MLB 2K13 Isn’t Just 2K12 With a Roster Update…It’s Less Than That

by
Posted March 5th, 2013 at 9:45 am

mlb2k13kemp

Having put in 35 innings of “work” with MLB 2K13 and time skimming through Association and MyPlayer modes there’s really no reason to dig any deeper into the game to review. Conjecture that it would be 2K12 with a roster update and only the absolutely necessary changes like the Astros to the AL and new schedule was in fact on the mark and as it turns out generous. It’s a product that on its own is certainly not 2K9 levels of bad, it’s okay for those who don’t care all that much about baseball or haven’t played recent iterations of the series, but represents a year that was not utilized to improve it yet the price remains the same. 

2K Sports has essentially insulted consumers by failing to offer anything of worth with MLB 2K13 vs 2K12 and instead marketing the Perfect Game Contest as a distraction. In past years the contest has been propped up alongside the changes but nothing accompanies it this time around. There are no distinguishing differences in the gameplay or presentation and the primary modes appear to be exactly the same. Though it has been assumed to be the case the reason why the company failed to highlight improvements in 2K13 turned out to be due to the lack of any being present. Even worse, the feature set has been reduced, as Online League functionality has been removed. That’s right, Online Leagues have been stripped out.

On the plus side of things cosmetic changes have been implemented. The Astros have their new uniforms and Safeco Field has its new outfield dimensions and video screen. The correct schedule appears to be in place within Association/MyPlayer modes. Outside of those type of elements though one would be hard pressed to point out anything different from 2K12. The menus and interfaces are the same, no work has been done to the dated graphics including the jagged shadows and ugly player faces, and the player pictures are outdated – even for someone like Ichrio who has been with his new team since last season. Poor Yoenis Cespedes is still stuck with his cyberface from last year. The pitcher-hitter battle remains strong but only because that was already a positive in 2K12.

There are the off-putting animation speed inconsistencies often seen in pitching and catcher throwing motions and then oddities like this and this. Of course none of it is surprising as the same problems were seen in 2K12. The throw meter takes some getting used to again as the “green” area to hit can be tough to judge in a split-second and missing (even going soft thinking it’s safe) usually results in an error.

In a full season sim within Association mode the Reds came out with the most wins (99), Jose Bautista led the league in home runs (54) followed closely by Curtis Granderson (53), Bautista won AL MVP, Aaron Hill won NL MVP, and the respective Cy Young winners were Vance Worley and Dan Haren. The AL West had all teams but the Astros over .500 and even they won 79 games. The Playoffs in the AL were comprised of the Mariners and Angels (play-in) along with the Rangers, Twins, and Rays. In the NL it was the Brewers and Diamondbacks (play-in) plus the Reds, Rockies, and Braves. The Braves would go on to win the World Series in six games over the Rays.

Commentary, what has been the strength of the series, is largely recycled. There are a few throwaway lines in about a team’s performance last season or for the players who had high profile 2012 campaigns like Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, but otherwise there isn’t much new. Even the Astros’ move to the AL wasn’t touched upon at all in the multiple contests I had them involved in with the hopes of hearing something about it.

There is also no reason to expect post-release support of any significance. If there is a patch it will have to wait until after the Perfect Game Contest period as was the case last year. MLB Today Season mode never even worked properly in 2K12 – no reason to think it will here. Support was dropped around midseason for MLB Today period. Occasional roster updates could be all that’s ultimately delivered post-release.

The MLB 2K series still presents decent fun factor but the swindle 2K is trying to pull by putting practically the same game on the market for a second straight year minus an important feature can’t be overlooked…particularly when factoring in the $60 sticker price. Criticize any other league licensed product on the major consoles all you want but no other has ever attempted to release with zero gameplay enhancements or changes to primary modes and nothing additional for the feature set. If MLB and 2K had any thoughts of sticking together into the next generation of consoles this game should completely bury that possibility. The league should be embarrassed and 2K has shown no pride in the franchise and no ambition to continue it.

  • orro

    2k is a joke. They actually found a way to make this game worse maybe thats an achievement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/taylor.stephens.180 Taylor Stephens

    2k baseball will never return to decent. Only reason to buy one of thier games games would be for NBA 2k. Even that your forced to casue no other basketball game, but at least they put a lot of work into it.

    • SJ13_BILLS

      2K Baseball and the Madden series are quite similar. The only game in town ( 2K for 360 owners ) and lackluster efforts.

  • nad714

    worley and haren both play in the nl east and both won the cy young?

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Worley must have gotten traded at some point…if I remember right he won it as an Angel.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.query.3 Mike Query

        Vance Worley was part of the Ben Revere trade in real life. He is on the Twins…

        • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

          Thanks, that makes more sense then!

