With the launch of the Sony PSP and the start of baseball almost occurring at the same time in 2005, it seemed imminent that MVP Baseball would be a PSP launch title. Unfortunately a few delays in the games production prevented that from happening, but almost three months later, PSP fans will be happy to know that despite a few gameplay flaws, MVP baseball for the PSP is a fantastic baseball title and the game to get if you’re a PSP owner with a baseball addiction that needs a fix.
Nearly five years later as well, it’s still one of the best sports games available on the system.
If you’re a fan of any of the previous installments of the MVP baseball games, you’ll feel right at home with the PSP version. Graphically, the game boasts brighter and clearer visuals than MLB for the PSP and has more realistic player animations and stadiums than MLB as well, making this the best looking baseball game on any portable system ever.
While the game has a great graphics engine, once in a while you’ll see a drop in the games frame rate with multiple runners on base and a graphical glitch that has the catcher position himself in front of the hitter when the player is being announced as he approaches the plate. Considering that these glitches don’t hurt the gameplay one bit, it’s just a minor nuisance that hopefully won’t be in next year’s version.
Despite phenomenal graphics, the control layout of MVP baseball is probably the best thing the game has going for it. It’s never been easier to spot pitches on corners of the strike zone and make sliding catches in the outfield. While getting used to the controls may take a few games, once you’ve mastered the control scheme, you’ll reap the rewards; making this great baseball sim play anyway you want it to.
The one thing that hampers the PSP version of MVP Baseball the most is the absence of minor league teams. While you can create and edit as many players as you like, there are no minor league teams to assign younger players to. This only leaves gamers with a 25 man roster to play with, making every roster spot count. This may not be a problem for casual gamers, but hardcore baseball fans may find this lack of depth a bad thing for an otherwise well produced game.
Considering some graphical glitches, and the absence of minor league teams, some gamers may turn to 989’s MLB for the PSP to quench their baseball game thirst, but taken into account that MLB doesn’t allow gamers to edit and create players, MVP is definitely the best and cheapest choice any PSP owner has in a solid, fun to play baseball game.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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