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MLB 2005
Score: 79%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: 989 Sports
Developer: 989 Sports
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Sports

Graphics & Sound:
MLB 2005 is yet another landmark on the long road of MLB games for the PS1. People are gobbling them up like crazy and it seems this franchise will never run out of steam. The graphics may be one part of this reason. For a PS1 game MLB 2005 looks very nice, at least where it counts, meaning in the players looks and in their animations. Stadiums are accurately modeled, but get closer and things start looking like somebody threw up on them. However, the players are modeled exceptionally well, and all the animations are good enough to be on par with a next generation title.

The commentary in MLB 2005 is almost up to par with a PS2 sports game. Sound effects are done equally as well, as the crack of a bat hitting the ball is accurately portrayed here. You'll hear shouts from the crowd, and even hot dog vendors trying to sell their goods. Musically, what you hear will be pretty good. The stadium tunes between plays will ring in your ears as your batter walks up to the plate and kicks the dirt out of his cleats.

Following the long line of 989 sports titles, MLB 2005 is a true baseball sim all the way. Every team, player, and major stadium is replicated in the game. These are accompanied by a few game modes that are sure to keep baseball fans happy.

The standard Exhibition and League play are offered, but where this game shines is in its extra features. Though you cannot create a completely new team, you can create new players per your specifics and then trade them to or from teams at your leisure. You can also step off the field and into the manager's shoes by organizing a franchise and trading players. This is a simple mode with lots to offer.

There is a lot of fun to be had from these modes, and the Home Run Derby is no exception. You can take about a dozen players and wail at up to 30 pitches to see who the big slugger amongst the group is.

MLB 2005 is one of those games with a difficulty range as wide as the Atlantic. There are so many teams, modes, and settings that there is some state manageable for everyone in there. A more difficult part of the game, however, is the control scheme. Getting this down in your memory will take some practice, and a little more time.

Game Mechanics:
The same killer pitching/batting system is back in MLB 2005. The pitcher chooses a pitch and selects where he wants to put it over the plate. The batter gets a quick glance at where the ball is coming and then tries to position himself for a hit. This works rather well, as does the pitch/guess ability that allows the batter to guess where the ball is coming, and if he is correct, his chances of a good hit increase dramatically.

The problems with control arise on both sides of the coin when people are running the bases. Controlling the runners is confusing as hell, and they always seem to take their sweet time to leave the base. The same problems in last year's game also arise with the fielders. The 'sprint' button is the same as the button to throw to first base. When you sprint to pick up a ball, if you don't let go right before you get there, you'll always throw to first base, which leaves the guy heading for home safe and sound. It's a shame they haven't addressed any control problems, but when you have the only baseball game on the PS1 you can do things like that.

Despite the tricky controls, dated graphics, and a few bugs, MLB 2005 is actually a decent baseball game. For PS1 owners, this is the baseball game to buy. In fact, it is now the only baseball game to buy. The problem here is if you really love baseball games, then you probably already own MLB 2004. MLB 2005 is practically the same game, just with updated rosters and a few new tweaks to the features. Unless you're trying to complete a collection, there isn't much reason to get this one. However, if you're dying to get a cheap baseball game then this is definitely it.

-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

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