PLAY BALL! It’s that time of the year. Not only time for the 2019-20 Major League Baseball season, but time for MLB The Show as well. This installment has the wealthiest professional sports athlete on the cover, Bryce Harper. I honestly wasn’t going to purchase this game this year because I was always left feeling as if I basically bought the same game as the previous year, but with updated rosters. I read some articles and seen that the feedback was mainly positive for the game and decided to see what all is different this time around.
I’m a huge baseball fan. I cheer for the Pirates, which is a difficult thing to do as of the last 20 years, but it’s my team through thick and thin. I caught myself watching the opening season games and realizing that I had an itch for wanting to play MLB The Show, but didn’t have the desire to play an old game. One new thing about MLB The Show that intrigued me enough to go out and purchase the game was that there wasn’t as much latency and lag during online matches. I’ve always been a fan of the Road to The Show game mode, but there’s nothing that compares to playing a head to head game against a live opponent. The issues in the past were that lag was so bad at times that hitting or fielding the ball became close to impossible. I’d play around 10 online games, win maybe half of them, and then decide that it’s just not worth it to play it any more. To hear that the lag doesn’t impact the game seemed like a long shot, but it was a shot I was willing to take.
So after taking said shot, I concluded that there is still lag. This is lag that completely ruins the online experience like it has in all years prior. I am sick and tired of playing a baseball game with lag. There is absolutely no excuse for why a game so basic showcases lag online as terribly as this game does. The lag is so bad that you have trouble pitching it at times and ultimately could be the reason you give up a hit to someone who hadn’t hit once all the way into the top of the 9th inning. At some point this monopoly of a game needs to be held accountable for this ongoing issue. They don’t care to fix it because they know that the only game challenging them is RBI Baseball, which maybe sells 1,000 copies a year.
The graphics and overall mechanics have been tweaked slightly. They’re enough to notice, but not enough to care. I think this game already has the graphics and mechanics you expect in a baseball game, so I’m not going to say much more about that. They have added a new addition to the game, where the players attributes, and overall skill set, help assist them in fielding the ball. You also will notice different animations that help you play the ball off the wall, which could be the reason you’re able to cut a man off who decides to turn home.
The game modes are probably the one thing people are buying this game for. March to October is a cool concept that allows you to dedicate the time to a season, while not dedicating TOO MUCH time. Games already take forever, and with this new addition you’re able to play key moments in the game rather than play through its entirety. This is fun for a period of time, but playing a couple at bats and striking a few people out and what could happen is you’ll be awarded with multiple wins in a row, or go on a cold streak where your team loses 3-4 games in a row. I didn’t really like how this feature was implemented, because a cold streak doesn’t need to be that many losses. In baseball, losing a series doesn’t mean you have to lose every single game. Splitting a series and losing a game of said series makes more sense then losing every game, so this does need tweaked slightly.
You can also play the fan favorite game mode, Diamond Dynasty, which is what I dedicate all of my time to. I’ve spent upwards of maybe $30 so far on the game mode. I ended up only getting a few low 80 overall cards, but the cool thing about this game mode is that the cards can increase in value over time, depending on how the player is playing throughout the 2019-20 MLB season. I’ve seen many of my high 70 overall cards turn into low 80 overall cards so far this year. If you’re able to snag some future stars, then just give it some time and you’re team will be stacked.
Aside from these new additions, and some things I’m interested in, the game is very similar to years passed. This is your only REAL option when it comes to baseball games, so take it or leave it. For it being the only triple A title baseball game, it gets the job done. I just don’t see myself playing this game for hours on end. I typically see myself playing one game and then not coming back to it till a day or two later after I watch a baseball game and get the urge to want to play. Should you buy it? I think with the new game modes, slight tweaks to the mechanics and graphics, then yes you should, but maybe not till it’s on sale mid way through the MLB season.
Nice, open and honest review! Interesting to hear about the lag.