MLB Dugout Heros is a PC based baseball game, published by Game Campus that will be available in North America in time for the 2009 baseball season and is going to be a free PC based game that is fully licensed by MLB Advanced Media which allows use of all 30 MLB clubs, ballparks and logos and will include micro transactions.
MLB Dugout Heros has a RPG type element to it but the point system is unique to this game. As you play your players get stronger and better as they complete certain missions (and winning games) that are given out on a daily or weekly basis and as you complete those missions you will earn points to purchase equipment and uniforms for your favorite team.
I had the opportunity to play MLB Dugout Heros closed Beta and I am going to say I was very impressed with the game and the ease of controlling a PC based baseball game. You start off by picking your user name and then you pick your favorite MLB team in which you have total control over. The team I got to pick was based on the 2008 MLB baseball lineup and I am unsure, but I do believe once the game does get released the team you pick will be based on the 2009 lineup. After you pick your team you take the field and start some batting practice, your player steps up to the batters box and you are presented with a cartoon likeness of your favorite MLB player. You get onscreen instructions during practice and your coach is on the bottom of the screen giving you tips as you take batting practice. The ease of the batting controls where surprisingly easy to use and you got into the groove real fast slamming the ball over the fence. Next up was pitching practice and that was just as easy as the batting controls as you get a large variety of pitches you can throw and where you are going to place that pitch. After those tutorials you are then able to to chose from Batting and Pitching drills or you can dive right into a Exhibition game and test your newly learned skills. There is also a Pennant race mode but I was unable to preview that part (due to time constrictions), but I did dive into a Exhibition game that allows you to play 3 innings and test your newly learned pitching and batting skills. The three innings I played was a riot due to ease of the controls with batting and controlling your players on base, everything you wanted to due was a mouse click away ( you could even use your keyboard) from stealing bases to advancing a player to take an extra base. Even when your team took the field and you starting pitching that proved to have the simplest controls and ease of use, from controlling the players in the field to throwing out the base runner it was very easy to use.
My overall view on MLB Dugout Heros is if you are a baseball fan and you enjoy playing baseball games this is a something I would recommend that you checkout, you will have nothing to lose as like I said it will be free, (with of course those micro transactions) and the ability to play a baseball game with all the playing options you would expect from a Next-Gen console. The other reason I like the game was the cartoonish way they portrayed the game and players it was visually appealing and just fun to play. I did not come away with anything that I would change as this was a truly polished closed Beta and was a pleasure to play.