Since EA no longer has the MLB license, most people thought the MVP series
would be retired. Well, it hasn't. The company has decided to go back to school;
college to be exact. The series is coming back next year, but will now focus on
the college baseball season, and getting to Omaha, Nebraska – the home of the
College Baseball World Series.
First off, if you don't like the aluminum bat that's such a big part of the
college game – rest easy, you can use wood bats if you'd like. The game allows
you to use NCAA rules, Summer rules, or even a combination of the two. MVP 06
NCAA Baseball has the exclusive NCAA license, and it will feature 128 different
colleges, 14 conferences, and 19 authentic ballparks, such as Rosenblatt
Stadium, where the CWS is actually played. The team wasn't able to fit all of
the Division 1 schools in the game, but they promise they're hard at work on
making it happen for MVP 07. If your favorite school isn't in the game, or you
just want to create your own program, the games "Creation Zone", will let you
create a team, modify players and you can even alter the height and distance of
the stadium walls with the overhauled Custom Ballpark feature. Much like in the
NCAA Football series, MVP 06 will feature an extensive dynasty mode with
year-round recruiting, stat tracking and NCAA Challenges that reward your
performance with new gear that betters your on-field performance.
The game will certainly be reminiscent of last year's MVP title, but there
are some key changes being made this time around. Key amongst these is the new
"Load and Fire" batting system. It will allow for several different swings and
will utilize the right analog stick to swing the bat. Similar to the mechanic in
Tiger Woods; you'll load your back swing as the pitch comes towards you and then
push the stick forward to swing at the ball. A similar method is being adopted
for throwin the ball, as your control and power will be dependent on your timing
with the right analog stick This will allow you to fire the ball to the 1st when
you need to, but will also let you toss it over accurately on easy grounders.
MVP Baseball will have the customary visual enhancements you get with sports
games from year to year, with a focus on improved television-style presentation.
No doubt the addition of ESPN announcers Mike Patrick and Kyle Peterson calling
the action will help create an authentic feeling college experience. EA has also
captured new animations for the game to hopefully capture the "intensity and
hustle" that separates the college game from the pros.
MVP 06 isn't due out until Spring 2006, probably right before the college
baseball season begins. We'll be updating our preview with new details as they
become available, so check back for more coverage on the game. We've got several screens for you too look at here, and if you're on broadband, you
can watch a trailer for the game right here.