Every baseball fan enjoys the MLB: The Show video games. The graphics look great, and the gameplay is fun. Though changes can be minimum or minor, these are games that baseball fans can look forward to each year.
However, if you find yourself tired of the Show games, and want to play a different baseball game altogether, then this game is for you. Ladies and gentlemen, step into a time machine and be brought back 15 years ago to EA Sports’ MVP Baseball 2005.
The game came out on February 22, 2005. Manny Ramirez, who at the time was playing for the Boston Red Sox, was coming off his sensational season in 2004, which included World Series MVP is the cover athlete. Here are the most significant features of the game.
MLB Teams and Single-A Teams
The game features all 30 MLB teams as expected, including the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, whose name would be changed three years later to the Rays. It also included the newest MLB franchise at the time, the Washington Nationals. There were also legends teams, which at the time were not too rare in MLB video games. We will discuss how you can get those legends later. The players for all teams are there, however on the San Fransisco Giants and Boston Red Sox rosters, you won’t see Barry Bonds and Kevin Millar. Bonds and Millar at the time did not agree to have their names on the MLBPA license. You can find them in the game named Jon Dowd and Anton Friese.
In the previous game, MVP Baseball 2004, it was the first game to have Triple-A and Double-A teams. However, MVP Baseball 2005, they include Single-A teams. For the New York Yankees, you would go with Tampa Yankees. For the Boston Red Sox, you would go with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, and so on, and so on. While you don’t need to play with these teams, it does give off the whole experience of how baseball works in general.
The Hitters Eye and Other Batting Features
The Hitters Eye is the original marketing idea of the game. The idea is of this system is to help batters play better in the game. It works like this: after the type of pitch is thrown, the color of the ball will tell you what the pitch will be. White for a fastball, red for a breaking ball, green for an off-speed pitch, purple for a sinking pitch, and orange for a knuckle-ball. Think of it as the Houston Astros cheating scandal, except without the trash cans. It also features a pitch and swing analysis where you can go to a replay to see where you need to improve on your hitting.
There are many essential game modes in MVP Baseball 2005. Two of the modes let you play as a critical part of the team. The owner’s mode enables you to control the whole team, stadium, and all. As the player takes the role of an owner of a baseball club, it comes down to you to make the fans happy. Dynasty Mode is another feature where you take control of a baseball team.
However, you take control as a GM instead, like a simple franchise mode. Create a Ballpark mode gives the player a chance to design their stadium. The player chooses the name and the design of the stadium. The choices could be the stadium’s location, the seating, etc. All of these modes give the player some ideas on how essential all of these things are to baseball. It gets the player to think as well, plus it’s a lot of fun.
Other Game Modes
The different game modes include a simple exhibition mode. Manager Mode lets you play a game. However, you, as a manager, have to decide what to do each inning. Homerun Showdown Mode is where you battle a player and see how many home runs you get you to measure up to a certain number of feet. Scenario Editor gives you a chance to set up part of a game. You want to hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 19th inning, well you can do that here. Extras include mini-games like a batting skills game to see how many points you can get after hitting baseballs in specific directions. You can also get points by hitting items in both the outfield and over the wall. The pitching skills mini-game is simply Tetris with pitching. You pitch to remove a bunch of colored blocks.
Presentation and Graphics
The graphics for MVP Baseball 2005 are alright, and the stadiums are identical for when the game came out. However, if you look at the player models today, MLB the Show wins on models. While models like Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, and Ken Griffey Jr. have their similar stances, sometimes players will have the same stance. An example of this is Jim Thome has the same batting stance as Jason Giambi.
Aside from that, the rest of the game looks fantastic. Every time a player hits a home run, the replay will show a different view. There’s also a replay that show’s the reaction of the player hitting a home run. The presentation is one of my favorite things about the game. San Fransisco Giants commentators Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow are the play by play and color analyst guys calling the games. Cameos from fans, as well as players, pop up at the beginning of the game, saying the EA Sports catchphrase.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a sports game without music, and I must say, I love the soundtrack of MVP Baseball 2005. Some of my favorite songs on the soundtrack include Tessie by The Dropkick Murphys, which yes is the song about the Red Sox, and We Got the Noise by the Donots, which is the intro song. There are other artists on the soundtrack like The High-Speed Scene, Hot Hot Heat, Rock n Roll Soldiers, and And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead. They may not be memorable bands, but I can say listen to this soundtrack; it’s one of many reasons I play this game.
Extras for Replayability
I said earlier we would talk about the legendary teams, and now we can talk about them. The legendary teams include the Legends and the Heroes. There are legendary players in the game, like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Cy Young, etc. Not only that, but there are also old stadiums and retro uniforms you can unlock as well. There are two ways to get them.
First, you can either save enough MVP Points, which are points you get for completing specific tasks in a game. The other is by a cheat where you create a player named Katie Roy in which that will unlock everything in the game. The players are also available in free agency; that way, you can make yourself a mighty team.
Is MVP Baseball 2005 a game you should play?
There is one question that remains, should you buy this game? My final answer is, Yes, you should buy this game. Not only is a baseball game that many fans remember, but people go back to play it even today because back then, baseball games were not as good as this game.
It proves that you don’t need money to buy extra content and modes that feel complicated. It gives the idea that baseball video games can be fun and straightforward. That’s the truth about this game. So for my final words, I say go pick up your old console and buy this game!
Follow me on Twitter at @SonicHockeyFan for more of my content!
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Visit our shop and check out the latest Overtime Heroics merch drops!
Be sure to check out our partners at Repp Sports! They offer the first-ever crowd-sourced, no carb, no sugar, energy drink called RAZE and much more! Use the link above or add the promo code OTH1 at checkout to get 30% off your order!