You Don’t Have to Live in a Pineapple Under the Sea to Play Ball at The Poseidome
What It Is
I think we are heading into baseball playoff season. I’m not a fan of the sport, but I do like video games and I also like animated shows, which is why I thought that playoff season (Will someone please tell me if that’s happening now?) would be a great time to review Nicktoons MLB.
Nicktoons MLB is a baseball video game that allows players to create teams using Nickelodeon characters along with players from all 30 Major League Baseball teams. One or two people can play and the game gets started by picking players from the lineup of Nickelodeon’s animated all-stars and the MLB players. Once the teams are ready, it’s time to select a stadium and play ball!
Why It’s Fun
I have no idea who the MLB players are (Again, not a fan.), but seeing these real players share the field with characters from Ren & Stimpy, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Last Airbender and Invader ZIM is hysterical. The animated characters bring the comic antics they are known for to the game, which makes the absurdity of something like Powdered Toast Man pitching to Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies that much funnier.
The stadiums range from real-life ballparks including Fenway Park to crazy stadiums that exist in the animated characters’ worlds like The Poseidome from SpongeBob’s home town of Bikini Beach.
Who’s Going To Love It
Controlling the game-play with Kinect is highly intuitive. Pitchers wind up and throw the ball while batters take a batting stance and swing at the proper moment to connect with the ball, which I’m fairly certain is the game of baseball in a nutshell. The ease of playing and cartoony hijinks of the Nickelodeon characters should make this a big hit with young gamers, especially baseball fans.
The combination of kid-favorite characters and MLB players makes this a great game for parents and adults to play with the kids in their lives.
What To Be Aware Of
As mentioned earlier, playing this game with Kinect is easy and fun, but getting through the menus and selection screens (where teams and stadiums are selected) is very glitchy and got a little frustrating. Fortunately, the game can also be played the old fashioned way with controllers, which is just as much fun.
The graphics are definitely not as good as the typical 2K Sports game but those games are designed for an older (teen/adult) audience and the graphics in Nicktoons MLB are comparable to most kids’ games.
I played the Xbox version of the game for this review. The Wii version will be relatively similar but the DS version could be very different.
There are multiple modes that allow for a variety of ways to play this game including Pick-Up Game, which allows one or two people to play a quick game and Tournament mode, which allows a single player to play through an entire tournament. The Pick-Up Game on its own can be played over and over whenever there are two players because no two games will ever be the same.
3 out of 5
It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!
Video Game Information
Publisher: 2K Play
System: Nintendo DS, Wii, Xbox 360 (with support for Kinect)
Players: 1 - 2
SRP: $29.99 (DS, Wii), $39.99 (Xbox 360)
Launch Date: September 13, 2011
Date of Review: September 21, 2011