Playing as professional bobblehead baseball players is a new way to enjoy America's pastime, but the adorability quickly succumbs to frustration as cheap AI and horrendous fielding mechanics call this game out with an easy grounder to first.
MLB Bobblehead Pros' biggest highlight is its visual charm, although the soul-less stare of the bobbling heads and lack of legs are a little creepy. Using an official MLB license, every player, team and stadium in the game are referenced from their real life counterpart – just with a caricature visual coat of paint. This modern roster with an arcade twist is an alternative for players not looking for the hardcore baseball sim offered by such games as MLB The Show.
Once you look pass the cutesy wobbliness, it is easy to spot the frustrating flaws that plague the overall fun factor. On the defensive side, fielding is highly inaccurate. More times than not, the game will automatically switch your controllable character to the wrong fielder and it is difficult to even grab a stationary ball in the outfield. Even diving for the ball is inaccurate and crashing into the wall has taken players out of the game with injuries.
The AI is also cheap and highly unfair even on the lowest difficulty. For the vast majority of the time, I was able to pitch two strikes but the AI would always hit the ball when the strike count would be at two. Striking out the computer is almost impossible. This means that the computer is going to kick your ass. The first half dozen games I played, I wound up rage quitting by the fourth inning because I was getting smoked with scores like 13 to 0. The combination of the AI's ability to always hit the ball and the shoddy fielding creates quite the frustrating experience.
Even the control scheme is out of the ordinary. Each face button is assigned to a specific base as opposed to the "hold up and then hit A to throw to second base, right for first, etc." When you are used to playing other arcade baseball games, the control scheme takes some getting used to, on both offensive and defense.
Getting the most of this game also requires additional DLC purchases. Making your own Bobblehead in the Create Mode and socking dingers in the Home Run Derby are some of the cooler features of this game. Not having these basic features included with the full purchase is basically a insult to Xbox Live users. The load times are pretty long too, especially the initial startup screen.
Unfortunately, too many frustrating flaws hold this game from its full entertainment potential. However, it's not all bad as it uses the modern official MLB license and the visual charm lets the player know that it doesn't take itself too seriously; the game's main musical theme is actually quite pleasant too. If you are looking for a new way to spark some heated competition online between you and a couple friends, then Bobblehead Pro can be a decent way experience the 2011 season. Everyone else will probably want to stick with an old classic.
Not As Good As: Baseball Stars
Worse Than: Mario Baseball
Wait For It: Metal Gear Solid Bobblehead DLC
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