MLB 10: The Show Roundtable Review

Here at Bronx Baseball Daily, Dan LaTorraca and I both decided to pick up MLB the Show 2010 for Playstation 3. Instead of doing two separate reviews, we decided to discuss it together and share our discussion with you. Please note, if we don’t mention something, it might be because we haven’t got a chance to play with it yet or it hasn’t happened for us. If you have any question, please ask away in the comments section and we’ll be more than happy to answer and look into it for you.

Enjoy the review…

Chris: I’m here with Dan today to discuss Sony’s MLB The Show. Dan, as far as I”m aware, this is your first time owning The Show. Before we get into the details of the game, why don’t we talk about your initial impression since you’re newer to the game. What did you think?

Dan: The last baseball video game I owned was MVP 2005, so needless to say, the visual upgrade was tremendous. I spent more time awing at the visuals than I did with the game itself. The pitching, hitting and running controls take some getting used to, but the pitching came the easiest to me. Still, the most appealing aspect of the game is the beautiful visuals. From the ballpark, to the fans to the players – everything in this game looks amazing.

Chris: I agree. When I first picked up the game for PS2 a few years ago (before taking an unfortunate side trip to the 2k series briefly), I had some adjustment issues when it came to the controls. The visuals, however, are outstanding. The fact that playing a game feels like you’re actually watching a real game still blows my mind a few days in.

Dan: I was amazed at the minor intricacies like fans who reach for foul balls, jeer players and wear their team’s colors. The game is truly presented like a televised game, and the ballpark feels like a living, breathing entity.

Chris: I think we’ve certainly established the genuine feel of the game. How about the Yankees Roster? Now, it’s important to keep in mind that updates will come throughout the year, but what were your thoughts on the Yankees initial roster. I know there are some glaring weaknesses in the Yankees minor league rosters, but all in all, with the first update from Sony, they seem to have done a pretty decent job there.

Dan: Well, I can understand why the minor league rosters are not full of actual players – the players association won’t allow it. However, people who bought the game can edit and create players and essentially create a complete minor league system for each and every team.

I felt that the player ratings were a bit questionable. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are currently listed as the best overall players on the Yankees. Personally, I feel that Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez deserve those honors. That said, the roster is incredibly deep and realistic. Even non-roster invitees like Mike Rivera and recent additions were on the team. Also, I love that the developers used the photoshopped profile pictures for each player. It just shows you that they went the extra mile to make this game visually appealing.

Chris: I think player ratings are always going to be a subject of debate with these kind of games. I admit I was surprised as well with A-Rod’s rating, but can’t say I can hold it completely against the game. From my understandings, many of their rankings and ratings actually come from an average of three years of ratings with the previous year being the most important.

That being said, it is nice that there are players like Juan Miranda in the game, since in my franchise mode, Nick Johnson is already injured (slightly unfair to Johnson IMO) and I’ve actually made Miranda my DH. All in all, great rosters and with the updates that come out, they’ll only get better.

Speaking of Franchise mode, have you tried out either Franchise mode or RTTS (Road to the Show) yet? I’ve done both and found them to be improved from the previous version of the game already.

Dan: I’ve spent some time with both RTTS and Franchise Mode. I first made a random stock infielder and attempted to learn about the infamous Road to the Show. The player customization options are insanely deep. You can adjust the size of your players forehead and the amount of blemishes they have, its honestly very overwhelming, but impressive at the same time.

Because I’m new to this series, hitting has been very difficult. I aimed to create a slick-fielding, speedy second baseman, but ended up with a player who struggled to hit .250 during his first season, was always picked of first and was given an “F” for fielding despite a low amount of errors. I find the hitting to be the most frustrating. Even after adjusting the sliders, I struggled to make solid contact. I can only really hit singles or home runs, and they are both few and far between. I also found RTTS to be extremely complex and deep. While some fans may like the training features, I found it to be a bit overwhelming.

I have less experience with the franchise mode, but so far I love it.

Your Nick Johnson must have been defective Chris, mine currently leads the team in home runs after the first two weeks of the season. Although the franchise mode is equally as complex and overwhelming as RTTS, I’m enjoying it more as a whole. It’s probably because its what I am used to, but I can embrace the franchise mode quicker than I can the RTTS.

Chris : I feel your pain with RTTS. I can’t say I’ve ever excelled at it, but I only truly got into it last year. The problem with last year’s was it was far too hard to do well at the lower levels for me. Not sure if that was because of my skill level at the game as a newbie to PS3, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was hard for me.

That being said, I mentioned earlier how I liked a lot of little improvements in RTTS. Some of the biggest that stood out for me was additional training modes (which make a significant improvement to game play when trying to move up), the ability to see your goals at anytime during game play as well as some additional customizations they made to player personalization.

I’m nowhere near All-Star break yet, but I’m looking forward to working my rookie up to a potential Futures Game and eventually, a home run derby when I’m on the Major League rosters.

Franchise mode continues to get better though. Last year, they added 40-man rosters and between all the little features like the Rule 5 draft and being able to play for more than one team, I think it’s one of the most rewarding franchise modes in sports gaming.

Is there room for improvement, certainly, but I think that goes without saying. The little things ultimately are what make this game and the creators are consistently listening to fans of The Show and adding them in, so I don’t see a reason why the features we’d like to see won’t be added in the future (like maybe a “Create A Sign Mode”). Also speaking of little improvements, I think it’s only right to mention how well they made the stadiums this year. The atmosphere is incredible and the game even includes old Yankee Stadium!

Dan: I was really happy with the inclusion of the old stadium, and I really love playing in the new Target Field too. Every stadium has its own unique look and feel, which helps make the game even more realistic. The same thing goes for the stock minor league stadiums commonly seen in RTTS mode. The ability to add in your own music and audio clips is a pretty cool addition too.

Chris: The ability to edit and make each stadium your own is a big part of the game. It really allows you to give it that perfect feel. While I admit, I don’t intend to go edit every team’s stadium to be perfect, I’ll certainly do the ones which I frequent. I’d rather spend more time enjoying the game and working on a successful franchise. Online league play is another big factor and though I haven’t got a chance to play much on it yet, it seems the online experience has improved after being pretty rough last season despite having high speed internet.

Dan: I have not gotten a chance to explore online mode yet. I know that lag was a big problem with previous installments, and the developers promised to address this. I’ve heard mixed reviews so far. I’ve read some complains of lag, and some say that there is a noticeable improvement, but it’s still not where it should be. I can safely say that I have never encountered lag while playing NBA2K10, which makes me wonder how MLB2K10 performs in this situation.

Chris: Once again, I think this partially falls on PS3’s free network being subpar compared to X-Box lives. I hope I’m wrong and the improvement I saw continues to get better. It’s still nothing like my XBox 360 experience…but even 2K didn’t seem to play great online for me at times. All in all though, I love the game and see that it’s only getting better. If you’re a baseball fan and you own a PS3, I think it’s the only choice. I can’t help but rave about every little bit of detail that went into the game. Game play wise it may not quite be the best baseball game ever, but it’s getting there. Visually, that’s another story…gorgeous game and one that will probably take over a bit of my life for some time to come. How about you?

Dan: I definitely rate this as the best baseball game I’ve ever played, but I also don’t have much to compare it to. It’ll take a long time to explore all of the features MLB10 has to offer, but overall this is an excellent game overall. I agree Chris, this is a must buy for any baseball fan.

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