Baseball is hardly a sport followed by Kiwis and due to this fact we sadly havenâ€™t seen a PAL version of any baseball title for a number of years. People will argue there is Wii Sports, which is good for a laugh for ten minutes, but it hardly has us playing it time and time again. The Bigs sees 2K, the company who has brought us the 2K series of other sports titles, trying to utilise the functionality that is offered on the Nintendo Wii for a baseball game.
Firstly, The Bigs isnâ€™t a simulation based game; it takes the controls of the Wii and mashes the arcade style of gameplay that featured in NFL Blitz and makes it a fun experience for even the most baseball-hating Kiwi gamer. While this is great for people looking who want a quick gaming fix, those looking for some depth will be sadly let down.
Itâ€™s not all doom and gloom though; the game does offer an in-depth mode called the â€˜Rookie Challengeâ€™ mode. Youâ€™ll start off creating your own player and taking him through the ranks and hopefully turning him into a major league baseball superstar. Sadly, this has replaced a franchise or manager mode youâ€™d come to find within a typical EA title.
Rookie Challange mode will supply a good number of hours but in the long run youâ€™ll find yourself sadly disappointed. As you go through the innings of a game your team will power up and a power meter will increase as you hit the ball round the park. Once you level up to can unleash hell by pressing C and Z buttons, which allow your batter to smash the ball out of the park.
The only real criticism towards the Wii has been that the majority of the games have been too gimmicky in regards to the way the motion sensor controls are used. The Bigs wonâ€™t let you down in that way; swing the Wii Remote lightly for a small chip into the infield, hold it out for a bunt, or swing for the stands to hit that all important homerun. Pitching is quite similar to Wii Sports baseball mode, although The Bigs offers more depth.
The Bigs does have some shortfalls on the graphics side of the ball. The Wii version doesnâ€™t look as pretty as the other next gen consoles, but delivers back in spades with the realism that is offered by the Wii remote and nunchuck.
The soundtrack is interesting. With most EA titles youâ€™ll get the latest singles from all the â€˜coolâ€™ groups. However, it was surprising to see Stone Temple Pilotâ€™s â€˜Plushâ€™ and Motorheadâ€™s â€˜Ace of Spadesâ€™ being pumped out between batters lining up to the plate. While the majority of tracks on the game were old, it was refreshing not to hear a whole bunch of hip hop tracks (we hope we havenâ€™t enraged NZGamer.comâ€™s huge hip hop community) that you absolutely hate interrupting your gaming experience.
The Bigs is a great title for the sports goers who have been let down by the lack of good sports games the Wii. Though baseball is a sport that probably doesnâ€™t have a following outside of USA and Japan, and while it isnâ€™t Halo 3 or Assassins Creed, it still is a good Wii sports title and worth the purchase.