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Tag:Video Games
Posted on: March 14, 2009 9:10 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2009 10:26 pm
 

MLB The Show '09

After owning and playing the '08 edition of this game, I knew what to expect when purchasing this years incarnation. Having said that, all I have to say now is.... WOW! They improved on the game graphically, statistically, and in the realism. There are still the 2 modes to play off-line in Franchise and Road to the Show, and there is also the on-line potion. I'll get to each part of those in this review.

My favorite mode for all sports sims has always been the franchise modes. In The Show you get to control every aspect of your franchise, from the way the team trains to the price of the hot dogs. It is extremely indepth and could be quite overwhelming for the casual fan. When starting your franchise you first pick a team. I chose the Red Sox, of course, and off to spring training I went. After looking over my roster, I was excited to see that they finally added 40 man roster control to the game. This means that there are now waivers as well as a Rule 5 draft in the off season. I tinkered with my line-ups and pitching staff and off I went to my first game. The first of the mprovements I noticed in the gameplay was that players now threw the ball with a bit more urgency. One of my biggest complaints last year was that if there was 2 outs with a runner on first base and the batter hit a ground ball, if you tried to throw to the force out, he would lacksadaisically toss it there and the infielder that should have been covering that base would just stroll to it. This was frustrating because more often than not the lead runner would be safe. They've corrected that this year, as the man covering hustles over to the bag now, which is great. However, the outfielders can still be somewhat "lazy" which leads to some frustration. The graphics flow as smoothly as I've seen in a sports title. The cut scenes are pretty, but do get repetitive after a while, but when they do you can turn them off. The play by play is basically the same as last year, with Matt Vasgersian, Dave Campbell and Rex Hudler. They can get a little tiresome and I hope they change them out next year. One neat feature this season is that you can now take music off your PS3 hard drive and add it to the game for custom batter walk up songs and relief pitcher entrances. It's pretty cool to have Big Papi walking up to the plate to "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred. You can also use your bluetooth headset to add your own custon cheers and jeers when certain players come up to bat. This adds a lot to the atmosphere of the game, having the chowdawheads yelling "A-Roid, A-Roid" when Alex Rodriguez comes up to hit. But back to the franchise, I played through my starting rotation, giving each a spring start, but was eager to start the regular season, so I simmed the rest of the spring and went to opening day. The stadiums look amazing. They have Fenway down to a tee. It looks great. The first thing I did after I started my season was look over my financials. I decided that I didn't want my multi million dollar players taking the Durham Bulls team bus on their road trips, so I went to a bank and took out a large loan to afford 1st class airfare for my players to travel. This may sound a bit frivolous, but the different modes of transportation affect your players mood and fatigue. This game is that realistic. After 11 games my beloved BoSox are sitting at 6-5, ugh. I've tried to trade Julio Lugo, but not many teams are interested in him, and I haven't played enough to really see where I need to get stronger. All in all, franchise mode is top notch!

The Road to the Show mode is basically the same as last year, where you create a player and go to spring training with the team of your choice or allow yourself to be drafted. I created a 6'11" 1st base giant and called him El Gigante. I was drafted by the Angels and went to training with them. It's a neat mode for the fact that you only play the parts of the game that your player is directly involved in. The games tend to fly by, and after an hour I alredy had 11 games played. I am hitting .347 but with no power, as when you start you only have limited abilities. I'm assuming I'll be sent down to AA or AAA after the spring, but we'll see. Having this game mode basically makes it feel like you're getting two games for the price of one.

The only sore spot for this game is the online portion. There is way to much lag in this game to enjoy playing it online. What bothers me is that this was a problem last year and they did nothing to fix it. In a game of timimg like baseball, especially this one where you have meters to hit to get your accuracy for your pitches, any amount of lag is unacceptable. This may be a big reason for some people not to buy this game, as there are a lot of online gamers now.

If the online wasn't so bad this would be a must buy game for EVERY video baseball game fan but if playing online is really really important to you you may want to wait to see if they fix it with a patch or something. If you're like me and love playing franchise modes, I can't stress it enough, GET THIS GAME! I know some people who have actually bought a PS3 just for MLB The Show '09, it's that good. Final rating: 9.5 out of 10 (If the online worked properly it would easily be a 10).

 

 

 

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 26, 2008 12:25 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2008 12:27 pm
 

MLB '08 The Show for PS3 (Wow!)

