The Wii version of MLB 2K10 is significantly stripped down when compared to its big brothers on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. There’s no MLB Today functionality, no online play, and no My Player mode. Basically all you get are Franchise, Home Run Derby, Season and Tournament modes for your investment. The Franchise mode is likely where you’ll spend most of your time, even though the setup is straight out of MLB 2K games from years ago. With no online integration to update lineups or statistics things feel quite shallow, but at least baseball purists will have core features like the ability to trade and purchase Inside Edge reports to gain the upper-hand on the competition. Nothing has been enhanced in the slightest from different versions of this game (meaning trades are still confined to two teams and teams aren’t aware of certain budget constraints when trading).
Once you actually get onto the field, the real trouble starts. Ironically enough, it wasn’t the control of MLB 2K10 that really sent the game downhill for me – though there are issues with control as well – but instead it was the incredibly lacking game engine that’s being used to deliver the baseball. I don’t know how else to say it, but this game barely runs on Wii hardware. The framerate is terrible, the player models are atrocious and some parts of the field look like they could jump off the screen and cut you they’re so jaggy. Oh, and that weird visual effect I was talking about before comes in the form of a type of ghosting that happens whenever there’s movement on the field. Whether it’s legs running down a base path or a bat swinging through the air, there’s a very strange trail that follows them. It creates a very odd look to the gameplay and should’ve been scrapped as quickly as it was put in MLB 2K10.
It’s too bad, too, because the mechanics that drive the baseball could be used to make a solid offering on Wii. Nothing is too gesture-intensive with pitching requiring a flip up to begin the power meter and a flip down to throw the pitch. The infrared sensor is used to target the pitch and the joystick is used to select pitch type. Hitting is the expected swinging motion with button modifiers for power, grounders and check swing. 2K10 would have really benefited from incorporating Wii MotionPlus in the gameplay as hitting really doesn’t take more than a jolt to the Wii remote, but it seems like we’ll have to wait until next year for that.
Throwing to different bases works fine with the use of the d-pad and general moves to scoop up a grounder or track a fly ball are all handled by the analog stick. My biggest issue with the control setup was with getting under a pop-up. For whatever reason guys would constantly drop simple catches because I wasn’t in the proper half-centimeter on the field. It all hearkened back to the old, ultra-fidgety fielding mechanics that the series used years ago. I suppose that’s further evidence that MLB 2K10 on Wii is built on aging MLB 2K framework.
MLB 2K10 is not a good game, but unlike most wholly unimpressive titles, this one actually has promise. The control mechanics don’t rely too heavily on cheesy motion mechanics and the few that do perform reasonably well. The real issue is the heinously old engine that makes the game chug along and couldn’t generate a smooth edge if its virtual life depended on it. Also in need of a revamp is the feature set which doesn’t have an original idea or Wii-inspired mode in the bunch. The groundwork is there for an enjoyable game of baseball, it’s just too bad that there are no parts to leverage the decent mechanics.