The game that will revolutionize the way baseball fans feel slightly bored
As a portable experience at two-thirds the price, The Bigs on PSP does a good job masking the flaws of its next-gen counterparts. The irritating repetition and overall shallowness is less of an issue with the ability to easily wake up the PSP for a few quick games on the go. That and the fact that the awesome visual style still look great on PSP makes this the version to own… if you do choose to own it. The Bigs can be fun in short bursts, but like any game with that ominous caveat, it’s far from perfect.
The biggest offender is the fact that the game’s arcade style elements just don’t add very much. It starts with the Big Play feature, a points-based gauge that you build up through getting hits, catches, and just generally doing things right on the field. When it’s maxed out, you can hit an all but guaranteed home run as a batter – known as a “Power Blast,” which sounds suspiciously like a flavor of Gatorade – or collect an equally likely strikeout with a pitcher that’ll sap the other player’s Big Play meter.
The problem is that home runs happen so frequently over the course of normal play that being able to engage the Big Play to hit one automatically is almost completely redundant. The ability to throw a guaranteed strikeout is even less useful considering the simplicity of the pitching interface (which a tad less precise with the PSP nub than an analog stick, but still not a huge obstacle), though it is nice that they let you steal your opponent’s points.
The other big selling point is a Turbo system that’s fueled by throwing strikes or, when at bat, taking balls. This one grants you a temporary, superhuman boost in your players’ abilities for the duration of one play. To give you an idea, you might stretch a single into a double with David Ortiz despite his glacial speed, throw out a runner with the noodle-armed Johnny Damon, or even chase down a fly ball with the withered husk of Barry Bonds. It’s a bit more useful than the Big Play, providing a few exciting moments, but you don’t get to use it often enough to really affect the way you play the game.