A new development team is producing the game, which is shaping up to be quite different from the previous version.
An all-new Owner Mode replaces the Dynasty Mode from MVP 2004, and will let players perform trades, go through spring training, set ticket and concession prices, run ballpark promotions, and manage three levels of minor leaguers.
Minor league rosters are being expanded to include "advanced" single-A clubs and additional stadiums. All minor league clubs will feature actual logos and mascots.
Also brand new for MVP Baseball 2005 is the "Create-A-Ballpark" feature, which will let players design custom ballparks, save them to the memory card, and use them as home fields for exhibition games or in the Owner mode.
Other improvements include a revamped batter/pitcher interface, which lets batters move around in the box and pitchers execute precise throws into the corners, and a more comprehensive implementation of Big Play Control (tm), which lets players use the analog stick to perform lead-offs, stretch catches, and dives.
Online play will also feature prominently, although the company is keeping mum for the moment on what all that will entail. MVP Baseball 2004 featured leaderboards and ranked and unranked games, as well as downloadable roster updates, so we can expect at least that much in the follow-up.
MVP Baseball 2005, with Red Sox World Series MVP Manny Ramirez on the cover, is slated to ship for the PlayStation 2 on March 1, 2005. Until then, feel free to check out the screenshots they gave us by clicking the link over there on the right.
12/2/2004 Frank Provo