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Friday, May 1, 2009

MLB Dugout Heroes Impressions Part 2

After fixing my computer, I've now had the chance to play a few more rounds of MLB Dugout Heroes.  I have to say, I really like it so far.

The batting interface is relatively easy to understand.  It cribs liberally from MLB Power Pros, but that's a good thing.  You can choose whether you want a contact swing or a power swing by moving the scroll wheel on your mouse.  If you want to hit a power swing, you'll have to hit the ball right on the nose, which is really, really hard.  Fortunately, if you have a powerful player up to bat, you can still get home runs with a contact swing.

The pitching interface is good, but a lot of people have trouble with it especially on the lower levels.  You select your pitch, aim it, and then click and hold to start your windup.  You let go to determine the strength of your pitch, and then click again to determine your accuracy.  If you whiff on the accuracy, you'll serve up a bad pitch, signified with an exclamation point.  You see it and the batter sees it.  The pitch can go one of two ways: an obvious ball, or a big fat pitch right down the middle that can be hit for power.

A couple of other things: Bullpens don't need to warm up.  You just select your pitcher and go.  It's not realistic, but it would have been too hard to integrate warming up your pitchers in a fast-paced online game.

Please, please, please put in the proper batting stances for active players.  When Craig Counsell bats, I want to see his mutant batting stance.

You're able to draft new players onto your team.  I haven't tried it yet.  I'm interested to see how it works.

Finally, here's a quick story about my game last night.  My team finally made it to level 3, and we went to the next level of competition, the Amateur ranks.  My first match was against a Level 11 Yankees team with a murderers' row of batters for a 5 inning game.  I surprisingly held my own.

The score was 2-0 in the 5th inning on a Jorge Posada homer that BARELY cleared the foul pole.  My opponent puts in Mariano Rivera.  However, I'm watching the way his pitches are tailing out of the strike zone and realizing I can hit these.  I got Mike Cameron on base, and then Ryan Braun came up.  Braun punched a homer to the corner of the stadium.  2-2.  We go in to extra innings.

We battle back and forth for four more innings, and I've now run through all of my relievers.  Both of us had chances to put the game away, but neither one of us could capitalize.  Finally, he wins with a couple of timely hits, but not after we've both drained our bullpens.  4-2 Yankees.

I hope I have more good memories like this one.  I'm interested to see where this game goes.