As the only baseball game on the Xbox 360, Major League Baseball 2K6 is something of an all-or-nothing proposition. Unfortunately, this next-gen rookie gets outplayed by the seasoned vets on the "old" consoles.
At first, everything looks fine, especially on an HDTV. Field details are sharp and textures appear to have depth. The audio commentary boasts a larger library of lines, giving players more variety in what they hear when compared to the PS2 and Xbox games. But the game suffers from the same gameplay issues that kept the current-gen versions from shining. Players feel sluggish and unresponsive, especially when out in the field. The AI also seems to have taken a turn for the worse, with players randomly pulling moves that just don't make sense. And then there's the crash issue, which we were able to replicate with a retail copy of the game. Every so often, MLB 2K6 just hangs - hard.
Despite its flaws, the game does have a few high-points, most notably the Inside Edge scouting system. Purchase reports on opposing players to know how they perform under pressure. The extra info suggests the ideal play when you're on the mound or at bat.
You can also now enjoy analog batting, which uses a model inspired by EA's baseball titles. Pull back and release for a standard swing, or push forward on the follow-through to hit it out of the park. The traditional double-press button system is also here for those that prefer it.
Ultimately, the strongest part of the game is the simulation engine, which allows to you manage nearly every aspect of the team. For the fantasy baseball player, it is nearly the perfect game - assuming you sim all the games and never actually take to the field - but in the end, that's a small minority of players. Most of us want to pick up a bat and hit a few.
Given all the issues with the game, it's hard to recommend MLB 2K6 to all but the most die hard of players. Add in the increased price tag and the unpredictable crash bug, and you've got to be extremely dedicated to want to pick this one up.