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MLB The Show

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Buy MLB 12 The Show on PS3 and Vita together, save $20


Mar 05
// Samit Sarkar
Sony's critically acclaimed MLB The Show series is making its way to the company's shiny new handheld, the PlayStation Vita, this year. The PS3 version of MLB 12 The Show costs $60, as usual, and Sony is charging $40 for the ...

Preview: Swinging away with PS Move in MLB 12 The Show

Mar 05 // Samit Sarkar
[embed]223169:42933[/embed] MLB 12 The Show (PlayStation 3 [previewed], PlayStation Vita) Developer: SCE San Diego Studio Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Release: March 6, 2012 MSRP: $59.99 (PS3) / $39.99 (PS Vita) Cramm acknowledged that there’s definitely a learning curve for MLB 12’s Move controls, and I can attest to that. Even after he showed me the basics, and after I watched the in-game tutorial videos (starring cover athlete Adrian Gonzalez), it took me a while to get my bearings. But once I had about two innings of hitting, pitching, and fielding under my belt, I felt like I was in the zone -- the fact that I was using Move had almost become an afterthought. Sony San Diego has designed MLB 12’s Move pitching controls to resemble the actual pitching motion. Once you have selected a pitch and moved the wand to aim it, you hold the trigger while pulling the controller backward to set the pitch’s potential power (the further back you go, the closer to 100% power you get). Then you whip the Move wand forward; the speed with which you do so controls the actual power of the pitch, while the point where you release the trigger determines your release point (and thus, accuracy). It feels natural, and although it’s less complicated than the analog-stick controls that Sony SD introduced last year, it has the same effect of making you feel as if you’re skillfully executing your pitches. Move hitting is much more precise than it was last year, and it offers a much greater link between you and your on-screen avatar. MLB 11 only rendered a bat floating in the batter’s box; now you can see the hitter holding his Louisville Slugger. If you actually get up in front of your TV and assume a batting stance before the pitch, which is optional, the wand will vibrate to let you know that it “sees” you. Once it does, the in-game hitter moves the bat exactly as you move the wand. It’s an impressive implementation, forming a unique player-avatar connection that makes you go “whoa” the first time you see it. MLB 12’s Move support is smart enough to distinguish between a contact swing and a power swing based on your own motion. If you quickly swing forward, as if you’re slapping at the ball, the game registers that as a contact swing. But if you move your hands back first, like you’re loading up to drive the ball, it will recognize that as a power swing. In either case, the speed at which you flick the wand forward determines the strength of the swing, so it’s still possible to hit a homer with a contact swing. Move even supports the franchise’s Guess Pitch function -- you hold the trigger and point at a zone. Fielding with Move requires less user input in one sense, but puts more responsibility on you in another. Once a hitter makes contact, the AI takes care of putting your defenders in position to field the ball; Cramm told me that moving fielders with the wand was simply too awkward. But that’s all the CPU will handle. MLB 12 does something that, to my knowledge, no other baseball game has done (except in the case of robbing home runs): it puts the onus on you to make the catch. A circle beneath a fielder changes from red to yellow to green to indicate timing; you pull the trigger to catch the ball when it’s green, and hitting it too early or too late will likely result in an error. Now that fielders don’t automatically scoop balls up, Cramm noted, MLB 12 Move players might actually be surprised by a hot shot to the pitcher or third baseman. “If you don’t hit the trigger fast enough, the ball’s going to hit you in the face,” he said, and I definitely let a few line drives accidentally smash into my fielders. If you do make the catch, you flick right, up, left, or down while releasing the trigger to throw to first, second, third, or home, respectively. Running the bases with Move also brings in an aspect of real-life baseball. You control your baserunners with gestures similar to those used by a third-base coach. Waving the wand in a circular motion advances a runner, while swiping left and right tells him to return to a base. If you hold up the wand horizontally, the baserunner will stop at the next base, and if you hold the trigger while doing so, he’ll stop in his tracks. This aspect of MLB 12’s Move controls took the most time to get down, but I think that was mostly because I had difficulty keeping track of the different gestures. I’m about as hardcore as they come as far as sports games go, and I assumed that MLB 12 wouldn’t be playable with PlayStation Move. But once I gave the motion controls a chance, I found that in addition to being satisfied with the experience, I was enjoying myself. Move might just surprise you, too.
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Sony San Diego experimented with motion controls in MLB 11 The Show last year, implementing basic PlayStation Move support in a fringe game mode, Home Run Derby. The inclusion of Move controls in a casual party game and ...

