Diamond Dynasty “Distilled” was the term San Diego Studios used when introducing their new ultimate team mode in MLB 15 The Show and it definitely lives up to its name. This mode has been greatly improved through simplification, intuitiveness, and overall ease of acquiring cards. No longer do users have to worry about messing with fictional “dynasty” players (except the one dynasty player every team has) or running out of games played. Once you acquire a player then you have him forever, unless you sell or feed that card to your one created “dynasty” player.
Presentation and Menus: The menus are much easier to roam due to overall less to choose from and simplification. Your team management is all located within your “My Squad” and you can then add any other player from your collections to your 25 man roster. You can also generate a best lineup and rotation which helps build a base for your 25 man roster. The marketplace is self explanatory and easy to use with buy/sell orders. The logo and team uniform customization is back again and is pretty much the same as the last three years, which is a great thing. Users can also download logos via the logo vault. Overall, it will not take users long to figure out the menus and get started building their teams.
Standings are exactly the same as in past and work just as well. I’ve always enjoyed how the leaderboards for Diamond Dynasty worked and how it has a unique spin on it. Teams can also earn patches when they promote or earn an achievement and this adds to the overall presentation of the mode.
Collections are also back, but this time you can earn historic and legendary players once you complete a teams’ collection. This will add a lot of depth to the mode as it will take users quite a while to complete these and will make opening packs that much more addicting.
Something also to note that adds to the presentation is the licensed equipment you can equip on your created “dynasty” player for attribute increases. It acts an RPG element and is similar to your own “Road to the Show” player you can use offline.
Gameplay: The online latency was a huge problem last year across all online game modes, but this year the online seems to be much smoother. San Diego Studios promised that they are getting close to that 1:1 ratio of online playing just like offline in terms of latency and synchronization. It almost felt like I was playing offline while hitting, fielding, and pitching. The baserunning was much improved but I did notice a few warping issues and unresponsiveness with commands. Overall, it played well and I experienced no freezes or setbacks during my games.
Other Features: Extra Innings and Playing the CPU is back again. Users can play their friends or anyone for that matter in an offline game via Extra Innings. It goes based off your opponents’ universal profile and tendencies. It worked well last year and it seems to be the same this year. This is a great way to interact with your friends while they are offline and challenge those near the top of the leaderboard. You can also earn rewards and item packs, as well as good ole’ bragging rights with your buddies. I really do like this feature and hope more people take advantage of it.
Overall: Diamond Dynasty “Distilled” is simplified, yet feels like you have more options to play. There are an array of combinations of how you can use your one “dynasty” player and it will be fun experimenting with those tactics. The ease of the menus, improved online play, and convenience of earning rewards throughout all game modes will allow users to divulge into Diamond Dynasty in a much more natural transition than in years’ past.