While Sony’s San Diego Studio has been producing an MLB game ever since 1997, it is only since 2006 that The Show has been in existence. Now, the arrival of each year’s version of the PlayStation game is very nearly as keenly anticipated as the season itself. And, over the years, this has been reflected in the rising number of sales with well over a million copies being bought each year.
This year’s version, MLB The Show 20, was launched back in March and it’s fair to say that it’s not been a disappointment. With numerous new features, a wide range of modes and Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez as its cover star, it’s being widely acclaimed as the best version ever.
Most Realistic Graphics
SIE have obviously been hard at work building on the already impressive graphics for the game. This has made the detail in the crowd even more pin-sharp than ever before. Animations are smoother than before and textures are more finely rendered but the big difference comes with the super-realistic likenesses there are now for the players themselves. This is also evident in their facial reactions and body language when things are either going for or against them, creating the most realistic version yet of the game. In fact, many believe that it’s now the most realistic sports video game currently available.
Two new features in particular have been introduced to bring extra levels of skill and complexity to both batting and catching. In the case of the former, players now have to strive for a so-called “perfect – perfect” hit. This is when they manage to achieve the ultimate in both levels of contact and timing. Get them both right and the ball leaves the sweet spot of the bat perfectly.
Out in the field there’s a new “extreme catch indicator”. This gives to options of going for a dramatic sliding catch or picking up the ball on the bounce and relying on an inch-perfect throw instead.
Realistic Player Rankings
Anyone looking for the best MLB picks ahead of the weekend will be on the lookout for players with the highest rankings, the creators of the game have gone to great lengths to study every aspect, making it the ideal research tool for those who enjoy betting on basketball. Another of the great strengths of MLB The Show has been the way in which it closely reflects the value of the best players and ranks them accordingly. Unsurprisingly, the highest of these include Mike Trout with a ranking of 99 closely followed by the Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado. However, there have been comments that some players are rated too highly including Chris Sale (93) and Joey Gallo (91). But, generally, it’s all pretty spot on.
Road to the Show
RttS, gives players the chance to really fine tune not just the game, but the whole squad and, as such, has always been one of the most popular modes. Now it’s possible to take an even more granular approach and work to develop individual players’ skills even more. It doesn’t stop there, either. Now you can even choose particular celebrations on field and off to make the team truly your own. Another feature you’ll see in this, as well as a number of other modes, is the first-ever inclusion of Minor Leagues too using real players in real teams rather than the generic characters of old.
March to October
The March to October mode has also seen a number of improvements creating a wider range of game situations to be negotiated and overcome. There are also new beginner and difficulty options to make it either easier or more challenging to play as well as a new and enhanced rewards system. As with RttS, you also have full access to the Minor leagues too, giving over 1500 new players to add to your roster.
For anyone who’s ever wanted to own and run their own franchise, there are also some great developments in this mode to enable you to shape the team exactly as desired. For, example, it’s now possible to change everything from their name to their logo and even where the play their home games through the special relocation feature. In fact, you can take any team you like and put them wherever you want – so the Yankees could find themselves playing in San Francisco while the Red Sox head for Cleveland.
Diamond Dynasty & Showdown
Last, but by no means least, there’s Diamond Dynasty. Who can resist the opportunity to build up a team to take on others from all around the world. With its new “Legends” feature, you can enroll some of the all-time greats of the game into your team including David Ortiz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Incidentally, these iconic players can also be drafted into teams in other modes too.
Also included in Diamond Dynasty is the new Showdown feature. There’s a ten-round draft to help you create a roster of stars to take on a series of challenges. Each round of the draft also brings with it extra perks and puts you in a better position to take on Moments – real events in the history of the game. Make it through these to the final Showdown and great rewards are waiting.
So, as you can see, they really have excelled themselves with MLB The Show 20. Now it’s up to you to really make the game your own.