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New Destructoid Show: Dragon Age Nazi Dinosaurs?!


Mar 18
// Tara Long
Good evening and happy Friday, handsome readers of Destructoid! I would make a Rebecca Black joke, but I'm sure you've heard them all by now so let's get on with the program. On today's episode of Destructoid, Max gets ...

Review: MLB 11 The Show

Mar 17 // Samit Sarkar
MLB 11 The Show (PlayStation 3 [reviewed], PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2) Developer: SCE San Diego Studio Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Released: March 8, 2011 MSRP: $59.99 (PS3) / $29.99 (PSP, PS2) Analog pitching is a tremendous addition to the series, a change that brings a newly challenging dimension to a long-stagnant element of the game. In previous iterations of The Show, once you mastered the meter pitching, it was far too easy to paint the corners with sub-par pitchers as well as number-one starters. Here, the analog controls mean that just like in real life, there’s a world of difference between Justin Verlander and Justin Duchscherer; because it’s much more difficult to be accurate with a scrub, you have to be much more conservative with aiming pitches -- since lower ratings mean increased location variability -- and that will likely lead to giving up more hits. MLB 11’s analog pitching setup requires the same general motion for every pitch -- pulling back on the right stick and then flicking up and left or right (depending on inside/outside location) -- and I find that consistency more satisfying than MLB 2K’s system of separate gestures for each pitch. In that light, the amount of variety and challenge that these controls offer is particularly impressive; the pressure is on you to execute every single pitch. I really enjoy the extra difficulty added by the shorter timing window while pitching out of the stretch, too, which heightens the intensity when runners on base raise the stakes. I also like the new analog hitting, which has you “preload” by pulling back on the right stick and swing by flicking upward. Because a check swing isn’t dependent on how hard you tap a pressure-sensitive face button, but is instead accomplished by pushing the right stick upward halfheartedly (or flicking upward and then quickly pulling back), it’s easier to pull off than in years past. It does seem strange that folks who might appreciate the additional challenge of having to move the plate coverage indicator with the left stick toward an incoming pitch can’t do that. You only choose where to swing by flicking up and to the right/left on the right analog stick; the left stick doesn’t move the PCI if analog hitting is enabled. Analog fielding/throwing is less successful. The power meter, which consists of concentric circles beneath a fielder, goes up too quickly for you to be able to fine-tune the “oomph” behind a throw, and even so, there doesn’t seem to be much of a correlation between a throw’s power and the chance that it will go wide. I saw a number of errant throws that didn’t result from a maximum-power analog motion. In this case, I think an on-screen throwing meter similar to the one in MLB 2K would provide a better system. And while it’s possible to preload throws during fielding animations, just as with the old button controls, I often noticed a small hitch between the animations of scooping up a ball and firing it to first base -- which, of course, could be the difference between “safe” and “out.” That’s particularly unfortunate in a franchise that’s renowned for its animation fluidity. In addition, if you’ve been flicking up and down on the right stick to jump and dive, respectively, you’re going to have to get used to pressing R1 and R2 instead, since the right stick only controls throws now. Thankfully, you have the full variety of control schemes available for pitching, hitting, and fielding. So, for instance, if you like the analog hitting and pitching but want to use button throwing, that’s completely doable. Road to the Show (RTTS), arguably MLB The Show’s standout mode, has also been revamped -- and it’s