It really is. Or, at least, should be. There are some serious issues that hold it back - some of which are gameplay related, others being simply attributed to Konami's greed. But even despite its faults, this game still blows the doors off of MLB 2K, and because Xbox.com hasn't bothered to put together an online forum, I decided to start this thread in hopes that this feedback gets somewhere.
Xbox is seriously lacking a respectable baseball game. Bobblehead Pros, despite it's childish flair, could make up for this if the right people are contacted and the appropriate fixes are made. Does anybody else remember the original Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball for the Super Nintendo? Think of that game, except with updated graphics, teams, stadiums and uniforms. All that is missing is a patch to fix the points in the game that make detract from what otherwise would be a stellar game.
Serious Gameplay Problems:
1. Too often the computer selects the incorrect fielder to make a play. I've had balls hit between my third baseman and shortstop, only to be given control of my second baseman for no apparent reason.
2. You have to immediately be within the path of the baseball in order to field it. I know that sounds like it should make sense, but it doesn't. There is literally no room for error. If you are not precisely where the ball is - and I mean exactly on top of it - it goes right past you. A good example of what I mean by this is you can literally watch a ball roll past your player's shoe. Does he pick it up? Nope. You literally have to be right on top of it or else you miss it entirely.
I like to imagine every player in a giant invisible bubble. When the ball penetrates said bubble, the character will field the ball. Unfortunately, at the moment this bubble is WAY too small. So small, in fact, that it makes it incredibly difficult (even on the easiest settings) to field sharply hit ground balls. Download and play the demo if you think I'm just being nitpicky. It's a serious problem.
3. Sluggish outfielders. It's like every outfielder is pulling an invisible lead wagon, which makes cutting off balls hit into the lanes nearly impossible - not to mention any passed balls (see point two) absolutely devastating. As if that wasn't enough, however, you also have to take into account ball bounce heights. Apparently, every outfield is made of rubber, not grass. Hard hit flys into the outfield that bounce in front of your player can miraculously bounce over your outfielder, which again goes back to this invisible bubble I spoke of.
4. Bunting. It's incredibly difficult to do successfully - even if you're just trying to advance the runner. Go ahead and try.
1. Unfinished product? I have to wait to pay for simple modes like the Home Run Derby and All-Star teams? Really? That's absurd. it's almost as bad as when Madden tried to charge players for alternate uniforms. And as if that wasn't enough, I can't even edit or customize a player - not even a "Your Superstar" mode unless I pay more for it?
OK, the truth is I would almost be willing to pay for these things IF the game wasn't plagued by so many easily-fixed problems. If they'd bother to patch the gameplay before releasing this stuff there probably wouldn't even be an issue to be had here. But they haven't, and thus if you purchased the initial game you ought to be outraged, or at the very least upset.
2. No custom players, or teams, or even the ability to make trades? Yeah, you can make "custom teams," but only with the teams that currently exist and even then it's just glorified custom All-Star teams with players that are already in the game. That's relatively pointless, if you ask me.
More importantly, why aren't there trade options? And why am I expected to, again, pay more for an "Edit Player" option? C'mon, Konami, that's pathetic. You can't even allow us to make trades in season mode? Or should I just assume that will also be another DLC feature I can have down the line for a nominal fee?
In closing, this game is a missed opportunity. Konami has a product that, while maybe a bit overly kid-friendly, has the potential to actually be a really good title. But until some of the issues that plague the experience are met, this game is going to continue to be lost amongst the long line of Xbox Live Arcade games that never really realized their potential.
I really wish there was an easier way to send feedback to Xbox/Konami/anyone that cares, but no such options really exist at the moment. Perhaps Xbox.com wouldn't mind looking incorporating something like that with their new forums.
Again, this game, even despite its flaws, is still a considerably better experience than anything 2K has offered in years. It's just a pity none of the concerns listed above will likely ever be addressed.