Infendo Reader Reviews: McClain on The Bigs

thebigsboxart.jpgFrom time to time, we’ll take a few well-written, intelligent and objective reviews from the Infendo Forums and throw them up on the main page for the whole world to enjoy. Here’s another great review courtesy of McClain for the new Wii title, The Bigs.

“Why are you throwing home?!!!”

That is what my neighbors kept hearing yesterday when I brought home a copy of The Bigs for the Wii. I picked up a copy with a gift card I got for my birthday (the big 2-7), came home, fired it up, and totally sucked. After striking out three times I took the mound and 16 runs later, figured I might actually have to read the instructions for this game. This is not the pick-up-and-play game that baseball on Wii Sports is.

So I read the instructions and went through the tutorial and felt like I knew what I was doing.

Hitting and pitching is a blast. Once you get the hang of it, nothing is more satisfying than striking out the side. There are three arm movements combined with the A and B buttons to give you access to every pitch in the book (of course, your selected pitcher only knows his four pitches). Hitting is all about timing. Good so far.

But as soon as the ball is put into play, it all unravels. On defense, I couldn’t seem to get my guys to throw the ball to the base I wanted them to. Somehow I kept jerking my hand down first, sending the ball to home. But when I slowed down my movement and actually got Chipper Jones to toss to McClain (my made-up first baseman, who’s a terror at the plate but a defensive liability), the runner beat the throw. I don’t understand why they didn’t take away a little bit of control in favor of, you know, common sense. No one on, grounder to short, why not make any all all movements throw to first? This is arcade baseball, not a realistic sim, so why not let us just flip, flip and let the computer just know that we want to do a 6-4-3?

And running the base paths can be a disaster. I hit a double once where my guy ran all the way back to first and the runner on third stopped half-way home. No idea what happened.

Playing modes are limited. There is no Season Mode, which will be a deal breaker for many, and there is no online. Rosters are limited to about 15 players per team, and most of the no-names don’t have mug shots. And the renderings are very hit-and-miss — Andruw Jones looks good, but Chipper looks like mud. There is a Rookie Challenge which I haven’t gotten into yet, but from what I can tell it’s mini-game training modes that boost your stats as you try to make a team. Sounds like fun, but I hear it’s shallow.

The Bigs is fun. I think with friends, it will be a blast. On easy mode it’s pretty forgiving. But it’s a buggy first effort. If you are really dying for a baseball game, or if you have a gift card burning a hole in your pocket, it’ll entertain you. Otherwise, I’d wait for the bargain bin or the 2k8 sequel.

If you’d like to submit a review of a new game you’ve played, head on over to the Infendo Forums and contribute! Who knows, it might even end up on the main page of Infendo.