much better for it. The previous games featured a nebulous goal-based scoring system, which gave you specific tasks that didn’t always correspond to a situation’s “baseball logic,” if you will. MLB 11 evaluates your performance on a per-at-bat basis, with pitch count as a general underpinning: as a pitcher, your job is to be economical -- get outs by throwing as few pitches as possible -- and as a hitter, you want to see as many pitches as you can. That’s the fundamental conflict at the heart of baseball’s pitcher/hitter battle. Sure, striking a guy out is nice, but it’s less so when he fouls off seven pitches before you can manage to do it (that will result in an “OK batter” grade, instead of a “good” or “great” one). And while striking out is never a desirable outcome for a batter, well, at least you made the hurler work for it (“OK” as opposed to “poor”). In MLB 11, RTTS finally rewards you for being a smart baseball player, not for conforming to a particular assigned task, and it’s the best improvement that the mode has seen in years. The other major game modes, Franchise and Season, have better simulated statistics than ever before, but roster management remains an issue. The AI in MLB 11 prizes high-potential youth (and their corresponding cheap contracts) over everything else. I simulated a few years in Season mode, and one of the first things that the Yankees did was trade Derek Jeter -- only the team captain and face of the franchise -- for 20-year-old Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro (and other pieces). Of course, that’s something that the real-life Yankees would never do. I also saw some awards weirdness: somehow, the Cardinals’ light-hitting second baseman Skip Schumaker managed to win a Silver Slugger Award. MLB 11 also contains other nagging issues that have plagued the franchise for years. Even with another required five-gigabyte installation, the game suffers from dreadful load times across the board. While saving and loading a RTTS file, for example, the bar will quickly go to 100% -- and then it’ll sit there for the next 20 seconds or so. In addition, the game often hangs for a few seconds when transitioning between screens, and on the field, nearly nonexistent collision detection remains a problem. The replacement of Rex Hudler with Eric Karros doesn’t help the poor commentary. Karros’ lines were clearly recorded separately from Matt Vasgersian’s and Dave Campbell’s, and they’re flat-out wrong sometimes. He commented on my RTTS pitcher’s split-fingered fastball “falling through the zone,” but that pitch isn’t even in my repertoire! Online play has always been the lone black mark on The Show, and while Sony San Diego has improved it this year, it still doesn’t resemble the offline experience closely enough to be worth playing much. The immense lag in my first game made it essentially unplayable, but most of the games after that offered reasonably smooth experiences. But when lag presumably depends on the distance between players, it’s silly that regional lobby rooms no longer exist (at least there are finally “Guess Pitch off” lobbies). And it seems that you have to swing much later online than offline. That’s a boon for hitters, but it takes some getting used to. I’ve also found it damn near impossible to throw out base stealers. Being able to customize your camera angles is nice, but I still don’t want to play The Show online. Once again, Sony San Diego has delivered the best baseball game on the market. The new analog controls are largely an improvement over the button controls of yore, and Road to the Show has never been better. It’s somewhat disappointing that certain drawbacks persist, but at its best, MLB 11 provides a beautiful, unparalleled simulation of America’s pastime.
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Keeping annualized sports franchises fresh year after year is an unenviable task, especially within the constraint of a ten- or eleven-month development cycle. Generally, sports-game developers endeavor to bring a few importa...

Impressions: MLB 11 The Show (3D, HR Derby with PS Move)

