For years now the second best sports game has been “MLB The Show” for Playstation consoles. I say second best only because not every gamer across consoles and PC get a chance to experience the sport of baseball in the excellent fashion by which Sony’s San Diego development studio delivers it. Baseball inherently is a very difficult sport to simulate in terms of action, nuiance of involvement that is asked of gamers, and the mechanics that dictate the pace of the sport itself. When you talk about sports like Soccer, Football, and basketball you are dealing with sports that are faced paced in terms of active pace. Soccer may be low scoring compared to Baseball, but it makes up with the tenacity in activity. The old past-time of baseball needed a kick in the rear. MLB 14 The Show reinvents not only the great experience the franchise has delivered in the past, but also the way it can be displayed going forward.
MLB 14 on PS4 is a gorgeous piece of software. For a first generation sports title the game shows off the capability of the PS 4 sweetly. From the ballparks of the 30 Major League teams to physics, and character models. Realistic lighting courtesy of specular mapping across objects/surfaces its astounding. Taking a look at the above video the audience is more robust and engaging(They have kids in the stands…Wow). Adding elements that permeate the sports mystic such as bat boys lends an authenticity showing the evolution of Sony San Diego‘s expertise in re-creating the sport of baseball in gaming form.
Baseball for me is something I still love, but am not as much into as I’d like. In terms of gaming, I’ve always been picky year to year in terms of how they are portrayed. In recent years the sport of baseball just has fallen off to be blunt. The mechanics that are on display in MLB 14 The Show improve on how immersion you get with the title. There is a feature that allows you to take the reigns of one particular player & their position. So if you like being a pitcher then whenever it is your turn to pitch, or be up for bat that is where your baseball experience will be lived from. It’s a “Player Lock” feature so you don’t have to go through the whole process of playing every player’s position, up for bat, and then do the management that makes a whole game in the sport a long one to play. You can choose who or position between pitches, and inning. So if you get bored playing the up for bats of “Big Papi”, then you can switch over to another player on the Red Sox.
MLB The Show has never been without it’s faults. One of the most unforgivable is the online aspect. Where it’s features are underwhelming, and not as fleshed out as it honestly should be. When you think about how much better PSN + is MLB 14 The Show should be more signature in this aspect to grow the community online of PS4 gamers. Baseball is the perfect sport to do so, especially when playing against one another. If you are into baseball this is the type of experience you have to have be excellent. You can get a to deep level with the baseball that is leagues ahead of other sports titles. Why? Because baseball involves your complete attention in terms of strategy and execution.
All in all you have to look forward to the one baseball series that has managed to out do both 2K sports and EA Sports efforts in the space. To be fair 2K sports really bumped their heads into a nail wall not getting their baseball sport series exclusivity to the same place as NBA 2K series. Neither here nor there though; MLB 14 The Show is in a strong place, and as any fan should be aware the Playstation 4 right now is in need of quality titles to really let you in on why it’s worth your time. With a new season of baseball begun, this is one title that you can’t pass up as a fan of the sport either.