The Bigs 2 Review

Written by Alex Watson

August 9, 2009 | 12:41

Tags: #csi #sports

Companies: #2k-games

More gameplay and graphics

The clash between pitches and swings creates the The Bigs 2’s basic gameplay and it’s a very solid foundation. It’s then enlivened with God of War style mini-games that appear occasionally in each match. Most common is when a runner is getting to a base and his opponent is going to block him – it’s button mashing at it’s finest, but whoever wins smacks straight into the other guy and ‘wounds’ him, gimping his stats for the rest of the game.

Then of course, there’s the graphics. CSI is a good comparison here, because The Bigs 2 is a very shiny looking game: it’s super-saturated and drenched in HDR-style lighting and has the pop and fizz of an old school 2D beat ‘em up. The first time I engaged my ‘big blast’ I half expected to wallop the ball with a hundred-hand slap, or just paste the pitcher with a hearty hadouken. It’s not realistic – if the sun ever looked like that in real life you’d need factor 300 suntan lotion – but it does help the game feel exciting and involving.

*The Bigs 2 Review The Bigs 2 - Third and Fourth Base *The Bigs 2 Review The Bigs 2 - Third and Fourth Base
Awww, I only managed low orbit. What a lousy swing.

The game allows you to play one-off matches, but there’s also a fun single player career mode. Unlike the ‘Be a Pro’ mode in EA’s sports games, where you’re cast as a clean-cut up and coming rookie, in The Bigs 2 you’re a has-been pro who’s playing in the Mexican minor leagues for a team of wheezy jokers called the Pollos. This slightly subversive approach extends to character creation, where it’s pretty much impossible to create anything other than a tattooed bad-ass. You need to play your way back to the big leagues and the matches are interspersed with Virtua Tennis style mini-games which you can use to boost your pro’s stats.

*The Bigs 2 Review The Bigs 2 - Third and Fourth Base *The Bigs 2 Review The Bigs 2 - Third and Fourth Base
I think this man is a real baseball player.

The Bigs 2 also works well for two player when you’re both in the same room, as there’s no need for split-screen – one player pitches, one bats, and the way the screen’s organised means it looks identical to single player. While the The Bigs 2 speeds baseball up, there’s still enough gaps to chug down some Budweiser (or for an American beer with taste, such as Sierra Nevada) while you play.

*The Bigs 2 Review The Bigs 2 - Third and Fourth Base


The game isn’t perfect – if you’re fundamentally not interested in sports you’ll still struggle to connect with it, and of course, baseball purists will be better off importing a copy of Sony’s MLB The Show for the PS3.

It’s also quite hard, as there are a lot of elements to contend with when playing, since you are still in full control of what’s happening. Even in the first few games of the career mode, the computer team is pretty good at fielding, and with one mistake it's easy to end up losing your best players and struggling to catch the AI's tally.

That said, the game is easy to learn, and fundamentally the strategies take a satisfying rock-paper-scissors approach that makes them simple to grasp but allows for enough depth to keep things interesting. The graphics are terrific and keep you involved, and the two player mode can be great fun. In the US, it lacks the budget price tag and that might mean a lower score, but here in Blighty, at under £20, and in a summer not exactly full of quality new console games, The Bigs 2 really is worth getting and is thoroughly enjoyable even when sober.

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October 14 2021 | 15:04