Feb 23 // Samit Sarkar
The depth goes “into” the screen, as on the Nintendo 3DS, while the HUD elements -- including the score line at the top of the screen, any statistical or interface overlays, and baserunner windows when you’ve got men on first or third -- stand out because they float “above” the screen. The Show doesn’t shout “THREE-DEE” from the rooftops, and it’s much more enjoyable for it. Even better, the options menu includes a slider that functions similarly to the physical slider on the body of the 3DS, allowing you to customize the subtlety of the 3D effect. Just for kicks, I turned it up all the way, which led to some very unpleasant ghosting for me. I assume that’s because I’m severely nearsighted and I wear fairly thick eyeglasses -- as it is, I have to deal with slight chromatic aberration at the edges of my lenses. As with any 3D effect, your mileage may vary; I found the effect most comfortable when I set the slider at about 30 or 40% full. Home Run Derby is little more than a fun diversion from the meat of MLB 11, and I was alternately impressed and disappointed by the implementation of PlayStation Move in the mode. I should mention at the outset that HR Derby is the only part of MLB 11 that supports Move; you can’t use it for anything else. When playing a Derby with Move, your slugger doesn’t appear in the batter’s box; all you see is a bat floating in mid-air. I found the tracking of the wand to be highly accurate, just as in most Move games I’ve played -- the orientation of the on-screen corresponds to the position in which you’re holding the wand. But that’s about as far as the accuracy goes; as for the actual act of swinging, you might as well be playing Wii Sports. You can stand up and get in a batting stance if you really want to, but it’s by no means necessary (although you do have to swing left-handed, or backhanded, if your hitter is a lefty). I was able to blast a ball over 470 feet just by flicking my wrist gently -- hitting depends only on the timing of the swing and the angle of the bat. (If you swing downward, for instance, you’re just going to drive the ball into the ground.) That is, you can have just as much success with a full home-run hitter’s swing as with a quick motion of your wrist. I was initially expecting the mode to demand a more true-to-life swing, but the PR rep pointed out that the Derby is something you’d generally only play as a party game. And you sure as hell don’t want to be the one guy at a party who’s taking everything way too seriously, pretending to be David Ortiz -- spitting in your hands and all -- while everyone else is just messing around, trying to have a good time.
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When I first checked out MLB 11 The Show a few weeks ago, I spent a portion of the hands-on demo playing the game in 3D. I also tried the Home Run Derby mode, which debuted last year and now supports PlayStation Move. Sony S...

