Since EA no longer has the MLB license, most people thought the MVP series would be retired. Well, it hasn't. The company has decided to go back to school; college to be exact. The series is coming back next year, but will now focus on the college baseball season, and getting to Omaha, Nebraska - the home of the College Baseball World Series.
First off, if you don't like the aluminum bat that's such a big part of the college game - rest easy, you can use wood bats if you'd like. The game allows you to use NCAA rules, Summer rules, or even a combination of the two. MVP 06 NCAA Baseball has the exclusive NCAA license, and it will feature 128 different colleges, 14 conferences, and 19 authentic ballparks, such as Rosenblatt Stadium, where the CWS is actually played. The team wasn't able to fit all of the Division 1 schools in the game, but they promise they're hard at work on making it happen for MVP 07. If your favorite school isn't in the game, or you just want to create your own program, the games "Creation Zone", will let you create a team, modify players and you can even alter the height and distance of the stadium walls with the overhauled Custom Ballpark feature. Much like in the NCAA Football series, MVP 06 will feature an extensive dynasty mode with year-round recruiting, stat tracking and NCAA Challenges that reward your performance with new gear that betters your on-field performance.
The game will certainly be reminiscent of last year's MVP title, but there are some key changes being made this time around. Key amongst these is the new "Load and Fire" batting system. It will allow for several different swings and will utilize the right analog stick to swing the bat. Similar to the mechanic in Tiger Woods; you'll load your back swing as the pitch comes towards you and then push the stick forward to swing at the ball. A similar method is being adopted for throwin the ball, as your control and power will be dependent on your timing with the right analog stick This will allow you to fire the ball to the 1st when you need to, but will also let you toss it over accurately on easy grounders.
MVP Baseball will have the customary visual enhancements you get with sports games from year to year, with a focus on improved television-style presentation. No doubt the addition of ESPN announcers Mike Patrick and Kyle Peterson calling the action will help create an authentic feeling college experience. EA has also captured new animations for the game to hopefully capture the "intensity and hustle" that separates the college game from the pros.
MVP 06 isn't due out until Spring 2006, probably right before the college
baseball season begins. We'll be updating our preview with new details as they
become available, so check back for more coverage on the game. We've got
several screens for you too look at here, and if you're on broadband, you
watch a trailer for the game right here.
11/25/2005 Aaron Thomas