For: Nintendo 3DS
From: Black Lantern Studios/2K Play
ESRB Rating: Everyone
2K Play engineered a pleasant surprise last season with "NickToons MLB," which took MLB players and teams, sprinkled in Nickelodeon characters and stadiums, and powered it with the terrifically fast (and surprisingly deep) engine that originally powered its outstanding "The Bigs" arcade baseball games.
Sadly, "Nicktoons MLB 3D" arrives on the Nintendo 3DS in alarmingly bad shape. The personality and players are there, as are the modes (season, tournament, minigames) and intricacies that made last year's game more sophisticated than your typical arcade baseball game.
But where it matters most - gameplay - is where "3D" falls completely on its face. Instead of fast, it's unflatteringly slow and prone to framerate stutters. And while the console version's responsive controls made every facet of the game fun to play, "3D" can't even get the basics right. The half-second lag between button press and the moment a batter actually swings the bat is impossible to forgive in a sport where timing is king. "3D" updates the rosters for 2012 and adds a few new ballparks and modes not found in the console versions, but the shoddy foundation completely invalidates whatever upside it has to offer.