The Nintendo Wii edition of the Major League Baseball 2K series remains an afterthought. Improvements seen the past two years in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the hardball franchise have been all but ignored on the Wii. So, MLB 2K11 is a shallow, ugly rehash of MLB 2K10 that brings nothing new to the table except a kiddie Arcade mode guaranteed to bore all but the least discriminating baseball fans.
Pitching, like batting, isn’t much fun.
Just like last year, MLB 2K11 for the Wii is a feeble copy of the game’s bigger brothers released for the Xbox 360 and the PS3. All of the headline-grabbing features in those editions of the game have been left out here. So there is no My Player mode, where you role-play your way from AA ball to the glitz of the big leagues. There is no online support, either, for one-off matches or tournaments or leagues. There are no online-updated Dynamic Player Ratings, which is the new Xbox 360/PS3 system introduced to track performances this year in the real major leagues. You get nothing but bare-bones arcade baseball here, courtesy of Exhibition games, Franchise Play, Tournaments, a Home-Run Derby, and the new Mini-Diamond mode for multiplayer. However, games in this latter mode consist of nothing but monotonous slugfests because everything has been cranked up to make for a purely arcade experience. The only possible appeal comes from the wacky backdrops, as your stadiums are now located in the midst of odd locales like a circus and outer space. All but the youngest players will see their interest wane here after no more than a few games.
Controls remain the lone aspect of the MLB 2K series that stands out on the Wii. Total Control pitching and hitting continues to use the motion-sensing Wii Remote and nunchuk. As before, you flick the remote from side to side to bat and flick the remote overhand to pitch. Both work reasonably well, although you don’t need much effort to mimic swinging the lumber or making fastballs and cutters. The pitcher-batter confrontation loses a lot of its luster here due to the simplicity of the controls, which barely touch on the intricacy involved when actually taking to the mound or stepping into the batter’s box. Hitting, for instance, is all about timing. There is no aiming involved at all, which means that you can launch a moon shot with a mere twist of the wrist. There is still no support for the Wii MotionPlus dongle, either; this nifty little device has allowed other Wii sports games, such as Tiger Woods and NHL Slapshot, to reach new heights of realism when it comes to tracking controller movements. In the end, you’re likely to find the motion controls unnecessary and just play the game as a typical arcade-baseball button pusher.