MLB World Series 2009 is a baseball game by MLB.com. $2.99
The Los Angeles Dodgers are totally dominating this series in the big league, thanks to big hitter Manny Ramirez. Since this is my team, my love for Dodger Dogs has brought me to review this great game by MLB.com.
MLB World Series 2009 is the first baseball game on the App Store to have a more simulation type gameplay instead of the popular arcade games like Baseball Superstars, 9 Innings Baseball, Power Pros Touch and Baseball Sluggers. Does the World Series pull off this different style of play? It certainly does!
Arcade style Baseball games have done extremely well on the App Store. Both Baseball Superstars and Baseball Slugger are long time servers on the top 50 games. MLB World Series 2009 hasn't capitalized on how good the game is, with a price far higher than the arcade style games. Also the way the game looks and plays, it isn't the perfect game to provide great happy snaps to make amazing screenshots.
The higher than average price coupled with average looking screenshots has hurt this game badly, just like what happened to the PSP port Internation Athletics by Ghostlight.
Is this game for you? From what I can tell it will be for more serious baseball fans, not those who are new to the genre. It may appeal to you though so keep reading and find out.
Before starting on the actual Gameplay in MLB WS09, let me tell you about one of the biggest selling points of this game, especially for baseball addicts. This is the first game that actually lets you play as your favourite baseball team, therefore meaning I can played as my beloved Dodgers. MLB.com has also incorporated four of the stadiums by the actual teams, meaning those wanting to play at some of their favourite venues can. There are planning updates to release more actual stadiums. There is however, one large bit lacking to this game. I was disappointed to see that they haven't included actual player names, as they are just Starting Pitcher, Outfielder etc. This is a bit disappointing and is lacking from making this a perfect MLB brand game.
With the game being called 'World Series' I was expecting it to just include the one game mode that lets you try and win a World Series. It is far from that, with multiple modes, but the World Series is certainly the main selling point. The three game modes available to play are World Series, Exhibition and Season mode.
World Series is what this game is all about. The aim of this game is to win the elimination process that is the MLB World Series (Funnily enough only the USA MLB teams can compete). After choosing what teams will compete in the World Series, the seeds of the teams and the team you will compete with, you are thrust into your first round. This first round is called the Division Series and you must win a best of five series against a fellow divison team. The next round is called the League Championship Series and pits you against the other winning division of your league. This is also a best of five series. Finally you must play the American or National League winner in the World Series to become World Champions in a five game series. For those with Baseball Superstars it is kind of similar to the finals mode encountered in that game.
Season mode lets you play a 16, 29, 82 or 162 game season with the team of your choice. This mode features an All-Star Game that is vital to win, as it will give you a home-field advantage in the World Series mode, which is the exact same mode as above. The season mode isn't really suited to a simulation game like this, with it being more time consuming and not as easy to play as an arcade game, like Baseball Superstars.
Exhibition mode is all about creating the perfect game. You choose what team you are playing with, your opposition, the length of the game and where you play the game. It's all about choice but unless you are feeling very picky you are best off continuing on with either the World Series or Season mode.
MLB World Series lets you both bat, pitch and field during a game, but fielding is set to automatic when you first launch the game. The game plays just like an ordinary game, with you taking it in turns batting and an innings ending when both teams have had three outs. What makes this game a standout from the rest however is the controls and the graphics for the game.
All the baseball games I have played prior to the release of MLB World Series have featured a virtual D-Pad to pitch and bat. MLB WS 2009 has made Baseball more interactive and has later on the batting has I believe been improved by Com2Us' Baseball Slugger. The pitching involves deciding what type of pitch to make then sliding your finger up a bar to choose speed and accuracy. You then have to tilt your device to a wanted position.
Batting is very similar to pitching, except I found it quite a bit more challenging. You are from the eyes of the batter and you watch the pitcher pitch the ball. You then must quickly and efficiently tilt you device until the circle on your screen is over where the ball is and press the swing button. If you do it too late or early then you will get a strike. I found it incredibly hard, somewhat more after the recent update. While it may be more challenging the process is still more exciting than the arcade style shot.
MLB World Series has changed the 2D graphics found in most baseball games on the App Store. The game has taken Baseball to the 3D level with great graphics and characters. The teams are made up of 3D people who while not looking super realistic, are up to the quality of other amazing sport games such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour and International Athletics. The screenshots do not do this game justice as when you are actually playing the it looks a lot better.
The stadiums and fields easily defined between each one and look absolutely superb. While the graphics aren't as smooth as the arcade games they are more realistic. The only better looking graphics would be in the Home Run fest at Baseball Sluggers. The animation in the game generally works well, with not much lag featured in the game. The only problem I have is when you are trying to see the ball when its pitched. It looks the same size the whole way and it really hard to know when to hit it.
MLB World Series 2009 is a strong baseball game that gives a realistic feel that I felt was lacking to games such as Baseball Superstars and 9 Innings Baseball. There are a few points to this game that let it down, such as the lack of player names and number of real stadiums. What makes this game not as fun as the arcade style games is that the games generally take a lot longer as you must pitch and bat your way through everything. The addictiveness of playing multiple matches on Baseball Superstars isn't felt in MLB WS 2009, and one or two matches at a time is generally enough.
The graphics and great use of the accelerometer for MLB World Series 2009 is a welcome change to the boring on screen buttons. I would recommend this game more to someone who is an avid Baseball fan compared to someone who likes the games. Only the more serious fan will get the complete experience of this but don't let that deter you, its an excellent game. While its at a discounted price of $2.99 I would pick it up now if I was you.