The major players in mobile sports game publishing are starting to act like their console corollaries. So it's no surprise that Jamdat Sports MLB 2005 has all the trappings of a major sports game, including full starting rosters, bullpen lineups, and statistics. Automating much of its defensive play, MLB 2005 also accommodates those baseball fans who might not be too well versed in video game playing. The game also features a better offensive interface than its competitors. Even the most casual of players, however, will be able to score a ludicrous number of runs in every inning, most of which will result from balls hit beyond the park's extremes. This balance problem also extends to defense, where it's possible to restrict your opponent to very few hits using a single pitch. Despite these regrettable problems, MLB 2005 is still a fun play, and for many, it'll be worth a month's subscription price.
Given mobile's deficient controls, commanding nine fielders isn't terribly realistic. To account for this, the game automates all defensive action, save for throwing the ball to a particular base, each of which is mapped to a directional key. The automated defense tends to make a few too many errors, which can be frustrating.
MLB 2005's batting controls are the game's highlight. While some other mobile baseball games only let you smash or bunt, this one lets you choose between a normal and a power hit. The latter pops the ball high into the air, so you'll get a lot of homers but will also suffer from an increased incidence of caught balls. The former keeps the ball closer to the ground, where it's less likely to be intercepted by eager mitts.
Jamdat Sports MLB 2005 runs very well on a variety of handsets. The sprite-based game switches seamlessly between two camera perspectives: one for the batter-pitcher confrontation and one for fielding. When a pop fly is hit, an onscreen marker indicates where it will fall. If a fielder moves to this marker, he'll make the catch.
MLB 2005 boasts some great sound as well. You'll here all the effects you'd expect, from the crack of the bat to the growl of the umpire. In between innings, you'll even hear a few MIDI tunes of the sort often heard in ballparks.
MLB 2005 is a good-looking package with a streamlined user interface. While there's no full season mode, you can play a series of games, as well as have the computer keep track of your performance. The game's principal problem--its difficulty balance--isn't a fatal flaw. However, even on all-star mode, your final score will look like it belongs in a football game. So if you don't mind the lack of challenge, this game is otherwise a good choice.