MLB 10: The Show
Posted 3 years ago By - Zach R.
If you’re a hardcore baseball fan, you likely already know about Sony’s MLB series from the excellent showing they’ve had over the past couple of years. The Show brings with it some lofty expectations, and, quite frankly, in 2010 it once again exceeds them.
If you’re familiar with The Show, you’ll know what to expect upon booting up the game. All the modes that made an appearance in last years version are here. You see, The Show isn’t about making huge adjustments this year. Everything that made the previous game so enjoyable is here and Sony haven’t messed with a good thing. Don’t mistake that for a criticism, however, or think that the game is just a rehash of last year. There are enough enhancements to what was already a solid title that it justifies another annual release, tightening things up to make it the most sim-tastic ball game you’ll ever play.
If you’ve never played The Show in its previous forms, allow me to warn you now; this is a sim, so there are no unnecessary embellishments that make the game feel arcade-like. This is for players who are looking for the most realistic experience out there and Sony have provided that on every level. From excellent stat-tracking to adaptive AI, you’re going to be battling opponents for every win and, for hardcore simulation, it doesn’t get much better than this.
While Franchise and Season modes (with all the fixings you’d expect) are available here, the main mode for would-be pitchers or swingers is going to be the Road to the Show. This is where you’ll fight for a spot in the MLB, starting off as a AA nobody. It’s a spectacular mode that’s extremely involved and has you play, train and negotiate your way into the limelight. The mode hasn’t changed much since last year, with the exception of calling the game as a catcher.
Perhaps I was a bit naive, but I had no idea just how important the catcher was to a teams success. As you play, you call the pitches to create the best offense against hitters. Calling the spots, pitch-type, and remembering the tendencies of each batter that steps up to the plate is all part of your job. Needless to say, while other positions will have you participate in batting, with light fielding on the side, the pitcher and catcher positions are full-time jobs, so make sure you’ve got the time to invest in it, as playing a season or two can be quite lengthy.
The main problem with Road to the Show is that if you don’t opt to watch full games, you’re going to be stuck watching the loading screen a whole lot, especially if you’re not putting up great numbers at bat, or your fielding is particularly bad. Normally, I wouldn’t harp on load screens but The Show has long ones, and this has been an issue for some time now. I understand that there’s a lot of calculating the game needs to do behind the scenes, and when your game looks this good you’re going to have load times, but when you play for 10 minutes (sometimes less) at a time, the load screens get tiresome.
Once you’ve exhausted Road to the Show, the other mode that you’ll likely milk for all its worth is Franchise. This year, you can have 30 player controlled teams offline, which means that if you’re a super hardcore baseball freak, you can tweak each team at your whim or you can round up some friends and spend some quality time figuring out how to trounce them at every turn.
While it’s a solid mode, Franchise does have a problem with the trade system. It’s incredibly easy to dupe the AI controlled teams into making incredibly stupid trades. This means that you can stack your team full of big names without breaking a sweat. Considering just how much tweaking you’ll be doing to your ticket prices, promos and all the other ins and outs of managing teams, that seems like a misstep. But not one that detracts from the actual gameplay, mind you.
The games controls haven’t seen much tweaking, though there is now the ability to pick off baserunners with snapped throws that are excessively quick or with light tosses that keep them in check. Batting still uses the X button with the left stick for aiming. Timing is everything here and the simulation for hitting the ball is pretty darn accurate.
Unfortunately, the pitching is still suspect. While there are times when pitches are wickedly accurate, there are also inexplicable instances where a wild pitch will escape from a starting pitcher in his first inning with no apparent cause. The pitch meter The Show uses, for its part, is easy understand and use. However, when you’ve got a pitcher throwing balls way outside, allowing the batter to get a base even when you’re hitting the sweet spot on the meter, it just doesn’t feel right.
Online is also a big part of this year, as you now have the option to run Season Leagues. That means that you can play through an entire season with all the offline fixings of stat tracking, trades and the full 40-man roster feature. If you played last years game, online might not be on your list to check out, as it left a lot to be desired. Thankfully, all the issues seem to have been addressed, as 9 out of 10 matches I played online had very little lag and there was only one disconnection. That’s a big difference and it’s certainly a change for the better.
Graphics & Sound
Like last year, 2010’s The Show is just an incredibly beautiful game. While everything looks smooth, however, it’s the little touches that really make the game stand out as one of the best looking games period. You see, it’s not just the on-field action that makes the game look great, it’s the living/breathing feel you get from everything within it. The bullpen is constantly in motion and you’ll often see fans spill onto the field trying to catch stray fouls. The entire baseball environment was captured flawlessly.
The audio is still good in The Show, with the commentary spot on for the most part. That said, it can get repetitive, especially in Road to the Show, where you’ll face similar situations on a regular basis causing the same tired quips to be heard time and time again. That minor quibble aside, the rest of the audio is spectacular. There’s even the ability to create your own cheers and jeers for your teams, which is a neat touch. The soundtrack comes down to personal preference but what’s there is decent.
Are you kidding? The amount of content here is outstanding. Road to the Show may get old after a while, but you’ve still got a ton of modes to keep you occupied if that happens. Online, offline, it doesn’t matter, you’re going to be busy until next season.
MLB 10: The Show is still the top baseball sim in the business. There’s still some room for improvement when it comes to controls, but it’s about as close to perfect as you can get.
+ Looks absolutely amazing.
+ Addition of Catcher to RttS adds a great dynamic.
+ Franchise, Season still offer great sim-tastic baseball.
+ Visually, the game just pops. Amazing.
- Minor AI quibbles, mostly when it comes to trades.
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Release Date : 2010/03/02
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer : SCEA San Diego
Category : Sports
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10