MVP 07 NCAA Baseball


Review by Matt Paprocki

EA Sports


Graphics: 6

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


ncaabaseball07ps2.jpg (59332 bytes)Brazenly gloating that MVP 06 was the best selling college baseball game last year even though they have no problem toting around the “exclusive license” tag as well, EA Sports begins another yearly sports tradition with MVP 07. Bringing with it all of last years excellent game play mechanics and adding a revolutionary way to pitch, maybe the company is justified in boasting. This is another solid baseball title that is hard to fault in countless aspects.

Presentation is the immediately noticeable change. ESPN has been fully integrated, College World Series video is prevalent, and commentary expanded. It increases the atmosphere and enhances the experience as whole to counter the rapidly aging graphics.

Regardless of upgrades elsewhere, it’s the pitching that changes this series forever. As with many sports games, the right analog stick becomes a necessity. By pulling back and then pushing the stick forward, you’re able to guide the ball on its trip to the plate with stunning control. The range of motion provided by the stick makes it easier to throw pitches that are inaccurate creating intense moments in tight games.

The left analog stick still controls where you’re aiming the pitch prior to the toss, and on the batting side, provides swing options. As with the defensive side of the game, pulling back and pushing forward on an analog stick creates the motion. Additional control lets player aim their swing to create offensive opportunities, while the choice of power or contact adds even greater depth.

Sadly, all of this focus on the pitcher/batter duel has left fielding somewhere in the realm of high school baseball. Again, the analog sticks play a role. In this case, the right stick handles diving and throwing. This requires precision, which the stick cannot provide. Be prepared to make incorrect throws on routine plays far more often than you should.

A.I. fielders also make incompetent mistakes. While having the option to swap fielders with the press of a trigger is nice, doing so causes the non-controlled player to stop doing everything. Even if the ball rolls directly in front of him, he’ll stand there and wait for you to make the obvious play.

Off the field, minor changes can be found. Selecting fully licensed equipment for one or all of your players is a nice touch, while mini games break the serious and simulation tone for some quick play options. New teams have been added, though crucial ones, including the entire MAC, are still absent. Recruiting options in the dynasty mode create a nice sense of accomplishment if you’re successful, and heading online is a smooth seamless process if you’re an EA member.

If the new control scheme scares you, there are ways to set the game to your liking. If pressing X is all you’d like to worry about when swinging, then that choice is yours.

MVP 07 crafts a robust and accessible game for a player of all skill levels, all while rewarding die hard baseball fans with a wealth of options to create a style of game to suit their tastes. If EA can fix the fielding complaints, they’ll corner the baseball market regardless of who owns what license.


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Last updated: Monday, April 16, 2007 09:51 PM