Worthplaying Review: MLB Power Pros 2008

WP reports:

''There are certain Japanese game franchises on which we Americans really miss out. One such example is the Power Pros baseball series, which has eschewed the modern trend of realism and super-detailed player models for exceptional depth and gameplay aspects we would never expect to see in an American baseball game. The result, though, is something truly great that manages to be one of the most comprehensive, stat-driven, obsessive, addictive and fun games out there, all while looking like something you'd see on a Saturday morning cartoon show. Make no mistake, MLB Power Pros 2008 is a gem of a game, one any baseball fan should seriously consider tracking down.

The first thing likely to strike you about Power Pros is its art direction, which can best be described as a cross between Rayman and Miis. This particular animation, known as chibi in Japan, transforms the Major League players you know and love into squat, cute little caricatures that sport almost no detail but still manage to convey both the appearance and personality of the players they represent. In less capable hands, this look would come across as lazy and unfinished, but Konami has been working this franchise for years (it's been around for decades in Japan) and they have honed the craft so well that you can easily pick out Derek Jeter or Ken Griffey Jr. without even realizing it.

Therefore, it is forgivable if you look at the game's case, see these adorable characters and just assume this is a simple, stripped-down baseball game for kids. You would be terribly mistaken though, as Power Pros is easily one of the deepest, most robust games out there for any genre, sports or otherwise. There are so many game modes that it's honestly impossible to talk about them all in one review without going on and on for pages at a time, so instead, we'll just focus on a couple of the game's more unique modes. Those would be Success and MLB Life, each of which balances baseball with lifestyle so well, that you may find yourself hurrying through your at-bats just to get back to handling all of your off-the-field dealings.''

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