The two major MLB video game franchises have just been released this week. Perennial ratings leader "MLB 11 The Show" for PS3 is sitting at 92.7% on Gamerankings while "MLB 2k11" has yet to receive enough reviews, but Strategy Informer gave it a 9.2.
I picked up MLB 2k11 yesterday and can report that My Player Djustin Smoakley is working his way to the majors at good pace.
I've only used the My Player and Quick Game feature so far, so can't give a full review. But I can report that the animations and models do seem to be improved. The players look less freaky overall, and move somewhat more naturally. The pitching controls are as good as ever. Hitting is more satisfying now, with the unintentional walk being a real possibility against AI pitchers. I'm an impatient batter, but I was thrown plenty of pitches outside the zone, and even a couple that were borderline, but called balls by the new, imperfect umpires.
Base stealing is still difficult to figure. On Xbox you have to hold right trigger for...an amount of time. Then you get a short controller shake to let you know you've triggered the steal and your runner takes off. This makes stealing a huge gamble since you just can't be sure when your guy is going to go. You can't wait for a pitcher's first move as that will be too late. This leads to getting caught in a run down frequently.
Fielding is better, and according to reviews they've emphasized the differences in range between fielders to let the best players shine. The throw meter, which gives a bigger "green zone" for better fielders giving them greater accuracy, is elegant and intuitive to use.
In sum, I'm enjoying the game and can't wait to get back and help Djustin toil away in the minors as he works his way to the bigs. Soon I'll start a season with the M's and see if they can't beat the odds and make the playoffs. Hey, laughter can be cruel, you know.
I'm on Xbox LIVE with the gamertag Br3wtality if anyone wants to friend me and start a league.