A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a straightforward simulation of Major League Baseball. None of the baseball controversies dominating recent headlines are present. The game is playable online, so kids playing online could hear language that might not be appropriate. Common Sense Media recommends that children under the age of 12 not play online without supervision.
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What's it about?
Spring means the start of the baseball season, both real and virtual. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 2K8 is the latest iteration of 2K Sports simulation devoted to the national pastime. While filled with innovative elements, choppy animation becomes too large a distraction.
The biggest -- and most welcome -- overhaul is in pitching. Instead of buttons, players utilize the right analog stick. Pitching is a two-step process. You execute one action during the wind-up, then a second move during delivery. It's far more challenging, yet more gratifying once you've mastered your arsenal of pitches. Hitting remains the same. Pull down to step in and push up to swing. The right analog is mapped to the baseball diamond for throws. A quick flick of the stick to the proper base executes your toss. Base-running is similar. Use the right analog to pick a player, then select one of the four face buttons matching the diamond.
Is it any good?
Expect many of the standard baseball modes, from franchise to home run derby. If you prefer to avoid the major leagues, you have the choice of 90 minor-league teams at your disposal. Atmosphere is captured effectively through vibrant stadiums and impressively-detailed players. The game's greatest weakness is the lack of smooth action. Plays consistently look choppy. Even a simple throw from the second baseman to first stutters along clumsily. As great as the innovations in MLB 2K8 are, they're difficult to enjoy with such sloppy on-field action.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.