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MLB 2K7: Pure Baseball


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Could this be something that we have all hoped for?

I know im smiling and feeling a lil better about "next season".

This was taken from IGN wensite circa 10/10. :lol:

MLB 2K7: Pure Baseball

Series gets a complete overhaul. Will we see a true next-gen baseball game?...by Jon Robinson

October 9, 2006 - The offseason is where championships are built. It's where teams can make that one acquisition that puts them over the top. And while much is made over the signings of prospects at the Major League level, what's often overlooked in the world of videogames is the roster of producers and designers. The people who make the team that shape the face of the game.

In terms of baseball videogames, 2K Sports may have just made a Carlos Beltran-like signing.

Ben Brinkman, the lead gameplay designer from EA's MVP series has jumped teams, signing with Kush Games to help re-create, re-shape, and re-think the MLB 2K franchise, beginning with 2K7.

"When I was interviewing for the job at Kush to run the MLB 2K franchise, they asked me: 'What did you like about the game, what didn't you like about the game?' My answer was I liked most of the stuff you guys did, what I didn't like is that you guys only did it most of the way," Brinkman said with a laugh as he met with reporters before the recent Game 3, Twins/A's, Marco Scutaro (Oakland's answer to Mark Lemke) trademark performance. "I didn't feel like a lot of the stuff was done, polished, tuned the way it should be, and that was something that I look at, something that if you build the game properly, you have plenty of time to do that stuff at the end, and that's actually what we're doing now. For example, the precision pitching, cool idea, but it looked like it only got about 75% of the way there. There were about two or three little things they could've done which we're doing this year, and I won't get into too much detail, but it will take it into completion and make it a lot more fun and a lot more interactive."

Brinkman, like many baseball gamers, had his pet peeves about the 2K games. "One of them is the high hat (they all look like Fred McGriff), and the other is the batting. Guys would swing then completely slide and then start running. They'd be looking in left field when the ball was going to right field…stuff like that."

Brinkman joined Kush in June and has already eliminated the McGriff clones and changed the batting animations, not to mention cleaning up the throws. "You would use the same throw everywhere. You would pick up the ball near the wall and you would use the same throw if you picked up or barehanded a ball and were throwing from third to first."

And like the transition Brinkman witnessed from the Triple Play franchise to MVP, he realized it was time to take a step back and not add features, but clean up the ones that are already there. Make the gameplay actually feel like you're playing a baseball simulation.

"We've gotten back down to bare basics. We're not adding a ton of bells and whistles this year, we're going to take what we have and add some cool stuff to it. We're also going to pull stuff out that takes away from the authenticity of the game. Showboat catches come to mind. Turbo baserunning. We're getting back to making a game that plays a really great game of baseball. It's what people want that play baseball games. Same for people who play football games or play basketball games. Look at 2K7 basketball, that's why people love it, it plays a real good game of basketball. Same with hockey. That's what we're trying to do. Those are our models. We're looking at those and seeing what they do, and it's simple stuff, play a good game of baseball."

The focus is finally back on the diamond.

"First year, drill down to the core and get the core baseball game going," Brinkman said. "Year two, add some cool features, maybe some tersely modes, maybe redesign franchise. The third year, just wrap it up into a nice bow and nail it. We hope to nail it every year, obviously, with everything we do, but we looked at High Heat, even going as far back as Baseball Stars. I play games, and I think that's a big difference that wasn't on the team last year. I play the game three, four hours a day. I sit there and if stuff isn't working, it gets fixed immediately. I was told last year that because of the hardware transition, they didn't get the game up and running until super late, so they never had a chance to play the game and work this stuff out. They got it running and then had a little bit of time to tune and bug fix and try to get it out the door. Fortunately, we've had the game running every day this year and as stuff is getting implemented, tune it and bug fix along the way to get to a point where we just hit Alpha a couple of weeks ago and now we can just tune and we can bug fix the items we need to fix. We're not adding a bunch of features after Alpha, that gets teams in trouble."

I asked Brinkman just how much of the game has been re-written from scratch and his answer was surprising.

"Gameplay, if you play the two side by side, it should be a dramatically different experience. We've added thousands of new animations. All new pitching, all new hitting, all new throwing, all new catching, all new tagging. The locomotion system last year that never really got tuned, we've spent a lot of time figuring out what was broken and what do we need to fix to get it playing and moving right. Different stuff that they did last year that was really cool stuff, let's harness it and make it play well. It's cliché, and you've heard it a million times, but this is the next-gen baseball experience. All the stadiums redone, all the player models redone, faces redone. We've got accessories coming out our ***, no pun intended. Hats, all new hats, that was my one thing. We have to do hats. I'm tired of everyone wearing the same hat. So we'll have the crooked hat, the really firm bill, the sweat, the Derek Lowe sweat ring around the hat. Just little stuff like that. I don't want to get into it too much, but we really want to represent the game we're going to see today as closely and as authentically as possible. Baseball gamers want a game that plays well and represents baseball the way it looks and the way it plays."

And Brinkman knows the pressure is on to produce as word is Major League Baseball wasn't too happy with the quality of the game, or the direction the series was headed.

"We're not going to repeat that," Brinkman says as he feels the pain of gamers who purchased 2K6. "I think we're going to get one more chance at this and we can't come out weak this year. We have to come out strong. That's our whole goal, our driving force."

"All eyes are on us," Brinkman continued. "And we have to deliver or people are just going to say forget it and not buy a baseball game. That's bad for us, you can just imagine the ramifications there going forward. The pressure is definitely on, but it's exciting to have that pressure. Some people perform well under pressure, and I want to get our guys to realize that the heat is on. You guys had a chance last year and now it's time to really deliver. Everyone is buying into it and everyone's really on board with it. I'm pretty pumped about the product we're going to deliver this year."

This is the year baseball games finally go back to playing pure baseball…and it's about time.

Brinkman's right, the pressure is on. Luckily for Kush and 2K Sports, it looks like they finally signed the man who can bring them home a winner.

Look for MLB 2K7 to hit the PS3, 360, Xbox, PS2, and PSP Spring 2007.

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and why would you feel good about it? No pc = no mods. I hope the game sucks so much that MLB will take away the exclusive license from 2k, so EA can make some games again

no where does it say NO PC, unless I keep missing it.

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so what, all i really care about anyway is the rosters.

alright, fair enough. Hopefully you've seen the cyberfaces on these 2k players -- I can guarantee you that after 2 months you'd wish Jogar could work his magic on that game.

In all honesty though, I'd try it if it came out on PC, but I still feel like that EA has a much better foundation to work with in mvp 2005 and the NCAA game. Even though the producer has left, I still think EA could make a fantastic baseball game if they were allowed to.

Luckily this site eased my pain, but my blood still boils when think about when I first read that EA lost the license. Why baseball? why not golf or curling or whatever? ... guess EA did it to themselves.

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