Preview: MLB 11 The Show

Feb 22 // Samit Sarkar
MLB 11 The Show (PlayStation 3 [previewed], PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2) Developer: SCE San Diego Studio Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment To be released: March 8, 2011 The analog hitting and fielding in MLB 11 works very similarly to the way it does in MLB 2K. To hit, you pull back on the right stick to bring your hands back, and then flick upward to swing the bat. Timing is critical; you’ll want to pull back to preload your swing during the pitcher’s windup, so the swing ends up being one fluid motion (pulling back too early or too late will greatly reduce your chances of making contact). The option to use a contact swing or power swing still exists with a button press before the pitch. There are two ways to check your swing: pull down on the stick after you’ve started to push it upward, or merely let it go upward to the neutral position. To bunt, just push forward from neutral. I’m not a very good hitter in The Show as it is, since I spend most of my time playing as a pitcher in Road to the Show, so I had difficulty making contact. But the system feels great, and it’s good to see that it doesn’t offer any reduced functionality compared to button hitting. Analog fielding is really going to test your stick accuracy. Imagine the baseball diamond transposed onto the right stick: right is for first base, up is for second base, and so on. You push the stick in the direction of the base you want to throw to, and the longer you hold it there, the harder the throw will be. (For throws to the cutoff man, you hold L1 and flick.) The system asks for a deft touch. If you don’t flick toward cardinal east, north, west, or south, your throw will be off -- and if you hold the stick too long, it’s probably going to sail over your target’s head. On a stolen base opportunity, I had my catcher throw the ball to second base. But I pushed the stick up and slightly left; as a result, the throw ended up on the shortstop side of the second-base bag, and the runner slid safely in. And I saw more than a few instances in which my opponent air-mailed a routine throw, giving me an extra base or two. Analog pitching, too, requires pinpoint control -- especially with hurlers who aren’t aces. The system is both timing- and control-sensitive, just like real pitching. Unlike the gesture-based pitching in MLB 2K, where a four-seam fastball and a two-seam fastball require different movements, the basic analog-stick motion is the same for every pitch. Pulling down on the right stick initiates the windup, and a small baseball icon starts to move downward toward a horizontal yellow line on the vertical pitching meter. The idea is to flick the stick upward at the moment that the ball hits the yellow line. The intensity of the flick determines the amount of effort that your pitcher puts into the delivery, but you’ll quickly tire him out if you try too many throws with extra “oomph.” Of course, it’s only that simple if you want to throw the pitch over the heart of the plate. Once you start moving the ball around the plate, a direction indicator above the vertical pitch meter will correspond to how far your pitch deviates from dead center. With a pitch thrown right down the pipe, you’ll flick straight upward. But if you’re aiming to the right or left, you’ll have to flick the stick upward and to the right or left, respectively; the further away from the middle of the plate you’re aiming, the more your flick will deviate from true north, so to speak. The timing of the delivery will be quicker if you’re pitching out of the stretch instead of the windup, and if you don’t hit the yellow line exactly, your pitch will break less or more (depending on whether you’re early or late, respectively). As you can see, there’s a lot to take in. Analog pitching is also very unforgiving in its challenge; missing either the timing or the positioning may cause your pitch to end up in a place you don’t want it to go. You’ll be throwing many more balls than in years past, and what’s exciting is that the system really differentiates the wheat from the chaff. I created a pitcher in Road to the Show, and I noticed that I had to be very conservative in aiming with the 61-rated minor-leaguer. You simply won’t be painting the corners at will, and that’s the way it should be. I did notice one major issue inherent in the system: the meter in local two-player (or four-player, as the case may be; MLB 11 includes a co-op mode) games doesn’t give you the left/right control display. That makes sense, since you don’t want your opponent to know if you’re throwing inside or outside. But that means that determining location when pitching against a human opponent who’s sitting next to you is purely a “feel” exercise: you have to have an idea of how far left/right you’re aiming, and then you have to flick upward and left/right by yourself -- without the help of the on-screen indicator. It seems like something that’s going to take a long time to learn. If you’re having a lot of trouble, you can switch to Rookie difficulty, where you’ll only have to worry about the release-point timing, not the side-to-side control. [For a more succinct video explanation of analog pitching in MLB 11, go here.] This year, Road to the Show (RTTS) has changed up its player creation setup. You’ll still be allocating attribute points, but at the start, you have to balance your player on a set of sliders. Pitchers, for example, can be stamina guys or power guys, Maddux-like control freaks or hurlers with lots of movement on their pitches, and have a balanced repertoire or feature one dominant pitch. Similarly, you’ll have to put your hitter somewhere on the spectrum between power and contact, and arm strength and accuracy for fielders. These characteristics will determine the initial layout of your player’s attributes, and since you can’t max out any one rating at the start, you’ll have to play through RTTS to improve your skills. Sony San Diego really focused on visual improvements in MLB 11. I selected “rain” as the weather for an exhibition game, and noticed that the skies started out overcast and gradually darkened before a drizzle began. The field also looked wet; the infield dirt filled with darkened splotches, especially in the base paths. Also new is an optional eight-pitch warmup session for starting pitchers. You can turn this off, but if you leave it on and skip the warmup process, your starter will begin the game cold. I’m going to need to spend a lot more time with MLB 11 before I can decide if I prefer its analog controls to the tried-and-true button controls of yore. Everything else seems like a further evolution of a series that’s been great for years, so I’m excited to get my hands on the full game in the next couple of weeks. You can try it out for yourself right now: a four-inning demo went up on the PlayStation Store today.
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Sony’s competitor in the baseball space, 2K Sports’ Major League Baseball 2K franchise, has included analog-stick controls for years. But the folks at Sony San Diego, the studio behind the MLB The Show series, vow...

