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ChaseB's Blog
INCOMING! The Bigs 2 Stuck
Posted on July 6, 2009 at 04:54 PM.
With The Bigs 2 releasing this week, I wanted to check in one more time and talk about the upcoming baseball title from Blue Castle Games. Obviously there is a demo out there for people to play, but I want to talk about a few things I got to check out while recently demoing a more complete version of the game.

Pick Up Mode

I went to Washington D.C. to get my hands on The Bigs 2 and spent most of my time playing the new Pick Up game mode, which is pretty much Blue Castle's way of trying to end bromance violence.

When you pick this mode, 18 players are randomly selected, two for each position. Whoever is the away team gets the first pick, which is very important in this mode because the 18 randomly selected players are all tied to each other. In other words, if you choose one of the two available players at first base, your opponent automatically has to take the other first baseman.

Basically when selecting players in the Pick Up mode, it's all about screwing over your opponent. (It seems kind of odd that the developers at Blue Castle wanted to stop you from punching your friend in the face for always selecting the Yankees, to now punching him in the face when he chooses Albert Pujols and leaves you with Casey Kotchman -- not that Kotchman is awful, but you get the point.

Now, not all the player matchups are this lopsided either. You may have a matchup like Justin Morneau versus Prince Fielder or Brad Hawpe versus Justin Upton, in which case you probably don't select either player during the early rounds.

What I ended up doing was looking for the more lopsided matchups during the first few rounds, and then picking the player I liked more during the later rounds. Either way, after all 18 players are selected the game will round out your roster with a few mid-level relievers and position players and kick you out to the diamond for a regular game of baseball.

I think the game mode is just another way to institute a new set of "house rules." I know when I play some of my friends, instead of picking our favorite teams every time, we'll each randomly select three teams before choosing one of them.

Career Mode

I didn't personally get to play this mode, but learned a few things about it that perhaps not everyone knows about.

In this career mode, you aren't really starting from scratch like in the original Bigs. So that means things like tattoos do not have to be earned, instead you will be able to customize your created player with them from the start. In general the customization options look very deep, with the only thing really missing being some way to just put your face into the game.

Beyond the customization options, the career mode starts in Mexico this time around, and from there you earn your way back to hall-of-fame (HOF) status. Your progress will be tracked via HOF votes, which accumulate as you succeed on the diamond.

You also still steal players from other teams if you beat them in the finale of a series. But the difference this time around is that you can only have three stolen players active at any one point. According to a public relations representative that I spoke to, this was done because in the original Bigs your team would become too beastly after stealing enough players.

After you accumulate enough HOF votes, you reach five stars and then have to pursue a sixth star. At this point you start throwing down with legendary teams (five regular HOF teams and then Babe Ruth's squad as the sixth). The five regular HOF teams each have a captain, a few examples include Ozzie Smith and Reggie Jackson. When you battle these teams, you will get a chance to have non-HOF greats on your team -- so someone like Edgar Martinez will play with you as you dismantle various Cooperstown greats.

During this whole leveling-up process, you will gain points that you can use to unlock different bats and other extras like that. There are also retro stadiums to unlock, such as retro Polo Field and retro Fenway Park.

Big Slam Power-up

Before finishing this up, I wanted to mention the Big Slam, another new addition in The Bigs 2. I noticed that some people did not quite understand how this power-up works, so I want to explain it.

-You need a full meter to initiate the Big Slam power-up.

-After you initiate the power-up, the pitcher gets to throw one pitch.

-If the pitch is not a good one (in other words, you tip the pitch by not getting it high enough on the pitching meter), you will probably be in trouble. I say that because three players will come to the plate, and if they make contact they automatically get on base -- though each player only gets one pitch to hit. Then if the fourth batter makes contact, it's an automatic grand slam.

-However, if you make a good pitch, then the next four pitches thrown will be tough to hit. In addition, it won't be four fastballs that are thrown, instead the pitcher automatically cycles through other pitches in his arsenal, which increases the difficulty.

As a personal example, I had a Big Slam used against me at one point. Luckily enough I timed the pitching meter just right and ended up not giving up any runs during the Big Slam power-up mini-game. Hopefully that's a sign that the power-up won't easily lead to four runs, but you still better make your one pitch count, otherwise it probably will be time for some salami.
# 1 strictbusiness14 @ Jul 6
Wasn't something very similar to "Pick Up Mode" seen in the All-Star Baseball series?
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