The Bigs

Reviewed by Kyle Bell, Posted on 2007-11-18


Developer: Blue Castle Games Publisher: 2K Sports
Release Date: June 26, 2007 Also On: PS2, PS3, Wii & Xbox 360

In the fall of 2006, with the release of Wii across the United States and world, it looked as if Nintendo's new home console would revolutionize the way we play sports video games. Wii Sports showed us just what time of potential there was with baseball, tennis, golf and boxing. EA Sports showed us what potential there was with football in Madden NFL 07. Yet no publisher has stepped up to the plate for a simulator baseball game. 2K Sports had a chance and they passed it up with their MLB 2K7 release, instead leaving room for The Bigs in June 2007.

The Bigs is to baseball games what Arena is to the NFL. It is much faster paced, higher scoring and over-the-top. That kind of game would seem perfect for the Wii, a casual gaming system whose audience might find traditional baseball too slow. Unfortunately, due ironically to the controls, the Wii version actually is more challenging to get used to than its counterpart on PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360. All of the versions, however, suffer from a game mechanic that puts too much emphasis on hitting homeruns.

The sad thing about The Bigs is that I would rather play Wii Sports than this more fleshed out version of baseball. You have pitching, you have hitting, defense, and team management. All of the essentials of baseball, two of which Wii Sports left out, and they get it wrong on the execution. For starters, Wii Sports has a better batting system in place. There is not 1:1 hitting in place. That is, the movements done off screen will not match on-screen like Wii Sports nearly does. Instead, a flick of the wrist will either hit or miss the ball.

The controls are also my biggest gripe on defense. To pitch, you have to do a certain motion, of which the Wii will not always register it correctly. All they really had to do was combine the pitching motion and velocity with a button press (A or B, for instance), and you would have had a better system. Throwing can be just as unintuitive, as you have to flick your Wiimote in the direction of the base. This is fine for first or third base, but when it comes to throwing to second or home, the game will sometimes get the two confused.

The game has both multi-player and single-player, but no online play. It is safe to say that playing with your friends is the most enjoyable experience (1 to 4 players), but if you want to play single player, there really is not much to offer. There is no “season” mode like most baseball games. Instead, you play as a rookie and make your way into “The Bigs.” It has become a popular model in sports games lately, going from a nobody to a super star. This is no substitute for a true season, as all you will do is face challenges from mini-games to actual games that can be retried if failed.

Overall, my impressions of The Bigs slant overly negative. What could have been a fun and appealing title to non-gamers and the hardcore alike is an overly complex and involved experience of what is supposed to be an arcade game. A simple control makeover would be sufficient to address these issues, as well as adding both season and online play. As it is, The Bigs is a disappointing effort at what could have been a more realistic alternative to Wii Sports.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 6.4
Written by Kyle Review Guide

Reviewed by Kyle Bell