MVP Baseball Impressions

EA's big league baseball game is coming to the PSP.

LAS VEGAS--Continuing the theme of bringing updated, enhanced versions of many of its popular console franchises to Sony's PSP, Electronic Arts has announced plans to release a portable version of MVP Baseball.

To account for the fact that sometimes portable game players won't have time to go a full nine innings, MVP Baseball will have some shorter, minigame-like modes to choose from, like the ever-popular home-run derby and a pitcher showdown. These modes will be playable using the PSP's Wi-Fi capabilities, but like EA's other PSP sports games, you can also pass the PSP around and play these modes with up to four players on one PSP.

For portable players with more time on their hands, MVP Baseball will let you play full nine-inning baseball games either alone or with a nearby friend over a wireless connection. MVP is pretty stats-heavy, and it will store statistical information about games you play against other players. This should be great for creating some solid multiplayer rivalries. The game will also have a season mode, where you'll have to deal with shuffling your roster around, handle player injuries, and so on. You can also choose to simulate some or all of your season mode games, if playing by the numbers is your thing.

A new challenge for developers has been finding ways around constantly streaming new animations and commentary off of the PSP's disc. Constantly accessing the UMD, as you might expect, makes for a bigger battery drain. Many of MVP Baseball's optimizations and alterations will come as a result of finding ways to put as much of the game into the PSP's RAM as possible, but from the sounds of things, that won't be a major compromise. Little things that you might not expect from a portable baseball game--like player-specific animation and commentary--still sound like they're in the works for the final product.

MVP Baseball is currently being tested and tuned, and it's currently on track for a March release alongside the PSP itself. We'll have more on MVP Baseball soon.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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