The BIGS 2 Initial Impressions

Posted July 26th, 2009 at 12:35 pm


With all that has been going on lately I haven’t had much chance to delve into The BIGS 2. This being the sequel to one of my favorite sports games of this generation I had high hopes. At the same time I somewhat expected it to not achieve those hopes because the original was such a surprise and it would only be building off of that. From the demo it was clear the game would remain similar enough but with several enhancements to the experience though a questionable change to the camera. Would that be enough to capture the magic that the original provided? Continue on for my thoughts and a handful of videos.

Just like the original The BIGS 2 plays in a sim fashion just with exaggerated nature. The gameplay is crisp and the strategy involved is really smart. It is probably the most well constructed arcade-natured game I’ve ever played. That goes along with the sharp graphics that even outshine their own MLB 2K franchise.

Continuing from the demo is my dislike of the new zoomed in camera. It seems like most people feel the same way about it. Because the action is so fast paced the camera darts from one position to the next and you lose sense of what is actually happening. There was even one instance where I was playing the field and reacted to a ball hit sharply down the baseline that for a second I wasn’t sure whether it was the 1B line or the 3B line. It just seems like you miss a lot of the action because the camera is moving so quickly.

I really like how the injuries affect ratings. When a player gets injured you can see his stars being lost in the specific ratings categories. This adds another element of strategy. Maybe you’ll get thrown out trying to steal but it could be worth it to damage the second baseman for example. You can also try to hit the opposing pitcher while he is at the plate and hurt his effectiveness on the mound.

Providing players with “Legendary” tags proves another good strategic addition. It makes for exciting moments making those plays and as a hitter it is smart to try and avoid any of those legendary players with your hits. I also like how certain players provide boosts to your team depending on the situation. That helps to enhance the feeling that the game is representative of their real life skills. The “Wheelhouse” also works well strategically since you get a boost for pitching into it, but as a hitter can really take advantage if you get ahold of a pitch through the wheelhouse.

The new addition that I am not fond of is the Big Slam, which is essentially an automatic Grand Slam. As the pitcher you don’t even have any control over this. After the first pitch the CPU throws the next three which are almost assured to lead to the Grand Slam. I don’t understand the thinking behind putting this in since the rest of the game provides choices and control over the strategy. You do have to really work up to that though to earn a Big Slam and bypass other options along the way.

Become A Legend mode seems pretty similar to the one in the original. It is task based only this time starting out in the Mexican league. Create-A-Player faces are somewhat disturbing, half of them looked like aliens. I like that there are more celebrations and accessories to personalize your player with. We’ll see as I get farther into the mode how much it has been improved.

The mini-games are creative though I’m not sure I could say they are that much fun. The Power mini-game situates you at an odd angle. You’re off to the side instead of on the plate so the ball comes in awkwardly. I got accustomed to it but fail to see how that would help my skills playing the game regularly. The Contact mini-game is very frustrating and it feels improbable that I’ll ever beat Chipper Jones. Make sure you choose a right handed hitter otherwise it is disorienting the way the balls disperse from the same area in both directions. I’ve yet to beat Chipper so I haven’t even gotten to try out the Glove or Speed games. Again, the Contact game would not make anyone better at playing The BIGS regularly…if anything it might make them worse at the plate.

Of course everyone loves the Home Run Pinball. This time there are a few new locations and it can be played online.

The rosters are very outdated and not just in player movement but in what players are included on the rosters. I went to the bullpen with the Mariners only to find there was no David Aardsma. 2K has promised roster updates but they’ve been abandoning support of most titles without ever fulfilling promises like that. Hopefully since The BIGS 2 is more highly regarded and better selling they will provide updates.

One annoyance is that the game asks you to choose your save device at the start-up every single time. Not sure why it can’t just remember that I want to autosave to the hard drive.

I still need to get into the online play more. I really enjoyed the online co-op in the original even though it was limited to facing the CPU. This time around you can also go up against two users.

The BIGS 2 remains 2K’s best baseball offering in every way. It is remarkable that this game can be so polished and well thought out while the others are in disarray. This could very well end up being the baseball title I get the most enjoyment out of this year.