Major League Baseball 2K7 Preview

I have to apologize. Last year, I attended a press event promoting MLB 2K6 and was impressed by what I saw. The graphics looked great for a first-year next-generation game and there were a ton of interesting new features. The problem with these events is that you really don’t get a chance to play the game for a long period and can’t try out the gameplay. After last year’s event, I was actually looking forward to the game and told people on the forums that it looked great…..that was until I actually got the chance to play it for a significant amount of time.
We all know what happened when the game came out, so there is no need to bring back those unpleasant memories. So going into the latest MLB2K7 event, I was cautious about getting fooled again, but after meeting with Anthony Chau from 2k Sports, I walked away impressed.

Chau stated that this year’s biggest innovation was graphics and animations, and it shows. 2K Sports has taken the NBA2K approach and focused on signature animations and adding a ton of transition animations. 2K Sports was clear that they were not happy with many of the animations in last year’s game, especially the throwing animations. There are over 300 signature animations in this game, and that doesn’t just mean signature batting stances and pitching deliveries. Players like Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui will have different mannerisms when preparing for a pitch. Chau also stated that the series will continue to expand on the signature animations in future versions.

The game also features real-time lighting, which means that as the game goes on, you will notice that shadows move and at times it can affect your batting. The presentation has been greatly improved with all-new overlays and pre-game commentary. Also, the game includes a pitch- and hit-tracker overlay and a "dirt camera". Franchise mode has received a makeover too, with a new menu system and a better-looking interface. This year, it’s easier to find features like the like the beefed-up trade system and team news.

Finally, I was able to try out the new Playstation 3 SIXAXIS batting system, and it’s much better than I thought. When I first heard of it, I thought it was another hastily tacked-on feature that really won’t add to the gameplay. While I still prefer using the buttons and "Swing Stick", the SIXAXIS feature is actually an enjoyable feature and not as difficult as it appears. After last year’s debacle, I’m hesitant to say that the game is a must-buy after seeing it. Still, I spent about 30 minutes with the game, and I think it’s safe to say that things are looking up for the MLB2K series.