A handful of quirks keep it from being great, but MLB 2K7 is an improvement over MLB 2K6 in nearly every way, and it's a very solid baseball game.
Like pitching and hitting, fielding is much like it was last year, with the biggest changes being that players can actually catch and throw the ball like major leaguers. Well, almost like major leaguers. Infield flies are more of an adventure than they should be, because everyone runs toward the ball but nobody really wants to catch it. It can be tough to see ground balls sometimes, and even harder to run toward a base and step on it thanks to players that will step everywhere but on the bag. Playing the outfield is easier this year and the players are fast enough to get to balls they should be able to get to, but unless you line them up perfectly, players will still struggle to make routine catches, often lunging at the last second to make the grab. They're also prone to overrunning balls and running face-first into walls. This occasional ineptitude doesn't seem to affect their CPU counterparts, however, as even the worst outfielders routinely dive for flares and climb walls to bring back home runs like they're Jim Edmonds. Speaking of Jim Edmonds, he's almost superpowered in the outfield and catches nearly any ball that doesn't leave Earth's atmosphere.
As soon as you start your first game and make it through the stadium introduction (which is in need of an update), you'll notice the game's improved presentation. Thanks in no small part to more cinematic camera angles, more camera angles in general, and drastically improved player likenesses, it really feels as though you're watching a real game in high definition. Cameras will zoom in on players as they step into the box, and the level of detail is amazing. What's even more amazing is that the camera will zoom in closer still, revealing even more detail in players' faces. There are plenty of different body types, which means David Eckstein looks pretty scrawny and C.C. Sabathia looks, well, like he ate David Eckstein. It's a true testament to how excellent the players look that they can stand up to such close scrutiny. Pujols, Ichiro, Jeter, Ortiz--they all look fantastic up close. Players don't just look like their real-life counterparts, they move like them, too. Dontrelle Willis has his distinctive pitching motion; Ichiro's practically two steps toward first base by the time he finishes his swing; and Griffey's swing is as smooth as ever. There are plenty of great-looking fielding animations, even if the transition from one to the next is sometimes poor. You'll even notice plenty of amazing little touches as you play more. Pitchers will wear their warm-up jackets when on the base paths, ball boys will chase foul balls, and bullpen pitchers will react to what's going on in the game.
The ballparks are very accurate and nicely detailed, though there are some low-quality textures here and there. There's still plenty to enjoy: the way the sun creeps across the grass; the ivy at Wrigley; the starry sky when you hit a homer in a night game in Houston; and the way the green monster looms over left field in Fenway. The fully polygonal crowds don't look great in close-ups, particularly in the intro sequence, but they look pretty good from most angles.
As good as the graphics and presentation are, there's still room for improvement. Even though you can turn off most of the superfluous animations and replays, the game's pace of play is slow. Sure, you can tap through and skip the remaining stuff, but some sort of fast-play option would have been great. Some of the camera angles during replays are pretty poor and don't show the action very well. The blur effect is overused and quite often looks as if someone rubbed Vaseline over the camera. There are plenty of little nagging issues such as clipping here and there, some odd tears and artifacts from time to time, player jerseys that flap back and forth like they're caught in a hurricane, and the game really could have used some antialiasing. On the Xbox 360 the frame rate isn't great, but outside of some occasional stuttering it's adequate. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the PlayStation 3. It looks mostly identical to the 360 version, but the frame rate is downright poor. The frame rate is most problematic in the field, where it chokes and stutters enough to make fielding difficult. It even gets a little choppy when there's nothing going on other than the batter waving his bat back and forth before the pitch.
Thanks to the announcing duo of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, MLB 2K7 sounds outstanding. Jon and Joe have worked together for quite some time on television, and their comfortable rapport with one another comes across here. Their commentary sounds very natural, and it's timely and accurate, too. The sheer amount of dialogue the pair recorded for the game is impressive; they'll tell stories, analyze plays, toss out some trivia questions, and even have in-depth commentary for rare events, such as no-hitters. Jeanne Zelasko and Steve Physioc provide a TV-style pregame introduction for each game, and though their commentary is sometimes a bit long-winded, they dispense a surprising amount of team-specific information. The crowds and stadium noises sound just fine; you'll hear individual fans yelling, and like in so many other 2K Sports games, there's a pretty realistic-sounding PA announcer as well.
MLB 2K7 is a good game that shows a lot of improvement over its predecessor. The presentation is excellent and really stands out when compared to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of the game. The gameplay is enjoyable, though there's still plenty of room for improvement. Even the 33 achievements in the Xbox 360 version are better than the five from last year, rewarding you for hitting and pitching prowess, online success, and for reaching secret objectives such as hitting for the cycle. If you're trying to decide between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, the PS3's tilt-control swing mechanic isn't enough to make up for a frame rate that often makes the game difficult to play. The 360 version is the way to go thanks to a better--but not great--frame rate.
- Player Reviews: 206
- Game Universe:
- MLB Slugfest 20-03 (PS2, XBOX, GC),
- MLB 2004 (PS2, PS),
- MLB Slugfest 20-04 (PS2, XBOX, GC, GBA),
- Major League Baseball 2K5 (XBOX, PS2, XBOX, PS2),
- Major League Baseball 2K6 (X360, XBOX, GC, PS2, PSP),
- Major League Baseball 2K7 (X360, PSP, XBOX, PS3, PS2, DS, GBA),
- MLB (PSP),
- MLB 2006 (PS2, PS),
- MLB 2003 (PS),
- MLB 2002 (PS)
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
2 Players Online