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MLB 11 'Yankee Killer' trailer has revisionist history


Feb 07
// Samit Sarkar
Sony has just released a new trailer for MLB 11 The Show, and this one features Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who is on the cover of the game for the second year in a row. I wasn't aware that Mauer's performance against...
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Help MLB 10 The Show donate to cancer research


Jun 10
// Dale North
SCEA, MLB, and the Stand Up to Cancer organization have all partnered up for a new program that will bring money to cancer research. You're part of the plan too, dearest gamer. SCEA says that they will donate $10 to SUtC for ...

Review: MLB 10 The Show

Mar 22 // Samit Sarkar
MLB 10 The Show (PlayStation 3 [reviewed], PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2) Developer: SCE Studio San Diego Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America Released: March 2, 2010 MSRP: $59.99 / $39.99 / $29.99 The MLB The Show games have always been some of the best-looking titles around -- not just for baseball videogames or even sports videogames, but across all console games. They offer the kind of graphics that can make you think -- if even for a second -- that you’re watching an actual game of baseball on television. This year, the game’s visuals remain unparalleled (aside from player faces, some of which are done better in 2K Sports’ MLB 2K10), and the broadcast-style look is aided by the new “real-time presentation.” Here, all camera cuts occur in real time, so each new angle you see flows directly into the next one. For example, if I hit a home run, the camera will follow the ball into the stands. Next, it might show some raucous fans celebrating, and then switch to a shot of the dejected pitcher who served up the long ball. Alex Rodriguez will probably be in the shot, since he’ll be rounding second base behind the pitcher. Finally, the camera might show the entire field, which is when the infielders can be seen shifting to the right side of the diamond in preparation for the next batter, Mark Teixeira. This is the kind of attention to detail that Sony San Diego is known and loved for -- it seems minor, but makes MLB 10 stand out. Other visual additions in MLB 10 include dynamic fans and off-field players: fans seated in the front row will reach over the railing to try and grab a foul ball, and players in the dugout will duck to avoid balls hit in their direction. You’ll even see pitchers warming up in real time after you put them in the bullpen. And the developers finally addressed a longtime gripe of mine -- collision detection. It’s still not perfect, but at least it’s not completely absent like in years past. Unfortunately, the audio side of the TV equation is less impressive. While the ambient ballpark noises are wonderful -- and if you’re not happy with them, you can augment them yourself in Sounds of the Show -- the commentary trio of Matt Vasgersian, Rex Hudler, and Dave Campbell remains the only unremarkable, mediocre aspect of the presentation. Hudler and Campbell, in particular, repeat lines too often -- and some of their tired old sayings haven’t changed in years. Of course, you can turn them off and focus on the game itself, which is still stellar. New features include a more granular throw meter and three different kinds of pickoffs, and although the pitcher/batter confrontation itself hasn’t changed, it would be silly to criticize Sony San Diego for opting not to tinker with something that works perfectly as-is. What’s so great about The Show is the way in which players behave: baserunners hop over ground balls, outfielders crash into the wall after catching deep fly balls on the run, and double-play-turning infielders tumble over runners sliding into them at second base. Thanks to better animation blending, the on-the-field action exhibits a fluidity that has to be seen to be believed. It’s a shame, then, that the most impressive aspects of MLB 10 simply evaporate when playing the game online. The Show has been continually held back from true greatness by its sub-par online play, and sadly, it’s no better this time around. I played ten or so games, most of which ended prematurely when the player on the other end quit due to pervasive, crippling lag. Perhaps it’s my wireless connection, but for what it’s worth, I haven’t had issues with any game besides The Show (both MLB 09 and MLB 10). Lag can ruin any online game, but it’s particularly disastrous in baseball, where a mere split second can mean the difference between a home run and a very long out. The terrible lag causes hitters to flail wildly at pitches whose journeys to home plate have gaps, and it makes it tremendously difficult to properly locate pitches because the pitching meter -- which is completely timing-based -- stutters. What’s more, the initial indication of your connection to your opponent, which shows up in the team select screen, doesn’t seem to have any bearing on the actual quality of a game. Every game I played online had an ostensibly “great” connection -- according to the team select banner -- but the in-game display was rarely green (“great”), instead fluctuating between yellow and red. In fact, the awful lag compromises the entire online play experience. Strange visual glitches -- which are nowhere to be seen in the offline game -- pop up online. I saw my first baseman fail to stick out his glove to catch a ball thrown to him, but he managed to catch it anyway before the hitter got to first -- which somehow ended up in a “safe” call at the bag. In addition, either the X button magically becomes much less responsive online, or check swings are just nearly impossible to pull off over the Internet. I’m also miffed that Sony San Diego hasn’t yet integrated the PlayStation Network friends list into the game; instead, you have to add your PSN friends to a separate in-game buddy list. Perhaps it’s an issue with the way the PSN itself is set up as opposed to something the developers have any control over. Again, MLB 10 offline is an experience that’s second to none. The addition of Catcher Mode in Road to the Show -- no doubt influenced by the cover athlete, Joe Mauer -- finally makes it worthwhile and rewarding to play as a catcher. Instead of merely throwing out runners and fielding balls in front of the plate, you get to call the pitches -- and in a nod to the dreams of catchers everywhere, your pitcher can’t shake you off. MLB 10 has shorter load times than MLB 09, but I’ve seen some strange loading issues where you won’t be able to press a button for a few seconds after it appears that the game has finished loading a new screen, as if the game is temporarily frozen. While MLB 10 The Show remains the best baseball videogame money can buy, it’s no longer light-years ahead of 2K Sports’ effort. Is it better than MLB 09? Definitely, but not by a wide margin. I’d certainly still easily recommend it to PS3 owners, since they have a choice between it and MLB 2K10, but if MLB 11 doesn’t vastly improve upon this year’s regrettable online offering, we may very well have a competition on our hands in 2011. Score: 8.5 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
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Simulation sports games have a doubly difficult job: not only are they tasked with delivering a realistic playable version of a particular sport, but they also must present an experience that looks and sounds like a televisio...

