Don’t let the cartoonish box fool you - as far as the core experience goes, MLB Power Pros is just as deep, customizable, and downright overwhelming as it was last year, with everything from a Manager Mode for trades, salary negotiations, and free agent signing, to full Create a Player/Team modes, a story-driven, anime life sim Success Mode that’ll last you well over 40 hours, and more stat tracking than can be found in any other baseball game out there, period. You’ll still get the same general controls -- good and bad, since there’s no real Wii progression in the series yet -- with the best way to play still being classic controller on Wii, or PS2 controller (nearly identical in how they are laid out, and what works), and the game is still a hybrid mix of insane stats and options, blended with the RBI baseball feel and aim/hit controls of something like All Star Baseball 2000-whatever.
we’ll dive into what, specifically, has changed. It isn’t much, but it adds up. This year you’ll see hot and cold boxes for batting, a new pitching mode that lets you pitch with real-time controls (similar to the Hot Shots Golf tap system, but this time for delivering accuracy and power when pitching) if you want to
, more unlockable stadiums, players, equipment, and baseball cards for each MLB player, the option to change things like on-screen icons, pitch icons, batting HUD pieces, and the like. These are all minor changes, but the final one on the list isn’t, which is MLB Life Mode.
MLB Life Mode, like Success Mode, is a mix of sim gameplay, relationship building and "out of baseball" life RPG moments, as well as traditional play. Following 20 years of a major league career (your favorite pro, or your own created character) you’ll trade out the homework, studying, and overall school-based challenges in Success Mode for things like donations, car/house shopping, relationship building (both with the team, and a potential cutie-pie girlfriend) and more. There’s a whole new system in place for upgrades to your player, practice and stat boosting, special MLB powers to make your pro more of a superstar, and "moment to moment" gameplay during games, where you control only your player as they determine key moments in the game on both offense and defense. Success Mode is still included, and it’s a big as ever (continuing the story from the last game), but MLB Life is another 75+ hours of gameplay you could dive into should you choose to. 20 years is a long, long time in this mode.