MLB Front Office Manager

An Utterly Flawed Baseball Management Experience
by Adam Biessener on Sep 22, 2009 at 02:02 PM
Publisher: Take-Two Interactive
Developer: Blue Castle Games
Rating: Everyone
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: PlayStation 3

Only 2K Sports and Major League Baseball know if this low-budget wreck of a game was shoved out the door to meet contractual requirements or if it is the result of more mundane failures in the development process. Either way, as far as players are concerned, there's little here to love.

If anyone should like this game, it's me. I knew what the super-2 arbitration exception was going in, and I can quote the rules for draft pick compensation for free agent losses by heart. However, this title fails in every meaningful way outside of faithfully recreating MLB rules regarding player salaries and offseason events like the Rule 5 draft.

Most importantly, the menu system -- which is the only way you interact with the game -- sucks. The only marginally useful way to sort through groups of players is via their overall rating, and you're forced into cumbersomely diving through additional menu layers to see potential ability, contract status, or league experience -- vital information when judging a player's worth to your club. The vast depth involved in running a big league organization is inaccessible, since it's such a nightmare to evaluate free agents, rival talent, and your own positional depth beyond the major league roster.

The nuts and bolts of gameplay are apocalyptic failures, but the awfulness doesn't stop there. Managing games is utterly pointless. There is no negotiation beyond ''yes/no'' with players for contracts or rival GM's with trades. The animations are laughably terrible last-gen quality. The litany of missteps here is epic. Even gamers who buy the Bill James Handbook every year should stay away from this turd.

Game Informer's Review System
Concept Give players the chance to step into a GM's boring, stinky shoes
Graphics I guess the fonts in the menus that you stare at for 90 percent of gameplay are fine?
Sound There's not even the traditional sports game licensed soundtrack here, just generic background noise
Playability For a game based on menus, you'd think that the developer would spend some time making them useable. Not this time, sucker
Entertainment I say with no trace of hyperbole that the old unlicensed Dynamix Front Page Sports titles from the early '90s are far, far better than this
Replay Low