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Sony welcomes you to MLB 10 The Show in launch trailer


Feb 12
// Samit Sarkar
I don't understand how people can dislike sports, or how they can simply not get into them. When I watch the above trailer for MLB 10 The Show, it sends chills down my spine. The trailer intersperses gameplay footage with si...
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GoW III, MLB 10 The Show, Splinter Cell: Conviction on GTTV tonight


Feb 11
// Samit Sarkar
GameTrailers TV sure has a lot of awesome stuff in store for viewers tonight -- and what's great is that there's something for everybody in the episode that will be airing on Spike at 12:30 AM ET/PT. First up is a visit...
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Sony shows off MLB 10 The Show's real-time presentation


Feb 11
// Samit Sarkar
MLB 09 The Show was a fantastic game, but as with most great games, there were some small nagging issues that annoyed me. One of them was a presentation thing: you'd often see multiple cuts of the same in-game event (and I'm...
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MLB 10 The Show classic stadiums are pre-order bonus DLC


Jan 26
// Samit Sarkar
In my December preview of MLB 10 The Show, I mentioned that the game will include a number of classic stadiums that are new to the MLB The Show franchise, such as the Polo Grounds and Forbes Field. The fact sheet for the game...
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Joe Mauer cover for MLB 10 The Show unveiled, out March 2


Jan 07
// Samit Sarkar
Sony has released the final box art for MLB 10 The Show, and it’s ... very blue. You can check out the full cover image, featuring AL MVP Joe Mauer, in the gallery below. While it’s nice to see a cover design that...
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Back of MLB 10 The Show box confirms what we told you


Dec 19
// Samit Sarkar
Earlier this week, I gave you a first-look, hands-on preview of MLB 10 The Show. In it, I discussed some of the improvements and additions that Sony San Diego is bringing to the game, including the new Catcher Mode, a better ...
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AL MVP Joe Mauer is the MLB 10 The Show cover athlete


Dec 17
// Samit Sarkar
Sony’s finally taking the MLB The Show cover out of the Northeast. Joe Mauer, the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player, will grace the cover of MLB 10 The Show, the next iteration in Sony San Diego’s acclaime...

