Monday, October 29, 2007

Review: "The Bigs" is a hit parade on the Wii

Baseball isn't much of a contact sport - unless you are draped in white cowhide. On the Wii, 'The Bigs' is one huge hit parade.

The 2K Sports title appears on the Xbox 360 (reviewed by Mount F.U.-G.), the PS3 and on the Wii. The Wii version differs from the 360 version. The biggest omission is the Home Run Pinball on the 360. That minigame would have been a huge plus on this version of the game.

The Wii version is very similar to the 360 version except the graphics are much stronger on the 360, and the pitching schemes are different. "The Bigs" on the Wii uses the remote and nunchuck for batting, pitching and even base running. It features all of the modes on the 360 version except for the pinball minigame.

Batting is much easier on the Wii with the remote. The scheme is very similar to the "Wii Sports Baseball" controller layout. On the 360, you *swing* and hope to hit the ball. With the Wii, you see the pitch is low and you can adjust. The Wii wins that battle, bats down.

Pitching, though, is a different creature altogether. I gave John Smoltz the nod against the Florida Marlins. By the end of the 1st, I was down 20 to zip. Too bad 2K didn't add a 10-run mercy rule on the game, It would have been helpful.

You use the remote for pitching. However, here's where it gets a wii bit tricky. You don't just pitch the ball - you have to twist the remote different ways to get the pitcher to throw different pitchers. For example, to pitch a slider, you may have to twist the remote sideways to get pitch a slider. It was hard for me to make any good pitches, and sluggers rejoiced. I gave up two grand slams in the same inning!

A really cool feature only on the Wii is base running. You can use the remote and nunchuck to speed your runner up. I had an in-field hit - I was sure I wouldn't make it first - but decided to try anyway. I made an up-and-down motion with my controllers and I made it! It was a golden moment despite the Marlins' 20-run lead.

The Wii version, like the 360 version, also includes multiplayer, exhibition and home run derby modes. Apart from the *interesting* pitching scheme, the version play the same. You can also create a star for the Rookie Challenge.

The good: Awesome batting with your Wii remote; base running using your nunchuck and remote; home run derby and pretty cool graphics

The bad: Pitching scheme is much more difficult using the Wii remote vs. the 360's controller; a real need for a 10-run mercy rule; lack of Home Run Pinball

The ugly: Being down 20 runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Overall: 7.0 (out of 10) - "Wii Sports" is still my preferred version of baseball so far on the Wii, but "The Bigs" makes a good effort. The lack of the home run pinball minigame and the difficult pitching scheme hurt the title, but it's still fun being able to hit the ball. If you want to play with real major leaguers (except for Barry Bonds) instead of Miis, check out "The Bigs."

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