Remember Bases Loaded? Better yet, remember Bases Loaded 3? Back when baseball games were really easy and let you play a quick game and then move on with your life without having to obsess over stats, lineups, and bullpens? For those of you who haven’t played a baseball game since then, there’s a new glimmer of hope: 2K Sport’s The BIGS. The main focus of the game has the players act as heroes and baseball as the sport of gods. In other words, they went a little over the top, but in a good way. I spent a little hands-on time with the game earlier this week and it looks like it could be a much more attainable and fun version of every other baseball game out there.
To start off, the visuals looked amazing. The players were extremely life-like and fluid-moving. The stadiums are a prime example of exaggeration for the fun of it. Landmarks, usually way off in the distance are pulled in closer, to be in the background of the games, added seating capacity makes some of the smallest fields feel like they are Yankee Stadium. It just adds to the over the top atmosphere.
The gameplay was fairly easy to pick up. Even though timing is still a key element of hitting, you can sway your at bat in your favor, by using the available turbo meter, or, if you save it up enough, you can go for the "Power Blast" as the batter. The Power Blast essentially lets you see where the pitch is coming in, and if you make contact, it’s going over the fence -- complete with scoreboard destruction and fireworks. If you’re pitching, you’ve got the advantage throwing Big Heat right past the batter, with no chance of them touching it. When you’re in the field, every play could turn into a big play, as the camera will zoom in on you as you go to field the ball. The game goes big again with seemingly super human abilities when going for a catch off the wall in the outfield, reaching heights of what appear to be 15 – 20 feet as you rob a homerun.
A couple different modes show off the depth (or lack thereof) of the game. Homerun Derby is a given, but the game doesn't have a full season mode; it's supplemented by Rookie mode. You start off in the minors and end at the World Series. Coming in at about 20 hours long, the mode is essentially drills (which had me pining to be shagging balls in the outfield like I was 15 again), and game-based challenges (bottom of the 9th, down by one) that you complete to level up and advance your character. The other more unique mode The BIGS boasts is Pinball. If you ever wanted to take batting practice in Times Square, then this mode is perfect for you. You get points for how much you destroy. Seriously… how great is that?
Overall, The BIGS seems like it will be a great offering for anyone that doesn’t want to deal with the technical aspects of other modern baseball games, and just wants to play a quick, really fun game. The BIGS hits stores on June 22nd, on pretty much every platform, with the Wii being the most intriguing. They didn’t have the Wii version to demo, but it sounded like just playing Homerun Derby was a good workout.