Big fan of the first game??? Need something fun and not a typical baseball game??? This one is for you!!!
Fielding is the one thing that I would change a little bit. There are several mini-games involved in it. In some positions, it is random on which mini-game you are going to be faced with. In the original title, you could activate a jumping wall catch with any player on the field, with this title however, you will only be able to rob home runs with players with legendary (6 Star) glove status. This also applies to catching line-drives, and catching foul balls that are going into the stands. In my opinion I would have allowed all players to have this ability and just made the mini-games for them harder, at least in regards to robbing home runs.
The major change that I found in the field is being able to shift players in the outfield prior to pitching. I don't know why they decided to get rid of shifting players around in the field, but for me, it takes some players out of a position that I would like them to be in the field. I really wish they would have left that feature alone, but it's gone and there is nothing that I can do about it.
Hitting works like it should, 'A' for contact 'B' for power and you can forget about the bunt button for the most part. 'The Wheelhouse' is a really cool feature for this. If a pitcher throws it to your 'Wheelhouse' and you make good contact, you have yourself a solid hit, and a great chance for a double, at least. Some player specific power-ups allow for Home runs that are guaranteed, turbo just for stepping up to the plate, or boosting up the hitting of surrounding players.
Pitching is where this game is at though... there is nothing I love better than shutting down my buddies at home. The enhanced perfect pitch still exist in the game, but they change the animation a little bit to allow your opponent less time to react to the pitch being thrown. When on the mound, look to throw into the 'Wheelhouse', for this give you bonus turbo. 3 Strikes in the 'Wheelhouse' is like 6 in the old game. Pitchers with any legendary pitches (6 Star) give away there legendary pitch when thrown buy showing a tail behind the pitch, like he is using a turbo, but not until it is just about to get into the hitting zone, so it just looks bad ass!
Injuries can happen. Your players can lose certain parts of their game if bruised up a little bit. If you hit a line drive to the pitcher and he takes one to the jaw (yes, it does happen) that pitcher may lose some of his 'Stuff''. Catchers are the most susceptible to this new feature, because if they get ran over at the plate, then there going to feel it and lose some points. Oh yeah, the runner/catcher duel at the plate no longer has a middle zone that could go either way, it's either you win or you lose.
Home Run Pinball has more replay value due to the fact that there are multiple places to play it now. I really hate the Japan one, but the others are pretty cool. Your buddy can play too with the new Co-op and vs. mode for it. There are a few achievement that are pretty hard to get that involve objects that aren't on screen all of the time that should bring you back for more to figure out how to hit them.
Become a legend mode is pretty sweet... With the exception of a few ridiculous scenarios... Playing against some of the former legends @ Coopers town changes the pace from time to time, which creates a different experience playing on a different team than the one you are on. I haven't completed it yet, but I know that I am close. For those returning, it doesn't take as long as the first game to get your player to 'All-Star' Caliber, but the stats that you gain are linear now, so you only get stats when you are supposed to get them. Stats are earned by completing mini-games when they become available, and to make them available you must win games.
The Mini-games are a new feature to the game, and it makes you kinda feel like you earned the stat points. There are new games for Fielding, Speed, Contact hitting (My least favorite) and Power... They all become available as you progress through the games, and provide some relief from the monotony of playing game after game, and collecting points to get the next stat increase.
There is a 162 Game season mode, and even I don' think that I could dedicate myself to that many games. I don't even know how the pro do it, but if you were holding out for that feature, they put it in there for you. I think I would be able to complete 1 season of that in the next 2 years it takes them to release 'The Bigs 3'.
On a multi-player level, I don't have any issues with it. This game is best played, and I would even venture to say designed to be a 2v2 game. The amount of fun that this game creates in a 2v2 format is unrivaled by any other game in my opinion... especially if the players are very competitive. I don't see how this game could lose best multi-player sports game of the year, and if it weren't for all of the FPS fans out there, this game would win best multi-player games... Take my advice, find 3 friends (You have to have at least 3 right???) and sit down with this game or it's predecessor.
Overall, I am happy with the purchase of 'The Bigs 2'. If you played the first game, you will like the new features to the game, and the roster update. If you are thinking about getting into the series, I would look for a used copy of 'The Bigs' 1 and play that for a little while and see if you like it first. If you like the idea of an over-the-top baseball simulation, then this is the game for you. There are some small flaws with it, but it plays very even no matter which teams are slugging it out.