Excerpt: MLB 2004 is certainly not at a loss for modes. You’ll find the traditional Exhibition, All-Star Game, and Playoff Modes. In addition to the classics, you will also find the recent got-to-have-it modes such as the Home Run Derby, Season Mode and a 10-year Career Mode. There’s also Manager Mode, which allows you ride the pine and call the shots while your CPU team plays the calls that you make. The one conspicuous absence is an Online Mode.
Excerpt: MLB 2004 straddles the line between arcade and sim action without really fitting into either camp. The game's dichotomy of styles is best illustrated by the centerpiece of all baseball games, the pitcher/batter duel. Pitchers always have four pitches from which to choose, and once a selection is made you are given a very brief time during the windup to spot the pitch exactly where you want it thrown.
Excerpt: With the start of the baseball season just getting underway, its time to practice your renditions of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” ready your gloves for homeruns or foul balls, and prepare to stretch during the seventh inning. While fans of the sport are gearing up to support the Boys of Summer through their opening games, the gaming industry is looking forward to releasing a ton of baseball titles.
Excerpt: 989 Sports' MLB series arguably delivered the best baseball experiences that could be had on the PlayStation, from 1998 onwards. The visuals were sweet, there was credible commentary from booth legend Vin Scully, and the gameplay was rock-solid. After the PlayStation 2 was released, however, the series seemed to disappear while other 989 PlayStation mainstays like NCAA Gamebreaker and NHL Face Off made the jump.
Conclusion: Although MLB 2004 won't receive any awards for being innovative, it is a solid first effort for 989 Sports. I am anxious to see next year's version. 989 Sports in general is becoming more respectable - I don't know if they got new designers or more budget or what, but the quality of product is looking up.
Excerpt: Close, but not quite. 989 actually put together a pretty strong effort with MLB 2004. The high points are the overall presentation, excellent player models and some pretty good animations. The bad, includes poor CPU base running and a hitting interface that allows a lot of contact but not many hits.
Conclusion: Some good news comes by way of the game’s presentation style. While it’s not as TV-oriented as Sega’s World Series Baseball 2K3, it holds its own. There are a good number of stat overlays and available stats for each player. Vin Scully and Dave Campbell return for another year of commentary, and there seems to be more casual lines this year that come out every once in a while instead of canned commentary.