The gaming world is split neatly down the middle. Okay, it’s actually split neatly down several middles, but the sports game divide is one of the bigger ones. You either play them or you don’t; you love them or think they should all die in a fire. The Bigs 2, an arcade-style baseball extravaganza, tries to straddle the gap, and almost succeeds.
Let’s be clear right off the top – this is a great baseball game. Offering a glitzy, larger-than-life version of the diamond- shaped sport, The Bigs 2 lets you slip into the shoes of any number of famous ball players from the present day or take a swing with past Hall-of-Famers. You can play a quick match with the Major League teams of your choice, match up with a friend locally or online, or create your own legend in the appropriately named Become a Legend mode. All of this is done with a dash of Hollywood and a huge explosion of fireworks.
Everything in the game has been amped up to make it feel bold and exciting (something baseball really isn’t). You have control of two whole turbo meters – one for big hits/pitches, and one for smacking balls into space so you have an excuse to dance around the plate like a jerk. There’s even an entire mode dedicated to hitting baseballs into neon signs for points. You can customise your own character for the legend mode, slapping him with a selection of crazy tattoos and obnoxious facial hair designs. There’s even the option to set the future star’s victory pose.
Unfortunately, the game is a little too far on the hard side. While it is fun to mess around, you are going exactly nowhere if you don’t stop to really focus on the mechanics. The gameplay can be unforgiving, and involves a pile of horribly twitchy quick-time events. If reflex button combinations aren’t your idea of a good time, leave this one alone. Once you do get the hang of the systems, though, there is a polished arcade experience waiting. And you will probably never get sick of destroying parts of the stadium with your massive home runs.