MLB Bobblehead Pros was developed by Power Pros Production and published by Konami. It was released on July 6, 2011 for 800 MSP.
Not many MLB games are on Xbox Live Arcade, with only one being currently available, MLB Stickball. MLB Bobblehead Pros tries to add drollery to baseball, but unfortunately falls short of being even a little humorous. With lackluster gameplay, creepy player models and features being locked up as future DLC, MLB Bobblehead Pros is a poor attempt at making an arcade baseball game.
Here’s what we liked:
Authenticity – Even though it’s an XBLA game, every MLB stadium and all the teams are represented in the game. There’s also a five year season mode, and although very mundane, it’s more fun to play than the regular exhibition games. Real life players and statistics adds some authenticity to an overall silly, fun-loving game.
Controller setup – The ability to change controller settings is definitely a plus. Before each game you can change how easy or how hard the CPU is for that particular game. The ability to adjust fielding, batting, and pitching difficulty for the CPU independently is truly an addition to the game. It’s something that people are used too in simulation baseball games, but to add that into an arcade style game is great for fans and gamers alike.
Here’s what we didn’t like:
Gameplay – Gamers expect precision when playing a baseball game. Unfortunately MLB Bobblehad Pros lacks it in almost every department. Fielding is some of the worst in a sports game, with balls going through fielders, and sometimes fielders not even moving. Batting is also different than what most people are used too. You have to aim where your swing is going, and although that is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s something that takes some getting used too.
Load times – Starting up the game you’re immediately met with stability issues. The game will freeze for about 15 seconds as it first loads up content. It’s something you don’t expect in 2011, but sadly it’s here. It also has stability issues when playing online, with most games being severely laggy and unstable. Playing in single player the game still has the initial boot-up problems, but after that it seems to only have a few minor freezing issues during saving.
Audio – With only the PA announcer to listen to you get a lot of reticent games. There are the occasional songs that play during each at-bat, but nothing that is worth listening to. The PA announcer doesn’t say any of the player’s names when they come up to bat, either; he only says their positions, such as “up next to bat, center fielder”. It just seems a lazy thing to not record voice-overs for each player, and most gamers best bet is to listen to their own music while playing.
Online modes – The online is lackluster, and something that’s easily forgettable. Lag is a major issue when playing online, with those same loading and freezing issues making a return. You have the same options as in single player, how many innings to play, etc, but it once again lacks any kind of fidelity. This is a game that didn’t necessarily need any online functionality, especially with modes like Home Run Derby being locked away as future DLC.
Bobbleheads/visuals – From the first time the game starts up, you’re met with these eerie looking figures that you’re never okay actually looking at. The bobbleheads are supposed to come off as silly and humorous, but instead they come off as creepy and weird. None of the players resemble their real-life counterparts. It’s as if the developers were going for a Nintendo® Mii look and feel, with every bobblehead having no legs, something that real-life bobbleheads actually have. The overall visual package of MLB Bobblehead Pros can be summed up in one word, horrific.
DLC – Yes, MLB Bobblehead Pros is only a week old and DLC is already on its way. At the main menu there are options for Home Run Derby and editing a player. When selecting teams both the American and National league teams are locked away as future DLC. It’s a lousy thing for publishers to do, as those features and teams can easily be added into the initial game release. Sadly, holding out features for future DLC is something that seems to be a thing of the future.
Die-hard baseball fans might get a kick out of this silly, creepy game, but the humor falls flat and it has shallow gameplay. Pile on that some game modes are being held back for future DLC, and it further makes MLB Bobblehead Pros a less appealing game. As a deal of the week, it might be worth 400MSP, but for 800MSP it’s not something that most people will enjoy playing.
Score: Skip It
Second opinion by Andrew Crews
MLB Bobblehead Pros is a disappointment on almost every level. The only fun to be had in this game would be found in the Home Run Derby, if that was an option. Instead customers are stuck with sluggish controls, awkward looking players and uninspiring gameplay to chose from. A hardcore MLB fan may be able to find some fun in this title, but the average gamer will likely delete this demo in less than five minutes. MLB Bobblehead Pros isn’t even worth the bandwidth nor the time it takes to download.
Score: Skip It