While not the key to other sports games, the presentation of a baseball game is critical. The sports ample downtime can be enjoyable, tension raised with some camera shots, and classic moments remembered for how they were captured. As usual, it's 2K Sports that handles this the best, with a nothing short of brilliant way of capturing the sport and all of its details. With tweaks to the fielding, this is the best baseball game ever made.
Even if fans standing and fighting for a foul ball doesn't sound like a necessary feature in a baseball game, you'll still need to ignore the batter/pitcher showdown in MLB 2K6 to completely dismiss it. That won't happen. As in the real game, there's room for both sides to create massive errors with every pitch.
Pitchers need to contend with aiming the ball, moving the catcher to make sure he's ready for the next toss, and put "effort" on it. This simple targeting allows for full control and requires concentration on every throw. It's strategic like no other baseball game before it. While you can master the timing to ensure maximum power on every pitch, the stamina drain comes into play.
You'll also need to factor in payoff pitching. In a tense situation, you'll need to handle the pressure of a shaking pitching cursor, a swiveling camera that shows you everyone on base before the throw, and the best commentary of any sports game reminding you of how loud the stadium is. This is where the presentation adds dramatically to the situation. It's flawless come the 9th inning with bases loaded, up by a few runs, and two outs on the board.
The batter faces equal pressure thanks to a new analog swing mechanic. Power is determined by whether or not you let the stick go after pulling back or push forward. The left stick determines direction of the hit. Batters Eye is an additional feature that lets you spot the location of the upcoming pitch and hopefully get ahead of the pitcher.