MLB 2K11 on Wii: Someone Pass the Performance Enhancer

Think back to the days when the Wii was still new, and all the things it represented. Motion controls were supposed to revolutionize the way we played games, and the more they were used and innovated, the better games were supposed to get. However, one need only look at the latest baseball game for the system, Wii Major League Baseball 2K11 to realize that as far as sports games go, anyway, the system is far, far behind in innovation. The latest in the MLB 2K series proves that developers are more and more considering the Wii an afterthought when designing their games.

The game isn’t without credit at all. The graphics, while not entirely pretty, are at least smooth, and animation is done well, with few visual glitches appearing in the game. The game tries to make up for a lack of features available on other systems by including an arcade mode, but this mode is really only enjoyable for the younger crowd, which is about the only crowd Wii Baseball 2K11 will be able to reach.

A lot of the flaws in this game could have been cured with the support of just one Wii accessory: the Wii Motion Plus. Leaving this game-changing peripheral out of the lineup when premiering this game was a mistake, and as a result, hitting and pitching feel flat and lifeless, and often far too easy. Many players will find themselves eschewing the motion controls entirely, which should never, ever happen with a motion controlled baseball game as well. In addition the resolution and graphics have not improved demonstrably since the 2K10 edition of the game, and the commentary tracks have actually gotten worse, on par with the ridiculous, out place phrases once only heard out of Madden games. The Wii version is also minus the MyPlayer game mode that makes this franchise such a success on other systems, a major oversight.

The game, however, does support a host of play modes for those willing to chance its ugly, murky waters. Wii Major League Basball supports up to four players, and includes Mini-Diamond mode, which enables games at fantastical venues such as Egypt or outer space, as well as the standard Franchise, Tournament, and Home Run Derby modes. Other than that, there’s not a lot the game has, especially with the exclusion of the excellent MyPlayer mode.

It’s obvious that 2K Games no longer considers the Wii to be a prime market for innovation, at least in sports games. Wii Baseball 2K11 is the latest in an increasing line of frustrating and mind-boggling failures released on a system that used to be a hallmark of interesting gameplay. If the company insists on continuing to try and unload this shovelware onto consumers, it risks losing even more credibility with the gaming community. If you own only a Wii and are a die-hard baseball fan, this might be a worthy purchase. In order to get the full game experience, however, it’s best to skip this version of the game altogether and try it on another console.