In the first of many Feature Premieres to come, San Diego Studio’s Ramone Russell sat down with gameplay producer, Kyle Saul, to take a deeper look at hitting and pitching in MLB The Show 21. Here’s what you need to know from the 30-minute Twitch stream.
Gameplay styles and dynamic difficulty
MLB The Show 21 features three gameplay styles: casual, simulation, and competitive. Casual is geared towards gamers looking for less stress and more learning. In simulation mode, (what fans of MLB The Show are accustomed to) in-game outcomes are a 50-50 split between player/team ratings and stick skills. Competitive is nearly 100% reliant on a players talent on the sticks.
Another addition to The Show is dynamic difficulties. This year’s game features the traditional Beginner, Rookie, Veteran, All-Star, Hall of Fame, and Legend difficulty levels; but now users who fall between the cracks can turn on dynamic difficulty for an experience more tailored to their skill level.
Next, Kyle and the crew appear to have put to bed one of the most infamous community complaints: check swings. In MLB The Show 21, player discipline ratings have completely been taken out of the equation, putting check swings 100% in the users hands. Fewer borderline check swings are promised in this year’s game, and perfect-perfect contact now results in a 99% chance of a fair ball.
Easily the most in-depth part of the Feature Premiere, Russell and Saul gave fans plenty to chew over when it comes to toeing the rubber in MLB The Show 21.
New to this year’s game is PAR. The Perfect Accuracy Region aims to help pitchers aim the ball within a shadow region. This has to be a welcome addition for those who played last year’s version. Too many times someone would make a seemingly perfect pitch, only to leave a hanging curveball over the heart of the plate. PAR is affected by factors like your pitcher’s energy and confidence. There are also differences between difficulties, pitchers, and pitch types. A perfect release results in a pitch landing within the shadow, but a well-executed pitch shouldn’t land you too far off.
Additionally, The Show 21 features an all-new pinpoint pitching system. Pinpoint pitching combines meter, analog, and new specific motion. Each pitcher has distinct timing linked to their pitching motion. Gestures also change depending on the pitch, with fastballs being the easiest motion. The new feature offers players a risk/reward system. Pinpoint pitching is the hardest to master, but results in the most accurate pitch if performed correctly. Perfect-perfect pitch timing is now in all three pitching functions: pinpoint, meter, and analog.
Custom practices are finally making their way to MLB The Show. For the first time, users are able to completely customize batting practice and bullpen sessions. For example, if you want to work on timing up high and inside fastballs, now you can solely focus on that.
Finally, former Yankees all-star second basemen, Alfonso Soriano is the next legend to be revealed by San Diego Studio. Russell teased towards more legend reveals in each of the next Feature Premieres.
The next Feature Premiere will cover all things fielding in MLB The Show 21. The Twitch stream starts at 3 PM (PST).
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