albertpujols2 I’m slowly getting back into baseball, thanks to the stunning heroics of St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese and my Angels’ acquisition of Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson.  My renewed love for the sport and gaming addiction has led me on a collision course with MLB 2K12, and the folks at 2K Sports were kind enough to stop by for a preview demo of the game (which comes out on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, and PSP on March 6th).

During the demo, a couple of things stood out, most notably the Dynamic Tendencies System, which essentially has players actually thinking about the type of pitches they throw to their respective batters.  If you’re going to gun a few fastballs past Albert Pujols and he’s down 0-2, throwing a third fastball will decrease the effectiveness of getting him out.  Also, the MLB Today Season Mode is perfect for hardcore baseball fans, as the new mode enables players to finish an entire season at the same pace as their top MLB team.

Click on the media bar to hear Synyder talk about the merits of the MLB Today Season Mode:

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Taking front and center this year for the franchise is Detroit Tigers pitcher (and Cy Young winner) Justin Verlander. Justin has been an asset to 2K Sports,” says Chris Snyder, Senior Marketing Director of 2K Sports.  “He’s been actually working with us for 4 or 5 years now, consulting on the game and this is the first year we are using him as the cover athlete and spokesperson for the game.  He’s a huge gamer and he’s been able to help us really change MLB 2K12, especially with the pitching and how pitchers go about their game in MLB 2K12.”  Verlander joins fellow pitchers Jay Bruce, CJ Wilson, and David Price in the following video, which has Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton showing giving the guys a few joystick lessons (sorry, but I had to go there!).  Verlander’s facial expression :26 seconds into the clip is absolutely priceless:

The biggest draw, if money and insane competition is your calling card, is The Perfect Game Challenge.  Now in its third year, 2K Sports has simplified matters, as gamers won’t have to submit mail a video of their “perfect game” to the company. Players just have to go into The Perfect Game Challenge mode, pitch their perfect game, receive a code, and enter that code on the 2K Sports website.  A new leaderboard will rank the top eight perfect games (judged by pitcher rating and the quality of the pitcher’s opposing team), with those competitors facing off in a $1 million, one game elimination tournament at New York City’s MLB Fan Cave.  The Perfect Game Challenge begins on MLB’s opening day (April 4th) and ends on April 30th, so gamers have a nearly a full month to pitch their “best” perfect game.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi (@gsrisavasdi)