Major League Baseball’s spring training is amongst us again and once again, the millions of fans can enjoy America’s Pastime. It also marks the release of MLB 12 The Show. The Show’s dominance in the baseball gaming genre is once again unchallenged with the release of their latest installment.
One of the best things about this version of The Show isn’t even part of the game; it’s the commercial. For those who haven’t seen it, it begins with the announcement that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and everyone goes crazy. Celebrations and riots occur until we see the celebration taking place in the game of The Show, and the gamer with a single tear roll down his cheek. Tagline: So real, it’s unreal. Go ahead, I dare you, if you’re a true sports fan, watch that commercial without getting a little choked up. Excellent marketing plan.
Now onto the game itself: along with fine-tuning the graphics, there is a laundry list of new features in the 2012 title:
• Pulse Pitching – This interface builds off of the classic pitching style. Players still use the “X” button to pitch, but they must time the press with an on-screen display to ensure pitch accuracy.
• Diamond Dynasty Mode – Similar to the regular Dynasty Mode, the Diamond Dynasty Mode is an online exclusive mode where players can create their
own team name, uniforms and logo with over 100 customizations. Players collect baseball cards, which act as the players on their active roster. Players can also play the computer in games to earn more cards to boost their team (Think EA Sports’ Ultimate Team mode).
• Road to the Show – The flagship feature of The Show returns for the fifth installment and just like the other four, it is extremely deep and keeps the player coming back for more. For those who don’t know how the RTTS mode works, you create a player, assign attributes, equipment, positions, etc… then either enter the draft or chose a team’s association to join. Once a part of the organization, you are sent to the minors and begin your journey to make it to the Major League team of your organization, aka The Show. This year, you are the top recruited prospect and automatically become the starter at your position at the AA level. Training has also been revamped allowing for different training modes to allow for maximum growth for your player. The player creator also received some improvements by adding new accessories
to add to your player.
• True Ball Physics – Anybody who’s played baseball knows the spin of the ball determines a lot; where the ball will travel in the air, the direction when it bounces, and how fast it travels on the ground. The Show now incorporates realistic ball physics and proper spins for balls that bounce off the bases, or hit off the end of the bat
• Playstation Move Compatible – For the first time, you can use the Playstation Move controller through all modes of the game; pitching, hitting, fielding, and running the bases.
• SimulView Functionality with PlayStation 3D Display – The Show will incorporate SimulView technology that allows two people to play head to head without seeing each other’s sceen while playing on the PlayStation 3D Display. It uses the same technology as Stereoscopic 3D, but instead of sending image A to the left eye and image B to the right eye, the game sends image A to player 1 and image B to player 2.
Overall, once again, The Show took their already successful franchise and made it even better. There are many other features that were added to the overall gameplay that make this the most authentic feeling sports game, not just for baseball, but for all sports. It may not have the hype that Madden or NCAA Football has, but this game is a major player in the sporting world. And it easily is one of the best Playstation exclusive games left.