Thursday, May 04, 2006

My New Addiction: MLB 06: The Show

I bought this game for the PS2 almost 2 weeks ago, and I can't get enough. The thing is I have yet to play a major league game. My addiction is the career mode. Currently I am a 2B for Cleveland's AAA team. I'm in my second year. My first in a three year deal. I expect to be called up to the show later this year or next year because I'm tearing it up. That's the greatness of this game. You can have nearly all the detail of a baseball career while sitting at your couch. Don't like the team you are on? Demand a trade. Is your team in a funk? Have a closed door team meeting. You can even complain to the media. Another nice feature is that you don't have to play every out of every game. You can simply fast forward to your next appearance. If you're a position player you can ignore the fielding and simply fast forward to each at bat. This makes the season progress at much quicker pace.

To improve as a baseball player you have to achieve goals like drive in 90 runs in a season, or draw 4 walks in a series. These goals along with doing well in each game earn you training hours so you can improve your contact or power against left handed or right handed pitching. You can improve different aspects of your defense. There's a bar for nearly everything you can imagine. You can even improve your clutch hitting.

The game play is solid. The fielding can be a little slow particularly when trying to pull off a double play. But it's not nearly as awful as MLB 2K6. The pitching meter is solid. Not quite as good as EA's MVP meter, but good. When your pitcher starts getting nervous the meter bar moves faster. I hate how 2K6 has the ball icon bouncing around when the pitcher is in a tight spot. I like the graphics better on The Show as well. They seem cleaner.

There are few complaints with the game. First of all, every now and then you run into something implausible. For example, last night I faced a pitcher that threw over a 180 pitches. 180! Are you kidding me? What even made it worse was that his fastball was still clocking in at 97 around pitch 170. Also, your manager will be a moron sometimes. For example, bottom of the ninth and the bases are loaded. You are up to bat, and what does your manager do? He sends the base runner on 3rd. What manager does that with three outs, and your stud 2B who is batting .398 is at the plate? Also, does every minor league park have a green monster at dead center? I've had at least 10 HR's turn into doubles because of this thing. Why does nearly every team have one? There are also a few glitches. The biggest glitch is that player number 99 doesn't have a head. Every time 99 comes to bat he has no head. How did the programmers miss this?

Overall The Show is solid baseball game, and much better than 2K6. It has a solid online that's incorporated with MLB.com. There are other modes like franchise mode and rivalry mode, but career mode is where it's at. There is also a fun King of the Diamond mini-game, that can make an hour disappear quickly. MVP '05 was my favorite baseball game. I still think MVP is a more polished game than The Show, but the career mode puts The Show on top.

2 comments:

PotentialLunchWinner said...

I thought I read that 2K6 was the only baseball game with the official MLB license...

Your review intrigues me, however. While I'm not the biggest baseball fan in the world, I certainly did enjoy WSB 2K5, and I think I could definitely get into the career mode in this game.

Hmmmm...

Bradford said...

MLB: The Show uses the loophole because it's PS2 only.