All I can say is that if you like baseball video games you might want to purchase a Plastation 3 this March. That's when Sony is releasing the 2008 incarnation of MLB The Show. This game looks phenomenal. The graphics (which unfortunately I cannot post here, but here's a link: http://ps3.ign.com/objects/142/1
4223575.html ) look amazing. The detail in the faces are truly lifelike. When you see David Ortiz coming up to bat, you know it's him. When you see Mike Lowell in the field, you know it's him. And the list of features, well I can't begin to name them all. Luckily for me I can copy and paste them for you though:

   

Road to The Show 2.0 – To deliver the closest experience possible, next to actually trying to make it in the Majors, MLB 08 THE SHOW introduces a more immersive Road to The Show mode. As gamers attempt to make a starting line-up in the Big Leagues, playing on both offense and defense from a custom-created player’s perspective, a more robust dynamic goal system and a new career advancement system will determine when a player is eligible for a promotion. Now, advancement goals related to the player’s attribute target level will be provided to get the player to that next level and those goals are based on the player’s attribute level and statistical performance. Also, Road to The Show 2.0 adds a new statistics screen that will display a player’s current seasons’ statistics. Additionally, custom-created players are more interactive. As a position player, gamers will be able to further adjust that players positioning, catchers will occur more defense situations, and pitcher’s will now experience mound visits with user interaction – all making Road to The Show mode even more realistic.

Progressive Batting Performance – Progressive Batting Performance is a feature designed to both reward players for superior performance and penalizes them for hitting slumps. Specific to each individual batter, the players will be rewarded with slight contact bonuses for each batter that performs beyond his “natural ability” while under user control. Conversely, the user will be punished with slight decreases in contact for each batter that performs below his “natural ability”.

Replay Vault – With the new Replay Vault, gamers can now go back to that spectacular diving, behind the back double play from the first inning and show their friends. Replays are available from any part of the game from any inning within that game.

Post Game/In Game Pitcher and Batter Analysis – Stats and match-up analysis’ are a baseball fan’s dream! The Pitch Analysis is a breakdown of all the pitches thrown during the current game being played. Gamers will be able sort by pitcher, LHB or RHB, Pitch type and result. This feature is also available for Batters, and the batter analysis allows for a breakdown of how a batter has performed based on LHP or RHP, Pitch Type and the result.

Pitch Grips – Adding ore authenticity, MLB 08 THE SHOW details the different pitch grips and arm angles that a pitcher has when throwing each pitch. Showing these details in Replay Mode will further enhance the look of the game. 18 different pitch types total! (Four-Seam Fastball, Two-Seam Fastball, Cut Fastball, Split-Fingered Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Sinker, Slurve, Change-Up, Circle Change, Knuckleball, Palmball, Forkball, Knuckle-Curve, Screwball, 10-4 Curve, 12-6 Curve & Gyro).

Crowd Interaction – With the power of the PS3, the MLB franchise is set introduce subtle elements of baseball that, quite simply, couldn’t be done on another platform. A big part of baseball is in the ambiance of the game – having realistic stadiums is mandatory, but the crowd also plays a big part in the overall atmosphere. Gamers will see a vast array of new ambient elements including: fans coming, going and reaching for foul balls, vendors, 7th inning stretch, the wave, standing ovations, dynamic crown actions like hanging K’s, and much, much more. These new subtleties make MLB 08 THE SHOW truly feel like a day at the ballpark.

MLB My Music – Ever wanted to make your own video game soundtrack? With MLB 08 THE SHOW for the PS3 and PSP® gamers will be able to take the music that they have stored on their PS3 HDD and add to the list of music played in the Juke Box.

SCOUT [SportsConnect Online User Tracking] – If you’ve ever had a difficult time finding an opponent that wants to play online with the same gameplay setting as you, this is your feature. SCOUT allows gamers to set their game preferences, stores them on the server, and then allows the system to look for a Quick Match with an opponent that fits their criteria.

In-Game MLB Live Scores – Using our new top of the screen Score Bar display, gamers will get updates on what is going on in the Majors. Along with scores and inning, gamers will also see notables, such as HR’s, complete games, etc.

Online League Play – MLB 08 THE SHOW provides today’s sports fanatics with the ability to set up leagues with anywhere from 6-30 teams with full stat tracking, point benefits and rewards. Gamers can customize the league including choosing players, teams, length of schedule and much more. (Note: There are no cross platform leagues available.)

Online News Service / MLB.com Headline News – Sports fanatics can receive all the current happenings in sports today. Information will be updated a few times each hour with news, trades and events from 31 different feeds, each containing 25 unique items. Users can select general MLB® headlines or updates from all 30 teams instantly. New for 07, MLB 08 THE SHOW offers an enhanced Live MLB Ticker, which shows live status of all MLB games going on around the league – with updates several times a minute. This new view will be complete with who is on base, pitching, batting, on-deck and full inning-by-inning box scores.

Rivalry Mode – For those with a competitive nature, Rivalry Mode allows baseball fans to set up and maintain multi-game rivalries between multiple gamers or versus the Artificial Intelligence (AI), and keeps track of the stats throughout the rivalry.

