MLB 2K13

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
MLB 2K13 Game Poster Image
Mediocre baseball game resembles last year's title.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about the game of baseball, teamwork, and perhaps even the business side of pro sports with one of the modes. With a variety of different modes, and the ability to play this game with others on the screen or online, kids can enjoy playing a virtual sport with others. MLB 2K13 puts kids into the shoes of a professional baseball player, and they learn the sport by playing it.

Positive Messages

As with most sports-based video games, MLB 2K13 presents a positive message about playing team sports, working with others, and obeying rules on the field. There isn't any controversial content in this "Everyone"-rated game. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Licensed by Major League Baseball, this game features real MLB players and teams. If the baseball player is a good role model in real life, it could carry over to this game -- but the opposite is true, as well. Fortunately, most pro baseball players are a good and positive role model for young people (despite doping scandals that has plagued the sport, and others, over the years).

Ease of Play

The game is ideal for beginners as the control scheme is fairly simple, plus there are some aids in the game. Home Run Derby is also a mode to sharpen a player's at-bat skills.

Violence
Sex
Language

The game does have a soundtrack but none of the lyrics are offensive.

Consumerism

Just as you would see advertising at a real baseball game, MLB 2K13 does have signs that show brands, such as State Farm, Tropicana, and Major League Baseball. That said, some of the brands seem to be fictitious, such as Amaz Coffee and TransCorp Data Solutions.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MLB 2K13 is a baseball simulation game. There isn't any content that will raise an eyebrow, but because the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games can be played online, players can chat at the same time and potentially could hear profanity or other inappropriate language, including requests for personal information.

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What's it about?

Similar to last year's version, MLB 2K13 is a baseball game designed to drop you in the excitement of Major League Baseball. All the teams, players, and stadiums have been digitally recreated for added authenticity. This new game offers a number of modes, including the fun My Player (customize your player and work your way up to the big leagues), along with Season mode, Franchise (build a dynasty), Postseason play, and a Home Run Derby challenge. For many of these modes, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gamers can play against the game's artificial intelligence (A.I.), beside a friend or sibling, or online against other human players (though online leagues have been removed).

Is it any good?

2K Sports’ game not only looks and play just like Major League Baseball 2K12 –- with the exception of updated rosters and refreshed uniforms –- but it also inherits the same issues that plagued last year’s game. Some of the problems that take away from the game include lackluster visuals and awkward animations, and a few random technical bugs that can mar the overall experience. In all fairness, MLB 2K13 still delivers a gripping pitcher-batter dynamic that bests MLB 13: The Show. From the pre-pitch decisions to the bat swing, players will enjoy this dance regardless of the side they’re on. The analog pitching and hitting controls remain unchanged from last year. And you’ve got access to tons of stats and other info to help you decide how to throw or hit the ball for maximum impact.

Delivering virtually the same game as last year -- which you can now buy for under $10 -- is a disappointment, to say the least. It’s too bad this is the only option for Xbox 360 owners as Sony’s MLB 13: The Show is a superior title. 2K Sports’ latest isn’t terrible, mind you, but those who bought last year’s mediocre game will no doubt experience deja vu shortly after booting it up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the making of annual sports games. MLB 2K13 is virtually unchanged from last year. Do players want something fresh or simply an updated roster, schedules, and uniforms? Should owners of last year's game have the ability to download new rosters, schedules and uniforms for free?

  • Families can also talk about whether playing a sports game makes you want to go out and actually play the game yourself.

Game details

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