The Bigs 2 - Cheat Happens Game Review
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The Bigs 2
Playstation 3, XBox 360, Wii

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Developer:
Blue Castle Games
Publisher: 2K Sports
Rated: "E" for Everyone



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 8
Gameplay: 7
Lasting Appeal: 7
Overall: 8
   
CHEATfactor: 0
   
     

Growing up, my brother would always rent baseball games – and I always found myself bored – except when it came to one title; Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 for the SNES. Now, I realize that some of our younger readers may not be too familiar with the title; so here’s a quick rundown to get you up to speed: it’s baseball but with superpowers. There, you’re caught up.

Why do I bring this up? 2K Sports new baseball title, The Bigs 2 is everything my beloved SNES title was and more. It’s a fun, over the top arcade style game that can make America’s past time fun for just about anyone. Unfortunately, The Bigs 2 is not without its flaws and they keep a good game from being a great game.

Given recent events in the baseball world, forgive me for this comparison but The Bigs 2 is essentially 2K’s realistic MLB 2K series on steroids. The players are all jacked, can jump to extraordinary heights and can produce fire on balls they throw. Believe it or not though; some of the 2K series best moments lie at the heart of The Bigs 2. Though they may look different, the game’s new batting mechanic along with the pitching system are both paired down versions of what we’ve seen in 2K. This is perhaps the game’s greatest strength; while it is no doubt an arcade title – its roots are deep within reality and you never get the sense that what you’re doing is too out there and attracts multiple audiences to the games.

"...a series of quick-time events that you’ll either love or despise..."

 
   

The core gameplay of The Bigs 2 can be narrowed down to one word – timing. Of course you’ll be timing your swings and pitches like in any baseball game, but The Bigs 2 takes things up a notch. A majority of the on-field play takes place through a series of quick-time events that you’ll either love or despise depending on your play style. Personally, I dug them quite heavily. While most baseball games place the emphasis on offense so much that don’t even pay attention to the defensive play; The Bigs almost forces you to pay attention. In most scenarios, an A-button will pop over players heads when the ball comes zipping by them and pressing it with precise timing (read: you have to be spot on) will result in performing amazing or legendary catches complete with sick animations and an overzealous announcer.

Going beyond this, the quicktime system in The Bigs 2 can create some really awesome moments. Some of baseball’s best moments are when an outfielder robs a batter of a sure fire homerun via a leaping grab. If you can get to the right spot fast enough, you can initiate a quicktime event that requires you to press a simple yet fast button combination. One second can throw you off if you’re not paying attention close enough, but when you succeed it’s extremely rewarding.

This system does of course have its problems. By relying too heavily on these events; they become all too familiar and that’s an issue. The Bigs 2 is based on explosive game-changing plays, but how explosive can they be when they occur every other batter? After a few games I found myself skipping past any cutscenes and celebrations because it became all too commonplace. At the same time, these events can border on annoying when they come at just the wrong moments. I can’t tell you how many times I was up by four runs only to face a batter in the bottom of the ninth that had a “big slam” cued up, which all but guarantees a homerun. Who knew a synonym for arcade was cheap?

"...there’s a lot of variety in terms of gameplay modes in The Bigs 2."

 
   

Thankfully there’s a lot of variety in terms of gameplay modes in The Bigs 2. The season mode came highly requested from fans of the original, and it’s a great addition. You’ll have all of the features the traditional baseball games will have including making trades, roster moves, all-star festivities and the Playoffs. One thing that did bug me about the mode is that while you can make any roster changes you want in exhibition mode you can’t even make a single trade when you start your season – you’ll need to gain “trade power” by playing more games in the season. Now, I’m a die-hard Milwaukee Brewer fan and I know there’s some moves I’d like to make in order to make the team just a bit more of a contender, but I can’t? I’m not looking to build an all-star squad by robbing teams of their talent, so are a few key acquisitions too much to ask?

Aside from the season mode, there’s plenty to do. The become-a-legend mode revolves around your created player going from the Mexico leagues back to the Majors after a major injury. The create-a-player is a bit lacking, but there’s enough here to satisfy (especially the nicknames, I giggled every time the announcer called me “Dr. Bleachers”). There’s also mini games including Home run pinball which requires you to accumulate points by hitting various items in major cities – yes it’s a bit out there and yes, it’s addicting.

Visually, The Bigs 2 is quite impressive. Though they’re beefed up versions of themselves, the Players look spot-on with everything from their facial features to their batting animations. It also should be noted that the stadiums in the game look absolutely amazing and realistic. Even more impressive, some even feature realistic celebrations. Though Bernie Brewer wasn’t around to slide in Miller Park, there was the famous “Get-up, Get Out of here, Gone!” sign and it lit up just like in real life.

The Bigs 2 channels the most exciting moments in America’s past time and combines them with over the top gameplay and some of the most addicting game modes in any sports game. Thanks to its hidden depth, it can be appreciated by everyone from baseball fundamentalists to arcade junkies.  Find yourself bored by the baseball games on the market? The Bigs 2 may just be what you’re looking for. 

 

CHEATfactor

It pains me dearly to have to give The Bigs 2 a zero cheat factor score but as of press time there are no cheats available. The pain is mostly as a result of the fact that I know there are cheats available – arcade sports titles are notorious for them. Take a look a NBA Jam or MLB Slugfest. They’re packed with cheats, why should The Bigs 2 be any different?

When it comes to Cheats I’d like to see for The Bigs 2, the obvious ones are unlimited turbo, unlocked items (jerseys, stadiums, and legend players) and maybe an easy homerun mode. I’d love to see some retro cheats as well, the type that don’t really effect gameplay but make it fun – let’s see a return for big head mode; completely out there effects and some cool hidden stadiums!

 



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