Franchise Mode – Extending the experience of running a team, performance and player morale are tracked on virtually every level – salary, playing time, batting slot, team performance, and much more.

Career Mode – The Career Spotlight underscores all of the accomplishments and failures during a career and showcases them in the limelight. Gamers still need to call the shots, but now the ramifications of actions are documented.

Season Mode – Grind out the162 game season and deal with day-to-day match-ups, refining the lineup and play for the championship just like the pros.

All-Star Game – Lets gamers take the virtual road trip to New York early to see who prevails for home field advantage in the 2008 Fall Classic.

Multi-Branch Fielding – Branch Point Technology goes to a new level as gamers you can now take full control of fielders and break out of any animation in the process. Change a fielding decision and branch out of any animation after the first branch point. With Branch Point Technology, MLB 08 THE SHOW provides unbelievably smooth, fluid transitions for seamless double plays and relays.

PlayMaker Fielding – The fielding interface brings the player attributes together with the user’s skill level. With the Fielding Zone Marker, the fielder’s fielding attribute rating will determine the size of the zone that surrounds the ball and its eventual landing location. With highly ranked fielders, the ball marker will be displayed sooner and smaller, making it easier to judge fly balls.

Adaptive Pitching Intelligence (API) – Catchers will call the game based on individual strengths and weaknesses of each pitcher and analyze tendencies of batters. Gamers will have the ability to trust the pitches called by the catcher or shake them off. (The catcher’s recommendations are based off of thousands of actual MLB® stats.)

Pitch Command System (PCS) – Delivering unsurpassed authenticity and strategy to pitch selection, a pitcher’s “pitch comfort” will be predetermined based on a best to worst pitch scenario. It’s up the gamer to decide if they should try to “work on a pitch” or just go with what’s working. The more a player works on a pitch, the better it becomes, and the more a gamer neglects a pitch, the harder it becomes to work the zone.

Release Point Pitching – Taking video game pitching to a whole new level, gamers must utilize a timing mechanism to learn and realize each pitchers pace and release point, which varies from pitcher to pitcher.

Pitching Confidence Meter – The ultimate pitcher/batter interface returns. Additionally, Pitcher Confidence plays a role in a gamer’s ability to hit release points in the all-new pitch meter, while frequency of mistakes will impact the confidence level of a gamer’s hurler, making it more difficult to paint the corners of the strike zone.

Guess Pitch – Baseball fans can attempt to master the ability to knock one out or hit the grounder to advance the runner by checking the pitch history and correctly guessing which pitch and the location that the pitcher will throw next. If the correct pitch is selected, the power attribute is increased in attempts to leave the yard in a hurry.

My Sliders (Up/Downloadable) – The My Sliders option gives users the ability to create their perfect game settings offline by adjusting game sliders. Gamers can then save these adjustments to memory and, when online, upload to them to the MLB 08 THE SHOW server for other users to try and let the online community be the judge on finding the perfect game.

MLB® Player Motion Captures – MLB 08 THE SHOW features dozens of professional athletes including David Wright, David Ortiz, Eric Chavez, Roger Clemens, Shawn Green, Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, Tim Hudson, Darryl Hamilton, Troy Percival, Brett Tomko, Mo Vaughn and more.

Thousands of Personalized Animations – Authenticity: featuring personalized player animations for everything from walk-ups, rituals, stances and swings and even emotions.

New Umpire Personalities – Providing even more realism to the diamond, MLB 08 THE SHOW features umpires with unique tendencies and animations. Each umpire will have his own definition of the strike zone, and it’s up to the gamer to figure out if the umpire is calling the zone high, low, or giving the corners.

MLB 08 THE SHOW sets the bar high with the Progressive Commentary that changes as the user progresses throughout the game by adapting to current actions and situations.

Managers / Coaches – MLB® managers and coaches will be on the field calling the shots.

MLB Authenticity, Subtleties & Nuances – MLB 08 THE SHOW features drag bunts, wild pitches, broken bats, check swings, off-line throws and much more.

Wind Effects – MLB 08 THE SHOW features a wind display showing wind speed and direction. Depending upon the severity of the wind, the ball will drift according to the speed and direction. Wind effects will force the player to take the proper route to the ball and make adjustments on the fly.

3-Man Booth & Progressive Commentary – Rex Hudler, Matt Vasgersian and Dave Campbell provide the most comprehensive commentary heard in any baseball videogame

*The list released by Sony had some incorrect information. There will be 25 man rosters (not 40) and 2008 All-Star Game is played in Yankee Stadium.

As I said, if you like video games and don't own a PS3 you may want to think of purchasing one, because this bad boy ain't available on any other system .

And tho our health we drank a thousand times, Its time to ramble on. >K

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com