MLB Bobblehead Battle Review
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On 11/05/2011 at 11:59 PM by Rob DiMola
A title that would've been better suited as downloadable content.
Only for those who already enjoy MLB Bobblehead Pros looking for a variation on the concept.
Over the years, 2K Sports has struggled to make a baseball game that stands up to Sony's superior MLB The Show games. Being an owner of the Xbox 360 and not the PlayStation 3, it's been hard to find a good baseball game to play because ‘The Show’ is obviously a PS3 exclusive. Luckily there is an alternative baseball game series out there to play - MLB Power Pros - a favorite of mine on the Wii. Microsoft and Konami decided to bring this cartoonish series to Xbox Live Arcade as MLB Bobblehead Pros. Their most recent title, MLB Bobblehead Battle is not anywhere near the quality of MLB The Show, but it still proves to be enough fun to kill tons of time.
At first glance, the game doesn’t seem like it requires much skill, but that’s definitely not the case. This is one of those times where I can guarantee you that it’s much harder than it looks. Each player must show quick reflexes at the plate with the ball sometimes reaching speeds of 300 mph. Additionally, players must strategically outduel their opponent with battle cards.
The field is divided into many different areas with a bunch of obstacles sitting in the way. Each area of the field has different landing pads which could either be a single, double, triple, homerun, out, sac fly or double play. If you hit the ball onto a hit pad, you will receive XP points. The more obstacles you hit the ball into before landing on that hit pad, the more XP points you will receive. If you hit a bunch of obstacles and land on an out-pad, your opponent will receive only those XP points.
XP points are used to purchase different battle cards throughout the exhibition, but can also be obtained by beating the challenge mode. Each team you face has its own unique challenge where if you complete it, you will receive a new battle card. These cards are all different from one another and cost different amounts of XP points. Some of these cards add tons of power to your swing, while others add tons of speed to a pitch.
There are a few different game modes available, with the most prominent being the standard exhibition mode where you go head to head with an opponent. Online play also exists and proves to be pretty smooth - when you can actually connect to someone. Since it seems that no one actually plays this game , it took me over an hour to connect to someone, which sort of kills the whole idea of playing online.
When you get tired of playing regular exhibitions, there is a challenge mode that tasks you with beating each team while completing the bonus challenge of the exhibition. Beating these bonus challenges help you unlock different battle cards and different obstacles to build. Some of these unique challenges are fairly easy such as “throw only fastballs” while others are close to impossible, “hit 21 different obstacles.” The point of unlocking these obstacles is so that you can design your own battle field through the stadium edit mode.
The stadium edit mode allows you to place obstacles wherever you would like with there being almost no limit to how many obstacles are placed on the field. You can also place various different hit and out pads wherever you’d like on the field. You can choose any ballpark to edit which can be somewhat entertaining. Outside of these few modes, there is really not much else to do.
MLB Bobblehead Battle is a very short game and does not really present you with much to do. The game gets very boring very quickly and just feels like there is something missing. The idea of the game is very cool, but it just does not feel like a full game. It seems like this game should really just be a DLC add-on to MLB Bobblehead Pros. With all of that being said, If you are bored and want to pick something up to kill some time with a few friends, then MLB Bobblehead Battle is not a bad choice, but I would recommend picking up the normal version MLB Bobblehead Pros instead.