‘Nicktoons MLB’: SpongeBob at the plateWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Major League Baseball players from every team combine with 25 popular Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, Fanboy, and Ren and Stimpy in “Nicktoons MLB” (2K Play).
Each playable character has its own strengths and weaknesses while players can also create their own lineups. This Wii version of the baseball game has three control schemes: nunchuk and remote, remote only or classic controller for up to two players.
The ball mechanics and pitching controls are very strong, but timing on the batting takes some adjustment. At times, it feels like a delay in reaction time, so fast pitches often overwhelm the batting, especially when playing against the computer. Successful gameplay unlocks special turbo powers and special actions including shaking the remote to make fielders jump to catch a potential home run. There is no automatic fielding, but the options are very intuitive based on the directional pad (right is first base, up is second base, etc.).
Pitching requires a target choice in the rectangular strike zone, then various motions/control choices.
The strong graphics feature 12 different stadiums (six MLB and six Nick). Younger players will need help with the complicated, text-heavy menus. Choice confirmations should have been added to avoid frustrating menu navigation (e.g., accidently losing information when backing out with the B button).
The virtual trading cards and character dialogue quips are a nice touch, but the overall mechanics need improvement (**1/2, rated E for comic mischief, also available on Xbox 360 (Kinect motion controller) and Nintendo DS).