- Posted: 3:35 PM, September 20, 2011
Make no mistake, Nicktoons MLB is not MLB ’11: The Show or MLB 2K11, but it doesn’t try to be. Simply put, Nicktoons MLB is a title designed for a younger audience or those just looking to have a good time. Sabermetricians who want to calculate the BABIP for Dudley Puppy need not apply here.
Nicktoons MLB can be played with either the traditional Xbox 360 controller or with the Kinect, with both providing fun and enjoyable experiences. First off, the Kinect controls are relatively responsive.
When comparing it to other baseball-themes motion control games, Nicktoons MLB is a home run. The Kinect picks up on the motions when swinging the bat (rather than just simply dropping your arm or controller as we have seen in previous attempts at a motion-controlled baseball title), and the ready position/arm slot release for pitching mimics that of a real pitcher.
To illustrate just how responsive the controls are, when batting, if I went to step into a ball (years of playing has me conditioned to do so), the Kinect would pick up on it. The only downside in terms of the control scheme was the automatic fielding and throwing when using the Kinect, but of course, unless you are playing in a big area, this is something that is difficult to work around.
For those who have played The Bigs (which the Post Game Report was a fan of), Nicktoons MLB will look, feel and control almost identical. The physics and gameplay engines were essentially imported from the arcade-style baseball game into Nicktoons MLB, and the player and stadium models look similar to the ones found in The Bigs series.
As far as the rosters go, there are over 300 MLB players from all 30 teams available in this game as well as 25 classic Nicktoons characters to select from. Players can select any of the 30 MLB teams and via a fantasy draft add a number of Nicktoons players to the roster, making for classic pitcher-batter matchups such as Stimpy versus Alex Rodriguez.
Again, it is worth noting that this is not a simulation baseball game by any means. It does not feature full rosters, a full slate of MLB ballparks, nor does it feature a franchise mode. What it does have is a slew of Nicktoons-themed interactive ballparks, collectable cards, a gauntlet-style tournament mode, and even a home-run derby.
Nicktoons MLB is one of the better/more enjoyable Kinect titles I have played this year, and the colorful characters provide a sense of nostalgia, especially for older gamers. With a $39.99 price tag, Nicktoons MLB is able to overcome some of its shortcomings to provide gamers, both kids and adults, with a fun-filled baseball experience.
Final Grade: B-/B
Nicktoons MLB is rated E for Everyone and is available for the Xbox 360, Wii and DS.