(2K Sports for PS3)
By Mike Delano
Hardcore sports gamers are a demanding bunch. Specifically, they seem to demand that their games are as complicated as possible. Sure, they might wax nostalgic every so often about how they loved the “simple” joys of the NFL and NHL titles on the Genesis, but whenever a modern-day equivalent of those streamlined sports games is released (NBA Street, last year’s The Bigs), they just whine that it’s too arcadey and not for real sports fans. That’s where the hardcore sports simulation titles come in, and MLB 2K8 is a proud member of that group. The player is literally buried under an avalanche of stats and options, whether on the mound or at the plate. Funny thing is, when these types of games are done right, they work, and MLB 2K8 definitely works. Using a push/pull technique on the analog stick for batting is tricky at first, but becomes very satisfying, the Street Fighter-esque analog stick commands required for pitching are genius, and the overall presentation (well, maybe not the weird-looking crowds) has the type of quality sheen you expect from today’s top-tier sports titles. Hardcore sports sims fans will find every nitpicky detail and stat they’re looking for here, but the game’s endearing quirks help it stand out from its peers.