Baseball game for PS2 (looking for a gift)

I am attempting to advise someone on a gift he’s buying for a 10 year-old. He wants to get him a baseball game for the PS2, but since baseball is substantially the only sport (and type of game) I don’t pay attention to, I’m at a loss for what to recommend. Any advice? Thanks, folks.

MLB Slugfest 2003. You have a “turbo” meter that you can use to throw or run extra fast, hit longer, or even to plow into someone trying to tag you out. Unless the kid is a budding sim-head or the parent is utterly horrified by the idea of baseball players beating the crap out of each other, that’ll be the one.

I disagree with the above. I’m not prude enough to say a 10 year old is too young for the baseball version of NFL Blitz (his mother might think so though) but I’d recommend something that actually, accurately, simulates the game. Probably the best teaching tools for kids are good sports games. They teach the complex rules of the game, baseball strategy, etc., I don’t play console baseball games though. So, I think you should probably get him High Heat. It’s the best rule and play-wise (on the PC), but the graphics are kind of stinky. I’m only saying this because it sounds like he WANTS a baseball game, not the arcade silly (but fun) Slugfest, which I’d recommend for a non-baseball fan. (He’s a bit too old for Backyard Baseball.)

Maybe head over to Gamerankings for some review reading?

Bleh, when I was that age my favorite sports game was Intellivision Hockey, because you could trip players (which had a very satisfying sound effect) and even get away with it most of the time.

The kid will get enough strategy and rules from his Little League coach and from watching televised games.

For a ten year old, Slugfest may be a bit much. What I saw of the game included the first baseman punching the runner in the gut repeatedly. That’s a little ridiculous. High Heat is by far a better option because it’s real baseball.

–Dave

Slugfest is rated E. Don’t be such a pansy, the game is really a lot more fun then the other choices.

When one is giving a gift to someone else’s children, it’s best to be armed with all the facts about the gift beforehand. How do you know if the parents would approve of the brand of basebrawl in Slugfest? Better to give Rob all the facts about the game than have him advise his buddy about it only to find out later it was a real bad idea.

–Dave

Ah, yes, my fault. I should have mentioned that I am told that the parents of this child are somewhat sensitive to the violence issue (though I’m also told they were contemplating whether to get him SOCOM, so go figure). So I think I will probably need to find something more sim-like and docile. For my own sake, though, I was interested to hear about Slugfest. Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. Sounds like High Heat is something to explore a bit further for purposes of this gift.

Yeah, the parents. But this is for the kid! It’s cartoonish violence, anyway.

Slugfest is a great game and one of the most playable “baseball” titles out there. Sure, it’s over the top, but it has the best graphics in any baseball game, really tight controls, and rock-solid AI. Plus the commentary is actually funny.

But it’s pretty unsatisfying if what you want is an actual baseball game Doug. Slugfest is great and the Bugs Bunny cartoon “What’s Opera Doc?” is great too… unless you’re in the mood for real Opera.

“Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit…”

Just thought I’d give a postscript on the purchase. So I recommended both Slugfest and High Heat with the caveat about the over-the-top violence of Slugfest. My friend went to look at both, liked Slugfest, spotted the “E” rating and decided it must be OK. Think those ESRB ratings don’t matter?

I honestly can’t understand how Slugfest and the rest of that Midway lineup get an E. I don’t think the publisher discloses the actual content of the game to the ESRB. Either that or the ratings system has a problem there.

And yeah, those ratings do matter. My wife immediately put the kibosh on Metroid Prime as a game to play with the kids when she saw the T rating. I agreed with the decision, but it’s just another indicator of how those ratings make a difference.

–Dave

Out of the Park Baseball 4. It’s never too early to hook a kid on stats. =)