With last year’s version being more of a (somewhat rushed) port-over version from the PS2, Sony’s crown jewel baseball title has officially moved into its new ballpark- PS3 stadium! Will MLB 08: The Show be beri beri good to us?
The overall presentation and gameplay is slick and most important, it runs smoothly (something that plagues its main counterpart MLB 2K8).
The much touted ‘Road to The Show’ mode has taken a few more steps toward perfection by fixing its small camera issues along with adding more goal orientated accomplishments; there’s a more detailed create-a player interface, a Third Base Coach giving you signs (while batting and baserunning), and now there’s the responsibility to cover second for steals and double-plays.
The new ‘My Music’ feature lets you use any songs that you have on your hard drive to add to the game’s playlist. Too bad these tracks are limited to menu screens or game transitions, so you won’t actually hear your songs blaring throughout the ballpark, but the debut of this feature is a sweet touch.
There’s also a lot more animations in the ‘bells and whistles’ department than ever before. Thinking about throwing high-and tight with A-Rod and he’ll charge the mound having your catcher get in his face, fans reach out to grab home runs or foul balls, watch your first baseman dive for a grounder and tossing the runner out from the seat of his pants. You can really enjoy a few more of these little nuances just by not doing anything (while pitching); everything from batters and catchers determining whether they feel raindrops to fielders checking the direction of the wind with blades of grass -very cool!
The inclusion of in-game saves (FINALLY) at any point in time is another feature that every sports game should’ve had five years ago. This save feature, coupled with the ability to fast forward action to just about any section of any inning is a superb addition.
The online SportsConnect interface returns with an additional feature called Scout which allows players to modify their preferences for an opponent to play and let the game instantly search for a match. This cuts down on continually patrolling through various lobbies looking for someone who’s up for a game.
The Loading Times seem a bit long.
While the players look great (esthetically), I found their body type and trademarked mannerisms weren’t as dead-on as MLB 2K8′s effort.
The replay vault feature which is a collection of game highlights listed by inning or player is a nice touch, but you can’t save (or export) any of the highlights to the PS3′s HDD.
We noticed some collision detection issues (again this year) when a player is sliding into a base and popping up through a baseman – and what happened to teammates colliding into each other?
Players will also still try to give teammates those funky handshake routines clearly missing the target.
HERE’S THE DEAL
Without a doubt, MLB 08: The Show is the most detailed, atmosphere rich, realistic Baseball game I’ve ever played. It’s really too bad though that this couldn’t be a multi-platform title – PS3, PS2 and PSP only. For everyone else, it’s…Steee-rike three yer out!!
There was a moment when legging out a triple, and watching a third baseman try to tag my player with the hidden ball in his glove trick, you’ll mutter to yourself on how cool this game is. 9/10
James ‘ElScientifico’ Stamos from
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