I am going to make a very quick review for all the people who want to know the truth about ESPN baseball 2k5. The Good: * 2 player franchise. Finally someone took the time (probably about an hour) to put in a multi player season mode. One major reason I decided to buy this game was in hopes that it would have this feature. * The sound. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are excellent. It adds to the real baseball feel. * ESPN overlays. The game SEEMS very flashy and energetic when you first start playing. * Overall user friendly menus. This should not be a very big deal, but anyone who has played a recent Electronic Arts basketball game knows that this can actually be a problem. * Controls. Once again, this far into baseball game video game history companies should be able to get this right, but you never know. * Confidence meters. A pitcher with the bases loaded and facing Pujols will be very nervous, and more prone to make a mistake. On the other end, a middle of the road batter facing Oliver Perez with 2 down and no one on base has less of a chance to make something big happen. Pretty cool add in. The Bad: * Graphics. The graphics range from pretty good when looking at player closeups to downright terrible in the outfield. ESPN baseball didn't even attempt to use real batter stances. There are about 5 total stances that could honestly have been randomly generated. The outfields have little to no detail. If you did not know that was Manny in the field, you would have no idea from the graphics because all of the fielders look the same. The actual stadiums are the only good things the graphics have going for them. * Player movement. Sports games rely on near perfect physics. Balls should not shoot out of fielders shoulder socket on any occasion. Outfielders should not be able to run for a ball, dive for the ball, miss the ball, get up, run to the ball, and pick up the ball, all in one stride. This is how ESPN's fielders work. It ruins the good ballpark graphics by making the outfield look like a little league field. The fielders run so fast and unrealistic that you will think you are playing tee ball. * Wild pitch glitch. Almost every game the CPU pitcher will throw 1-10 wild pitches. Usually only when there are runners on base. I do not know about every one else, but I do not want to win all of my games because the CPU pitcher threw 10 passed balls. * Base running. ESPN tried to be innovative this year and let you take over the base runners job. When in this mode you can actually tell the batter to bunt, swing, etc. This does not work. Noone is interested in letting the terrible CPU AI go to bat for them. The regular base running mode is far to complex for this generation of games. ESPN copied MVP in alot of aspects, and they should have just copied the base running as well. * Too Easy. Any baseball veteran will have to start out with the sliders jacked up to about 75% to the top. As with any sports game, you will have to jack them up further because your skill at the game will increase. I honestly SUSPECT that at some point this game will be too easy to offer you a challange at all. * NO CHANGEABLE ROSTERS. Read that one until you understand it. ESPN did not even try to get the rosters anywhere near correct when this game hit shelves. That can be overlooked since every sports game that comes out now has this problem. And it is a problem. However it is impossible to change the rosters yourself on ESPN. When you try to changes a player's team or position, that player can disappear, and your game can lock up. Other players can end up in other places that you did not put them. Other players can disappear from the game entirely. No sports fan, especially baseball fans can tolerate this. Baseball is the sport in which THE MOST player transactions occur, usually on a daily basis until the trade deadline. ESPN should not be allowed to use the "downloadable roster" excuse. Unless they can come up with a downloadable roster at the end of the day, EVERY DAY, this game is in the catagory of failure. These are the most revelent points worth discussing about ESPN 2k5, in my opinion anyway. I can not recommend this game to anyone that wants to play a realistic baseball game. It is sad too because, at first glance this game looks as good, if not better than MVP Baseball. If you could look past the bad battting and fielding graphics, which I could, then this game would be the better of the two. However, when you add in easy gameplay, and glitches that can let you with 162 games it becomes challangeless. Without changeable rosters the game becomes completely unrealistic and terrible.
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