Sony’s baseball exclusive MLB The Show has been around for a while now, and every year, the verdict is that that it is THE baseball game to buy. Well here it is another year, another game, and it’s STILL the baseball game you need to own. It is an amazing baseball game in almost every way, and go leaps and bounds beyond anything that has come before it. So break out the bats and gloves, it’s time to play some baseball.
There have been a lot of improvements this year across the board. There are more modes, more customization, and plenty of new things to do. First off, the always popular Road to the Show mode has been slightly revamped in the player creation department. You can now record and set your own music, cheers and chants.You can also take your best highlights and use the new movie maker to pay homage to yourself, and even save your highlights straight to the XMB. Another big addition are 1-30 player season mode, leaving you to now be able to control either all the teams or however many you want to control. Also, they have decided to move the home run derby to its own stand-alone mode, allowing you to play it whenever you want. To make sense of all the additons, they have included a “what’s new” menu, which allows you to see what has changed this year.
There are a plethora of modes to choose from in MLB 10 The Show. Between Road to the Show, Season, Franchise, Manager Mode, Rivalry, and online, you really don’t know where to start. My advice is playing a quick exhibition game first. The Show gives you a really good tutorial explaining all the new gameplay tweaks for this year, and lets you catch up on all of them. Then, my advice would be to hop into Season or Road to the Show, as these will ease you into the game as a whole. Every mode that the game has to offer is engrossing; you are bound to get caught up in one of them, depending on your playstyle.
I myself seem to be constantly drawn to Road to the Show, because to me it seems like the mode that has the most to offer, and I think it is the mode that everyone will get stuck to. I also like the way that they handled their difficulty levels this year. Even when you are playing on the lowest difficulty, you do not feel overpowered. Everything has been balanced really well, and allows new players and veterens to jump into and get going. They really have perfected the way a baseball game should be made.
There really is no end in sight for the stuff you can do in this game, because once you “complete” the single player modes, there is always online. However results may very when it comes to playing this game against other people. I had a really hard time with the online game, being that there was a crippling amount of lag and other issues. Every game that I joined had some amount of lag in it, with some better than others. Also, there were times where I kept getting booted back to the menu’s, and even one time where my game crashed and my system restarted. Overall, the online is pretty poor, and hopefully there is a fix in the works, because if it was done well, it would be a mode that would truly make this game. This year they have also added the ability to do online leagues, which allow you and friends to be able to create and run your own leagues, to determine who the best player is.
In the graphics department, this game is gorgeous. There really is not a better looking baseball game out there. The animations are superb, and the fields look just like their real life counterparts. There is also very slick presentation, as well as very easy to navigate menus. To me, it is the little touches that matter, those little movements like a player kicking up dirt if he gets struck out, or if a ball nearly misses his head from a wild pitch, he glares at the pitcher. It is the little things in the game that really make it a great looking game. However, there were a few little hiccups here and there, with those being that some of the player faces looked kind of bland. Also, there were some glitches through walls when a player tried to catch a ball, and the head gear would sometime glitch through the player’s heads. Even with these small blemishes, this game truly shows off what the system can do.
The sound design it also terriffic. It really makes you have the feeling that you are not just playing a game, but you are at the ballpark. Complete with cheers for Grady Sizemore, saying “hey, I’m one of your ladies!” this game has the spark of you actually sitting in the bleachers at a MLB game. Also, it seems to me that they have improved the commentary in the game this year. It is more dynamic, and changes depending on your situation. For example you didn’t swing on two pitches that were well in the strike zone, in the new commentary, they would actually make a note of that. It really gives it the little edge that commentating in sports games needs.
Overall, this game is a must buy for any baseball fan. It is up there with some of the best baseball games of all time, and is one that deserves to go on your shelf. Sony literally hit it out of the park this year. Even with the problems in the online mode, this game is still worthy of a buy, as it will last you well past when the next MLB The Show comes out. It is truly still the king of baseball simulation.
Review copy provided by publisher.