Annual sports games are generally the same every year, with some improvements sprinkled in here and there. MLB The Show is no different. I am a huge MLB fan and initially went the Playstation route over Xbox solely because of The Show, but I don’t think I have bought a copy of the game since 2016. However, the changes that are coming with this year’s version are enticing enough to make me want to spend that extra $60 to get my lifelike MLB experience.
Personally, I play MLB The Show for mainly one reason – and that’s for its Road to the Show mode. My childhood dream was to become a major league baseball player, but at 5’6″ and 135 pounds as a senior in high school, I realized that dream would never come true. However, with Road to the Show, I can be a switch-hitting, 6’3″ beast who drops bombs over the Big Green Monster and be an MVP candidate year in and year out. The new features for this year’s Road to the Show have me extremely excited.
There are now five archetypes for your player that determine how you play the game, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Another sick feature is player personality types, where you can choose between four different personalities that help your player develop off of the field and impacts how you interact with teammates and how the “world” sees you. There’s a new dialogue system with more options that affects your personality and the way your career goes. I think this is a super cool feature that will be fun to explore and make your created player feel more like a person instead of a soulless body meant to play baseball.
There are perks that you can unlock as you level up your attributes, and your personality affects how soon you can use some of these perks. Relationships with teammates help with perks as well, and there are now a bunch of mini-games to play when you “train.” I love this idea of mini-games since it makes training your character less boring and makes you feel like you’re putting in the hard work off of the field. The Show prides itself on being realistic, and I think this is a great touch to add to the realism.
One of the things I am most excited about with the new Road to the Show are boss challenges. This year’s game makes you feel the pressure when going up in a tough situation against a great player. This makes the star players actually feel like they are studs and have an impact on the game, unlike past versions of the game. These challenges will be tougher and feel like a real-life scenario. I think this idea is brilliant and I honestly don’t know how it hasn’t been thought of before. I am excited about all of the changes to Road to the Show and love the direction it is going.
A general revamp of the game is the defense. Defense is being improved to be more reflective of real life, and there is going to be greater efficiency and intelligence among defenders in general. Great defensive plays will stand out more, and there will be a greater appreciation of the art of defense. The hitting interface has been improved, and contact hitters are now more valuable than they have been in the past. Hitting is no longer all about the PCI and instead incorporates more factors in such as timing and ability to lay off pitches. Online baserunning glitches have been fixed and should be smoother (which they say every year).These things may seem
If you are an avid baseball fan, I’d say this year’s MLB The Show is a must-have. I personally haven’t been this excited for an MLB game in a long time, and I am looking forward to creating my player and working my way up to the major leagues and into the Hall of Fame. And if you aren’t an MLB fan, buy the game and get Bryce Harper to sign the cover at least. It’ll be worth a lot of money one day.