Graphically, it’s a good showing from 989. While players are animated flawlessly, from transition to base running and fielding to different batting styles, 989 paid special attention to this area. From what I know of our favorite pastime (some would argue football nowadays), the player models are spot on – every goatee, bulging bicep, and belly are portrayed accurately. Not only do the players look excellent, but so do the signature pitches, batting stances, and other mannerisms.
Stadiums are modeled accurately as well – all 30 of them, down to changing scoreboards, fan sections, and unique features such as Wrigley’s Brick-and-Ivy outfield wall and Fenway’s Green Monster. However, the textures and colors are unappealing, as well as some stuttering from time to time – mostly minor stuff that shouldn’t detract from the gameplay.
Sound wise, MLB 2006 is average at best. All the sounds of the diamond are covered, of course; the crack of the bats, leather gloves catching balls, crowd chants, and stadium music. Baseball aficionados will feel at home here. Surprisingly though, there was no walk-up music as players approached the plate. This is akin to a WWE wrestler entering the arena and fans going wild when they hear the signature tune of said wrestler. Also, the announcing duo of Dave Campbell (of ESPN fame) and Matt Vasgersian (who does Padres’ games apparently) provide natural commentary, and only rarely will you hear robotic or abrupt phrases. It does get old to hear the same lines over and over for certain events such as strikeouts or home runs. But otherwise, the announcing gets the job done.