          • http://www.facebook.com/mike.query.3 Mike Query

            Well, not really, why the hell did he win a cy young? haha

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.query.3 Mike Query

      The Twins arent in the AL East

    • James Kerti

      Worley was traded to the Twins in the offseason.

  • JR33

    Thanks for exposing the game for what it is. Shame that other sites dont or wont. I feel bad for you that you stayed up all night to play this game but appreciate you doing so for people to find out about it.

  • krish

    What a sleazy move to take out a mode people care about and make sure not to say its gone. Guess they are using their NBA 2K12 playbook on this with how they removed Crew and wouldn’t say anything either even after the game was out to people who asked about it.

  • JB

    Watched the video, who the hell is Jose Montero?

    • Hank

      “My name is Jose Montero. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
      I’ll give credit to anyone under 35 who understands that quote, haha!

      I’m a fan of 2K12. Yes, we exist.
      I love the hitter-pitcher interface. It’s incredibly fun and had me playing 2K12 all year.
      While the game had it’s issues, it was one that kept me coming back more and more just for the fun factor.
      The more impressions I read about 2K13, the more I’m convinced that I’ll wait till the price drops and I can pick this up for $30 or less.
      I might go with The Show this year. That game has a lot going for it, but I found the last two games were too hard (I barely get to play much during the week and I’m a wretchedly unskilled gamer).

      It’s a pipe dream, but I really hope VC is able to build a baseball game from scratch for next-gen.
      I think given the opportunity they could make a baseball equivalent to their NBA series.
      For those that have played 2k12 (or 2K13), you know there are a lot of things it does well; Hitters Eye, defensive ratings for every position for ever player, a strong Franchise mode, commentary & Presentation and of course analog pitching.
      I still think if 2K looked like The Show, it wouldn’t take as much flack, but that’s a debate for another day.

      Thanks for the update on 2k13 Pasta!

      • Skihawks

        There is no comparison with The Show. It’s visuals are just a bonus compared with the gameplay. I loved 2K7. Since then the series has stunk.

        I rather 2K put out a college hoops game instead of another baseball game.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haffwilliam Will Haff

        its not jose montero its inigo montoya, cool story bro

      • tjritter79

        Inconceivable!

  • dave travis

    As a 2K fan, I’m insulted by this, its like they have two different companies, the NBA crew and the baseball crew, and they don’t talk to each other

    • Nally

      fifa crew vs madden crew. ea does the same thing. its quite embarrassing how incomplete madden is.

      • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

        To be fair…NBA 2K and MLB 2K both come out of Visual Concepts. FIFA and Madden are at completely different studios (EA Canada and Tiburon)

  • Mike Jones

    ….Dude who the fuck is Jose Montero?

  • http://twitter.com/NoPUNintendo ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    It’s just like Madden!

  • TRUTH

    Pasta goes Ham on these reviews. Now do that to Madden and I actually might take this serious.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      If Madden ever tried to do with MLB 2K is here I sure would. No site was harsher on Madden 11 (or the recent NCAAs) then me…and even they at least *attempted* to give consumers their money’s worth. They certainly didn’t hide and hope people would buy their games by refusing to talk about them. Even if they were as bad as you would say…they gave consumers the opportunity to know the features, what they had supposedly improved, see gameplay, and try a demo.

      • SJ13_BILLS

        2K also didn’t advertise any of this either. It’s obvious that you RENT first and buy later if you like it. The MADDEN train is ALL hype and they have been taking out modes for years only to be given a break by all of you. I wouldn’t call you or OS being harsh on M ’13 as you should have been. Compare the game to 2K B Ball and MLB The show and see how EA stands…

        • Keith.

          Agreed.

        • Khadeem

          the 2k basketball series is garbage sorry man but its the truth…the game malfunctions way too often for my taste

    • Keith.

      Exactly.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Wade/100000468932368 John Wade

        I love these folks who the moment Pasta knocks this series they go straight to talking about Madden.

        • Keith.

          At least we have an opinion. I just looked at your comment history — a total of 9 posts, and all defending EA/Madden. To the rest of us, it looks like you’re one of those EA plants. Maybe if you’d add something of substance to one of these discussions, that would change.

          • kbomb1upc

            So inorder to have an opinion that matters they have to either dislike Madden or agree with you? If he likes madden good for him but to say his opinion doesn’t matter is bogus.

          • Tical2399

            His opinion is bogus if he indeed only had 9 comments and they ALL defend EA then it stinks of ulterior motivations.

          • jakk

            Yet Keith takes every opportunity to bash EA even when the topic is something related to a different game or company. So it goes both ways.

