isnít green you can opt to cancel the throw. Itís like in real life when a player charges the ball on a bunt and he knows that throwing on the run with a speedy runner heís not going to have much of a chance so he opts to not throw to take away the potential big inning.
Now if your circle is yellow (donít remember the percentage. Obviously it would be more than 5 percent. Letís say for argument sake its 15 percent) then there is a much greater chance for an offline throw or a ball that will hop to the first baseman. If your fielder is a gold glover than you have a lesser chance of making an error. Iím sure that goes for both the player throwing it and receiving it but I could be wrong on that.
If your circle is red then there WILL be an error. Plain and simple. Better opt to not throw. This would probably be greater than 15 percent off target from the intended base you were throwing to.
I found myself holding the R-stick to the desired location TOO long therefore cycling the green, yellow, red at times. I guess because I am used to holding the button down for long time the old fielding way. I think you need to preload the throw and let go of the stick otherwise this will happen. Iím not entirely sure.
Other things to note about fielding. I think youíll be seeing more plays at the plate this year. I think it will now actually matter who you have throwing from the OF or chasing after the ball. Some players felt slower than others for sure. Something that didnít seem that noticeable to me in the past. There is also a new throwing meter bar after lining up for the catch. Still present is the area that shows up when you are setting up before the catch but afterwards you will now get a 3 bar meter to fill up if needed. As I explained earlier in the infield you donít want to do this but in the outfield you will (Please correct if wrong).
I also saw two dropped balls in my limited play. One was with a catcher. You know how last year when you got the player on the outer rim of the fly ball circle? He would lunge and still always make the catch. This instance that I saw today the catcher dropped it after getting leather on it! Very nice. Also I was running my LFíer towards home to catch a ball but was not far enough to make a dive (last year would make this catch EVERY time) and an animation kicked in where he lunges but the ball hits the leather and the ball comes out while he smothered it.
Now its safe to say that defense is fun and challenging (at least it was for me). No more taking for granted on casual plays. Be ready for a problem if it should arise.
Another new addition I saw while playing defense was a ball marker when a player hits one to the wall but you donít know if its going to bounce off the wall or clear the fence. Was playing in Fenway when a ball marker showed that the general area of where the ball was going to hit the Green Monster. Sweet.
You can also decoy your OF throws to a different base to try to get someone to move from a base. Donít remember this being in previous iterations of the game?
Analog Batting: I save this one for last for a reason. I understand things take practice but even if I was good at it I am not sure I would use it. The idea behind analog batting is simple to understand. Pull back on R-stick before the ball comes out of the pitchers hand. Push up on the R-stick to swing. However you would only push straight up if the ball was in the middle to upper middle of plate. If the ball is on the inside corner or the outside part of the plate you are going to swing TOWARDS the ball. I like this idea as it definitely deviates from the competitorís analog batting. However the system (engine) gives you low and high. Meaning you wonít be concerned with it. You canít swing up and then towards the ball if its down in the zone. You also wonít be using the L-stick in this mode. I for one wish that the L-stick was still intact while when analog batting. Iím sure most people would probably agree but maybe it just makes it way too hard to operate both sticks. Iím sure that the SCEA team fought over this one on what to do. But like I was saying its going to be much harder to hit this year because the PCI is how it should be now. Maybe I missed something or maybe I'll change my tune with more time on the game. Who knows.
CO-OP mode: Russell and I played around 8 innings of this mode. This is a GREAT addition imho and its everything I thought It would be. You have a broad set of ways to setup the game. In our game we chose to alternate who the pitcher was (He would pitch inning 1, 3, 5, etc). I was the OF all game and he was the IF but I was the Catcher. There is a color coded chart displayed in the game just before pitch selection on which player was what so you donít forget your duties. Letís say you get a base hit when you are up at bat (he is hitter #1, 3, 5, etc). The person who got the hit would then control the runner on 1st. He would be in control of taking leads, stealing, getting back, etc. Very Cool I must say. We didnít get to finish because a woman wanted to see the ĎMoveí controller in action (which is only HR derby). I didnít try it for myself. I think I would throw my back out! I put the 3d glasses on when Ramone tried it. I would never have any use for it but its there and it works.
Graphics: Yes, there IS rain. I seen it I do have one small clip of it but donít know how it turned out. There are no rain delays (next year!). The daylight/night progression is much better now. It will change slightly from inning to inning and wonít get dark till like the 7th inning. There are rosie hues on the clouds when present. Real nice. Textures of the grass and dirt look 100 percent better this year! Player models look indeed better to me but like I said I am not critical of it like the many users on here. The overalys and menuís are much crisper and prettier to my eye. There are some new stat overlays during the game as well.
Camera Angles: Team specific broadcast camera angles! I know this will make a lot of you happy. You also have the option of moving the camera anywhere you want and saving it. Online gets some options this year for batting view (about 15 presets). You can also move the pitching meter (cone) anywhere on the screen.
Sound: Karros! Well, it was very loud @ CES this year. I didnít hear much of it so I canít comment on this.
Other notes: BALKS are in!
Well, that is all I have for now. I wonít be going again today as I only had 2 hours of sleep before going yesterday. THANKS to Ramone for again letting me get some hands on again this year. Sorry I had to leave when you went to lunch but I had to run unfortunately. Well, maybe I would of stayed a little longer if someone else didnít come along and wanted to see the 3DÖlol