Someone on neogaf is saying the are more detailed instructions in the game itself. I will go hunting these down tonite. I've already done a pass at this and found nothing but there are lots of options and perhaps I am not looking in the right place. If so, I stand corrected on some of my rant, but at the same time, the fact that I gotta go HUNTING to find this shit is still a big issue for me...
END SECOND UPDATE-
Loving both of these games so far. For some reason, KZ2 is one of the first FPS online games where I can take actually take out bad guys. Perhaps it's the 'sluggish' aiming some folks are bitching about (compared to COD4's more super responsive aiming?)...But I don't mind the aiming or controls at all...whatever it is, I got some kills in Friday nite that were NOT luck! Take that Grasshopper, motherfucker!!!! :) Also digging the map design and the online mode where the game's objectives change in real time (know KZ2 is not the first to do this, but it's the first one I've played for long enough to really appreciate the mechanic...I totally dig it).
Oh and as for MLB- LOVING it and it is making me totally jazzed for the real life season to begin so I can head down to Petco and watch the Padres. While KZ2 and MLB 09 are both very different games (duh), I found myself spending more time with MLB this weekend (and I've been spending LOTS of time with both)!
One complaint about MLB: I had to go to NEOGAF just to ask some simple questions that SHOULD be in the manual and in the tips screens (which- for the most part- are really great screens...they just need a hell of a lot more of them). But the simple gameplay stuff seems to have just been left out, like the team just assumes we all know how to play the game.
On the pitching, I didn't know what the arrows off the ball were OR what the glove with the yellow ball in it was for. I had an idea about the glove (catcher's glove and where you should throw) and then it was explained to me that the arrow was which direction the pitch/ball will break. Well, I SORT of understand that but a) that shit needs to be explained to players or you risk turning folks off...b) I still don't totally understand because if the location the ball will go is where the last arrow off the ball is and I position that arrow RIGHT onto where the yellow ball icon was (in the catcher's glove) and in doing so my ball then goes out of the strike zone (BUT my break arrows are INSIDE the strike zone) I tend to throw balls. When I ignore the break arrows and just aim for the yellow circle, I tend to get strikes. And how much does the pitch meter affect my success in this regard, and if it DOES affect the results and affects the break and the pitch control, then tell me the relationship between these three clearly important mechanics.
So please MLB team: I FUCKING LOVE your game but help a guy out! You spend all that time and love making all these cool mechanics, the least you could do is explain what they actually do!
And speaking of- on the batting (which feels great! I can actually get hits for once...on a pretty consistent basis!!!!), how do I 'aim' my hit? I know it can not be random if I hit a pop up or a grounder or aim for left field or right field...but I've moved the left and right stick around during hitting and it doesn't seem to make a damn bit of difference...is this like MASS EFFECT where I should approach it more like a baseball RPG and the hit is really based off the stats of the player and I have very little control over anything other than if I simply make contact?!? HELP!
Fundamental rule of game design is, the player needs to have a sense that he can improve at the game or he gets bored or frustrated. Well I've tried everything to just UNDERSTAND the mechanics of the battling and pitching (let alone improving at it) and last nite it got to the point that my lack of skills at the fundamentals had put me so far behind the AI team (in normal mode) that I just gave up and just started throwing fastballs at the heads of the batters to see if the team had coded in any 'rush the mound' payoffs. They hadn't :(....but it was still fun to nail the guys and see them get pissed :)....
According to some of the posters on neogaf, ALL sports games suffer from this 'shitty manual' syndrome. Well if that is the case, then that is nuts! Do the sports game makers just assume 'well we're all into sports, why do we gotta explain this shit that has been in games since Sega World Series Baseball'?!?
This may be one of the reasons I've stopped playing sports games more and more over the years. They seem to have abandoned the average sports fan and gamer. But hell, they make lots of money so maybe they figure: we have a biz model that works...why rock the boat? I can see that. Don't like or appreciate it, but I can understand it. Hell, the hardcore JSRPG games never seem to give a rat's ass about shallow entry either. So maybe I'm just a fucking idiot that is not bright enough to be playing sports video games. But I can't help but assume that all these sports games would do even better if they offered to hold the hand of the user a bit more. And again, this is coming from a big fan of MLB and a fan- albeit a disappointed fan- of the genre as a whole.
Oh, even the ultra arcadey NHL 3 on 3 ARCADE hockey game which I was CRAZY excited for suffers from a massive lack of explanation. Lots of- what I assume are- hockey terms in the controls screens which I don't have a fucking clue what they do. Thanks a lot!
See :) I'm really just a wanna be sports video gamer. But they just ain't making it easy for me. Oh, the glory days of BLITZ and NBA JAMS...where have you gone... :(
Which to play first?!? I am SO jazzed for both of them! I always suck at MLB but it looks so good and makes me think of spring!
Either way, thanks to Allan and Doug at Santa Monica for setting me up with the goodness before they hit retail! Nice to have friends in high places :)