Preview: MLB 10 The Show

Dec 17 // Samit Sarkar
MLB 10 The Show (PS3, PS2, PSP) Developer: SCE Studio San Diego Publisher: SCEA To be released: March 2010 The first thing I saw was the Home Run Derby, which is available this year as part of the greatly expanded All-Star Break. You can play a Derby by itself, but it’ll also show up during the Franchise or Season modes before the All-Star Game itself. New to the MLB The Show series is the All-Star Futures Game, an exhibition game between minor league prospects from America and the rest of the world; it will take place just before the Home Run Derby. If you’re taking part in a Home Run Derby contest outside of a season, you can choose from legendary players (like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig) and historic stadiums (such as Shibe Park and the Polo Grounds). The game will offer a total of eleven new ballparks, including five new minor league fields. After I sent a few balls into Yankee Stadium’s short porch with Ryan Howard, Levine and I started up an exhibition game. He chose to play during the day in order to show off MLB 10’s daytime transitional lighting system. This year’s game had a dusk-to-darkness shift, but now, you’ll see the late afternoon shadows growing long and the sun getting lower in the sky -- in real time. It’s a subtle but impressive effect that’ll likely take you by surprise the first time you notice it. Weather effects are new to the series, too; our game was played in bright sunshine, but Levine told me that fog will envelop some games. And as you can see in the shot of Alex Rodriguez below, Sony has also given the game’s statistical overlays a face-lift, forgoing blue for black in the color scheme. I’ve been an unabashed fan of The Show for some time now, but one gripe I’ve had with the games is their utter lack of collision detection on the field. At times, you could fool yourself into thinking you were watching a game on TV -- at least until a baserunner literally slid through the guy covering second. It was a jarring thing to see, and it completely ruined the immersive atmosphere that the developers had clearly worked so hard to create. But Levine told me that this was high on Sony San Diego’s list of fixes to implement in MLB 10, and he assured me that players won’t ghost through each other anymore. That was heartening -- the absence of collision detection was the only major visual issue I had with MLB 09. Since Road to the Show -- The Show’s RPG-like single-player mode -- was pretty much the only thing I played in MLB 09, I was eager to hear about how it’s being improved for next year. Joining MLB 09’s hitting and baserunning practice modes will be pitching and fielding drills. A major addition to RTTS is Catcher Mode. As a catcher, you’ll play a vital role this time: you’ll actually be calling the pitches! This seems like it’ll make playing as a catcher just as rewarding, and fun, as playing as a pitcher. In MLB 09, you could record a video from the instant replay function and save it as an MP4 file on your PS3’s hard drive. That has been expanded into a feature called Movie Maker, which will allow you to edit together up to ten replays -- with all kinds of different camera angles -- in a highlight reel that you can then save to your PS3 or upload to the Internet. It’s not clear at this juncture whether you’ll be able to upload the videos directly to the Web through the game, like you can in certain EA Sports titles, but either way, I’m excited to try my hand at creating a video. My game with Levine was a tense affair; we could each muster only a run through eight innings, and I ended up winning 2-1 on a walk-off single. Nothing has changed in the pitcher/batter interface or fundamental gameplay, and I shouldn’t have to stress that that’s fine -- The Show is so good already that messing with important mechanics like the pitch meter has the potential to screw things up. I did catch some noticeable bugs, but Levine explained that the build we were playing wasn’t very far along in development. And anyway, the kind of stuff I saw -- catchers not picking up dropped balls right away, pickoff throws not being allowed all the time -- will surely be eradicated by the time MLB 10 ships in March. Man, the winter months between now and then are going to be interminable!
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