MLB 10: The Show

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball.  I’ll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring”.-Rogers Hornsby

That’s one of my favorite baseball quotes, and as were into another season Sony Computer Entertainment has another baseball game for us and this years is better than ever.

Gameplay

The best thing about The Show in my opinion is it’s life like gameplay.  It is a very sim baseball experience which may turn some people off who are just looking for a casual sports title to play.  But if you want a game where every decision you make counts, The Show my friend is for you.

The Pitching works by using the face buttons to pick a pitch and throw the ball while the left analog is for ball placement.  Over the Pitchers head is a pitch meter, this is used for power and accuracy, the better your accuracy the better control your pitcher will have.  If he’s getting fatigued or knocked around his accuracy will decrease, which makes for tough decisions whether or not to bring in a relief from the pen, or leave your starter out there for one more.

Some will say graphics are a very big part of gaming and I tend to agree, and the visuals in The Show do not disappoint.  Everything from player signature batting stances to the detail of the uniforms that actually looks like it stretches when the player swings the bat.  The player animations on the field looks as if your watching a real game on TV, not to mention the amazing detail on the facial features of the players.  It only makes the game that much more fun to play.

The Hitting is what separates The Show from the rest of the competition.  Again you use the X to swing but my favorite part about the hitting is the “Guess Pitch.”  This allows you to guess the pitch the pitcher is throwing as well as the location and will show a red indicator if you are correct.  I’ve had some great chess like battles with pitchers because of this feature and it really makes you change up your style if your on the mound to keep the hitter off balance.  I will say the hitting has a very high learning curve, you have to work counts and learn when to swing and when to lay off and take a pitch.  But if you can master this it feels very rewarding when you start driving runs in and it doesnt make you take for granted that hey it really is hard to hit a ball in the major leagues.

Road To The Show

This mode is the games bread and butter.  Road To The Show is a create a player mode.  You start off in Double A and try working your way up to the big leagues. You can pick any position you’d like to play but must also pick a secondary position in case your slumping and lose the starting job at your primary position.  You can add a number of features to your player, everything from what color glove and spikes you want up too what kind of hitter you want to be.  By this I mean during games you earn points almost like XP by doing objectives you have during a game.  For example drive in the runner from 3rd or do not strike out etc.  With these points you earn you can add them to your player to increase your contact vs pitchers or power if you want to be more of a homerun hitter.  These points can also be added to your defensive skills as well.  There are a ton of different ways you can shape your player out to be.  They’ve also added this year the ability to call the game as a catcher which is fun at first but seems to make the game drag over the duration of the season.  Another nice option is only the plays your created player is involved in are shown.  Everything else is in “Fast Forward” mode.  It makes the game move on and I love that option they give you.  Of course if you want to play every pitch this can be changed in menu settings.

Multiplayer

In past years of The Show the online aspect has been the games achilles heel.  With complaints of Lag and drop outs that would happen late in the game for no apparent reason, Im happy to say this years online seems to be fixed.  Out of the 20 or so games I’ve played only 3 were unplayable.  Another fun addition to this years game is Online Leagues.  It lets you make a season with your friends by doing either a private league or you can make a public league to set up with randoms.  If you can get enough serious people for this you can have an absolute blast.

Bottom 9, 2 down

At the end of the day this is a must have if your a baseball fan who isn’t afraid of a little challenge.  Between RTTS, Franchise mode, Homerun Derby and addicting online play, there are hours upon hours to be had in MLB 10: The Show and I already look forward to what they bring in 2011.  Sony Computer Entertainment hit a homerun once again.

[starreview tpl=46 size=’30’]

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