This game looks amazing. When I first played 09, I shat my pants. When I turned on the PS3 yesterday, I was floored. The intro was great, the menus are sleek, it’s all 10x better than last year. I fired up the first game which was a spring training game vs. the Giants (the one that’s going on right now) but I wasn’t trying to play in AZ so I chose Target Field. It’s so realistic that the temperature in Minnesota in March was 2 degrees. A little chilly for baseball, but I went on with it.
What I was really excited for was the new camera angles. Turned out the default setting has the cool camera angles only when you are on offense, but I turned it to offense and defense and it is awesome. It looks so much like a TV broadcast it’s scary. Some of the drawbacks to it are things like it is kind of hard to field normal base hits with your outfielders because it is hard to judge the angle, but I think that will just take getting used to. It looks so cool.
The biggest improvements in my opinion are just little things that sane people probably wouldn’t even notice. The way the players interact with each other and objects like walls and bases is spectacular. I played a game in Oakland where the bullpen benches are in play, and if you hit a ball at them they all freak out. When you warm up a pitcher they warm up way more realistically. They start tossing off the mound then on the mound. The bullpen catchers are much more fluid and realistic looking. When you bring in a new pitcher from the pen, you get 8 warm up pitches off the actual mound. That fucks my shit up. The better you pitch in these warm ups the warmer your pitcher will get.
Other little stuff like the deliveries all the way from Felix to Fister are better. Swings are better, faces are better. Probably my favorite little thing is that the batter can foul off a pitch and hit the umpire, and then he struggles for a few seconds on his knees. Great stuff.
Something that hasn’t improved? The one thing that rubbed me the wrong way on 09 was that the player ratings are kind of messed up. Langerhans is rated a D for defense when the whole reason we got him was that he’s an elite defender. Things like that piss me off because it’s information so easily available, but because he’s just a role player they don’t get it right.
Besides that I haven’t run into a single fault. It is a triumph among baseball games.
PS I tried to format this post for about 20 minutes. I dunno why it looks so fucked up.