You may find it hard to believe what I'm about to tell you, but believe me: The new baseball game, "The Bigs 2" is way, way nuttier than "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."
That's saying a lot, because the "Transformers" game allows you to play as humanoid robots that morph into cars and jets, then you blow up rival Transformers in settings of crumbling city buildings. "Revenge of the Fallen" is like Godzilla vs. Whatever, but with robots in disguise. Wacky, right?
Now consider that "The Bigs 2" is wackier. It allows you to play as any Major League baseball team of your choice, but the pitchers, hitters and fielders throw, hit and run very, very fast. They are turbo-charged (that's "turbo," as cars are).
What's more, if you pitch poorly, the game takes away your best pitch. So all of a sudden, it could be only the second inning, yet your pitcher can't throw, say, a fastball or a curve ball. That's kind of an impediment.
What's even more intense: If you bat really well, the game gives you a temporary magical power that virtually guarantees you'll crush a home run.
In other words, "The Bigs 2" is like baseball on steroids. Oh wait, baseball in real life is already on steroids. So "The Bigs 2" is more like baseball on magic beans and fairy dust. It is the stuff of fantastical fantasies, making the effects of steroids quaint.
Top Ten New Games
Here are the Top 10 best-selling video games, according to retailer Blockbuster. Games are listed by title, company, gaming system, and rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Most games are priced $60 for Xbox 360 and PS 3; $50 for Wii; $40 for PSP; $30 for DS and PS 2.
1. "Grand Theft Auto IV" (Rockstar) for Xbox 360; also available for PS 3; rated "M" (intense violence, blood, strong language, strong sexual content, partial nudity, use of drugs and alcohol)
2. "Mario Super Sluggers" (Nintendo) for Wii; rated "E" (comic mischief)
3. "Wii Play" with remote by Nintendo for Wii; rated "E" (mild cartoon violence)
4. "Grand Theft Auto IV" for PS 3
5. "Battlefield: Bad Company" (EA) for Xbox 360; also available for PS 3; rated "T" (alcohol reference, strong language, violence)
6. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (Activision) for Xbox 360; also available for Wii, PS 3, PSP, PS 2, PC and DS; rated "T" (fantasy violence)
7. "Ninja Gaiden 2" (Microsoft) for Xbox 360; rated "M" (blood, gore, intense violence, partial nudity, suggestive themes)
8. "Haze" (Ubisoft) for PS 3; rated "M" (blood, intense violence, strong language, use of drugs)
9. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" for PS 3
10. "New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo) for DS; rated "E" (comic mischief)
(Ratings: "E" for "Everyone"; "T" for "Teen"; "M" for "Mature 17+"
And yet, I don't love "The Bigs 2." Why? Personal preference. Even though I like crazy-supernaturally magic golf games and racing games, I'm just not that into crazy-supernaturally magic baseball games. I prefer baseball the way it is: pure, slow and dull as dirt.
However, if you're into wacky baseball games, this one might be right up your alley. (See, I can be objective.) It's made really, really well. It's pretty as can be. It's smooth. It's hard to beat at first. In fact, it's too hard to get a good hit.
As for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," it's also not my cup of tea. I never dug the whole Transformer thing when I was a kid and I don't now.
And objectively speaking, "Revenge of the Fallen" (a spinoff on its latest movie) is redundant and average. It does a good job of creating fighting, flying and shooting techniques. But as you portray Transformers, you merely get dropped into a series of boring city battles where you take out rivals one at a time in similar killing fashions.
So you walk, spot a rival, kill it, then move onto the next rival. This goes on, and on, and on.
You may be wondering why I'm here reviewing two kinds of games I don't normally like. Well, I used to hate asparagus too. Then someone served it to me right, and I loved it. So I'm always hoping my open mind will be greeted with other pleasant surprises. These games just aren't as pleasant as asparagus.
("The Bigs 2" by Take Two retails for $60 for PS 3 and Xbox 360; $50 for Wii; $30 for PSP; $20 for PS 2 - Plays quite good if you like cartoonish baseball gaming. Looks very good. Quite challenging. Rated "E 10+" for mild language and mild violence. Three stars out of four.)
("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" by Activision retails for $60 for Xbox 360 and PS 3; $50 for Wii; $40 for PSP; $30 for DS, PS 2 and PC - Plays eh. Looks OK. Moderately challenging. Rated "T" for fantasy violence. Two stars.)
Doug Elfman is an award-winning entertainment columnist who lives in Las Vegas. He blogs at www.lvrj.com/columnists/Doug_Elfman.html.