MLB The Show 22 is fast approaching the final days of its life cycle. With content basically wrapped up for the year and MLB The Show 23 releasing in a few months, I thought it was time to look back on the year and see how it all went. This article will focus on the things I enjoyed about MLB The Show 22, and a later article will talk about things I didn’t like and how I think the game could fix those problems going forward. Today, however, I will heap some praise on how my favorite sports video game series did this year.
Diamond Dynasty is the main mode in MLB The Show, and this year was no exception. I have always felt like Diamond Dynasty was far and away the best of the card-collecting modes in sports video games. It allows players to earn the new content by playing the game instead of having to throw down tons of money with no guarantee of even getting the cards you want. The type and amount of content is also at the top in terms of quality across all sports games.
This continued to be true in MLB The Show 22. The content team never missed a beat in terms of giving players plenty to do in the game. No matter what part of Diamond Dynasty you play, there was plenty to keep you coming back all year long. Online modes like events, BR, and ranked seasons had tons of regular content added to them. Also, changing BR and ranked to give players more ways to ear the big rewards was a very welcomed improvement.
For more offline players like myself, conquest maps continued to be rewarding and fun to grind out. Programs like monthly awards and player programs were also plentiful this year, even if they could at times take a bit to grind out for offline players. The addition of mini seasons was also a big success. I liked that I was able to not be locked to my opponent’s stadium like I am in conquest and being able to earn some good rewards by grinding these out was great.
The actual rewards this year were also amazing. Starting with the packs, which saw some new variants this year. The Chase Packs were a fun topper for the big bundles, that could also be found when opening regular packs. It was also a big rush finding one of these in just a regular pack I got in Mini Seasons or Conquest, because I knew I was getting something good.
We also got the Headliner’s Choice Pack which was a nice addition that gave player’s boosted odds at the Headliner. If you didn’t get the Headliner though, you still usually got something good out of the pack. The Ballin’ Out of Control packs were also amazing additions that gave players great rewards.
Of course, none of these matters if the cards that are in the packs aren’t amazing. This year may have been the best set of cards we have ever seen in Diamond Dynasty. New legends like Randy Johnson, Ryan Howard, and others quickly made their mark on the mode. We also saw returning legends get huge boosts, especially later in the year. The Legends of the Franchise and Fall Stars Featured Programs brought some of the best cards we have ever seen.
In past years, some legends never really felt as amazing as we would expect them to be. Players like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Jorge Posada always felt a little underpowered compared to their real-life performance. The versions we got in this year’s game however completely changed that. We finally saw endgame versions of these legends that made them viable options later in the year.
Collections and Card Art
Collections were also very well done this year. The Live Series Collection always is sure to have at least one card that is going to last well into the endgame, and the same was true this year with the 99 OVR Randy Johnson. The Legends and Flashback collection rewards were all great this year. There was not even one of these that disappointed or wasn’t immediately a must have for your team. The other rewards like the Topps Now Christian Yelich, All-Star Jackie Robinson, and Takashi Babe Ruth and Shohei Ohtani all made grinding out these collections feel rewarding and exciting.
While we are talking about cards, let’s not forget the incredible card art we got this year. No one can argue that MLB The Show has the best card art of any card-collecting mode, and it really isn’t even a competition at this point. Of course, we got the classic Topps card art in the game which is always fun to see. The best part is when you see a card that you have in real-life used for a powerful version of a player. David Ortiz’s Prime 99 OVR card was a must have for me because, even as a Yankees fan, I loved that card as a kid just because of how that series of cards looked and how much I liked Ortiz as a player.
The Takashi Okazaki series was introduced to the game this year mainly just because of how cool the card art looked. The Retro Finest series I felt was very underrated in terms of its design. The Signature Series got a facelift this year as well. Also, the Cover Athlete Series was amazing seeing all the previous cover athletes use their actual cover for the card art.
Fan Requested Improvements
Now most of this section was also mentioned in my initial review of the game back at release. However, this piece is about all the things that the game did right this year, and I always want to highlight developers listening to player feedback. Also, there were a handful of changes made throughout the year that I feel should also be highlighted here.
In Diamond Dynasty, several small qualities of life changes were made that the community had been requesting. These included the ability to save event lineups, increased sim speed in Conquest mode, and the previously mentioned new ways for players to earn rewards in online modes.
Road to the Show also got several small improvements based on community feedback. Players were no longer required to start out as a two-way player like they were in MLB The Show 21. Players could now also create multiple ballplayers instead of having to use the same one for every playthrough. The progression for the mode was changed so players no longer had to play Diamond Dynasty in order to progress in RTTS.
Franchise also saw a few changes that players had requested. This year’s game fixed the two-way player bug. Now, players like Shohei Ohtani will recover their pitching stamina on days that they DH. Pitchers in the postseason now recover stamina much faster compared to previous years.
Despite MLB The Show 22 having several gameplay problems, which I will definitely talk about in the “What I did not enjoy” article, there were a few things I liked that this year’s game did compared to previous years.
The main change to gameplay I liked this year was the addition of perfect throws when throwing to any base. This added an extra bit of a skill gap to fielding. If you were able to consistently make perfect throws, you could gun down runners trying to stretch out that extra base.
I also enjoyed the change to pitching in that the PAR region would grow if you tried to throw breaking balls high in the zone. I felt like this change helped with the problem of sinkers high in the zone being impossible to hit.
The presentation in MLB The Show 22 was probably the best it has ever been in the series. The updated graphics looked great and didn’t get old throughout the year. I loved having both the regional and national broadcast packages to make sure the big primetime games felt more important. The new bottom line ticker in Franchise and March to October was also one of my favorite additions to the game this year. To see that a CPU player in my Franchise had just taken the league lead for home runs or set a career high for strikeouts in game helped immerse me even more.
The commentary was also impressive in the game this year. John “Boog Sciambi and Chris Singleton did a great job for it being their first year in the game. I really enjoyed how there would be lines of dialogue that were relevant to what was happening in my league. In my March to October, the pair talked about how I had just taken the division lead the night before and needed to keep that level of play going if I wanted to clinch the division that night.
The eSports scene for MLB The Show 22 was entertaining this year. This was my first year really watching the tournaments like the Summer and Fall Circuits since I covered them for SGO, and as a newcomer I had a lot of fun watching these events. The championship series for both were especially exciting as both came down to the final game to decide the champions. While I do think there is plenty that SDS can do in the future to grow their eSports community, I did enjoy my first taste of it this year.
As we look back on the year that MLB The Show 22 has had, I have to say that I had a lot of fun with the game. Live content continued to carry this series with regular updates and additions. Meanwhile, community requested fixes and changes to the presentation tried to breathe some life into the game. My first taste of the eSports scene for the game just intensified my enjoyment of this series as well.
The game didn’t hold my attention solely throughout the year like titles in the past might have. However, when I did hop back on, the content and enjoyment that MLB The Show always gives me was still there. So now it’s time to let me know what you liked about MLB The Show 22. Was there anything that you really enjoyed that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments. Also stay tuned for the rest of this series on MLB The Show 22.