          • Khadeem

            and u seem like a 2k plant…i dont ever see you bashing 2k sports for the piece of —- basketball game they put out this year…keep it 100 bro….this years 2k is made for 8 year olds….its an embarrassment to my basketball intelligence

  • Just a guy

    I’m not insulted by this in the least. 2k didn’t even want to do this game, but they weren’t going to turn down the cash MLB offered them to put this out. This is the most obvious review I’ve ever read. Of course this game was going to be awful. They released a trailer and a screen shot as their pub for the game. That’s it. Anyone expecting anything more than a few roster updates and the Astros to the AL was expecting WAY too much.

  • ThBeNdS

    You can’t blame 2k for all of it. They had packed it in until months later the MLB stepped in and got a new deal with them. There was no time to do anything at that point. They did what they could. They did not advertise some thrown in at the last second addition to gameplay. They were straight with the fans by not showing anything. There was nothing to show.

    • http://www.facebook.com/taylor.stephens.180 Taylor Stephens

      So why not call it 12. Just a roster update.

  • 2k Sucks

    And people want these guys to get a shot at making an NFL football game!!! LMAO, cant even get a good baseball game out of them

    • SJ13_BILLS

      Your user name screams EA fan. You can’t expect us to even take what you just said seriously.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.garlets James Garlets

      You obviously have no idea about what you are even saying or you have only been playing games since 2006 or so because the best football game ever made is still to this day NFL 2K5. Presentation, graphics (at the time), gameplay just all around better game compared to ANY madden ever made to date. It’s sad when even EA knew what was happening when 2k5 came out especially at $20 instead of $50 so EA went and bought the rights to making NFL games. Now I believe that there should be more than 1 NFL game to create competition and with competition comes better games from both companies. Seriously though this can go back and forth just like apple vs android, or call of duty vs battlefield. If you haven’t really played any other games from other companies of course you will be biased but that is all it is, being biased.

  • X go2sleep X

    WTF look at Ichiro’s contract!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.raymond.1840 Dave Raymond

    You know for all of the negative things being said about this game, bottom line for me its still fun. Yep you know what i pre ordered it. I looked forward to it coming out and I have had fun playing it today. I have never played or will ever play in a online league. So that feature is pointless to me. The game is fun. I am not insulted by anything 2k did or didnt do with this game. Thank you 2k. If you liked last years you will like this years. I paid my hard earned money for and am very glad I did!!

    • Spugz13

      Finally! Someone who doesn’t just care about graphics and animations! The show is pretty slow I have to say, and the batting is really boring…. I have an xbox 360 and that’s it, so me being the biggest baseball fan you can be and play sports games only, I’m basically forced to buy this even though I still love it! And what’s the show’s problem for stealing our MLB today season mode! C’MON MAN!

      • Redbirds10

        I would buy this game, but only if it wasn’t high priced at 60$, its not that good but its worth a try. I would get it if it was like 40$ or 30$

  • BJ

    All people have to do is stop buying this crap, and it will go away just like NBA Live did.

  • clubsteve

    well said, pasta…..i mean they could have just added dlc to 2k12, updated the rosters and kept up the servers. probably would have been cheaper too. smh.

  • Spugz13

    I was playing the Allstar game and then I brought in Felix Hernandes to pitch and the announcer called him Dubront who is a picture on the Red Sox

  • Zach

    If your the Cardinals in franchise mode make sure you dump Ronny Cedeno. He has a 7 yr 158.21M contract. It jumps from year 1 at 920K to 26.21M a year for the remainder of the contract. It will destroy your franchise because you won’t be able to sign your players in the off-season with that extra 25M on your budget!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/terrance.bailey.94 Terrance Bailey

    No the real horror is for those who bought the game defending the title without knowing they cut the online leagues (me) and are now stuck with a mlb game that fails in all possible accounts of being anything worthy of actually being an MLB product…For shame 2k for SHAME…….

  • MackSwagger

    LMAO. Go Go MLB The Show

  • Nally

    can you use multiple user teams in franchise mode in 2k12 or 2k13? I havnt played a baseball game since 2k9 & am looking to get one strictly to do fantasy drafts or franchises with friends on the same console. please reply soon. thx

  • http://twitter.com/Smokez4Dayz Black Irish

    expose that the show has been the same game for the last 6 years. exposing that 2k is a weaker product is so easy. be the first guys to see the glitches in the show, before the huge patch list comes, stop doing this same garbage every year. consumers don’t care whats not new or old, consumers care about popularity, buy what the other guy has so I can say I have it too. When every other title stays the same you so called gamers kill it, yet the show and 2k baseball is the same every year but one of them is praised. funny dudes and you are all men so you can’t blame women, lol. hypocrites

  • Jeffsiegel

    Is it even a roster update. Mets Roster does not have Travis D’Arnaud and no Zack Wheeler

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