the American baseball show on PS5

At Angel Stadium in Anaheim the “MVP!” heard often: not just for Mike Trout, the iconic forward for Los Angeles’ second-team baseball and one of the strongest players in MLB, but for Shohei Othani, the Japanese phenomenon capable of breaking record after record in many categories in 2021. An all-round champion like no one had seen since Babe Ruth (the “Kid” had started his career as a pitcher), an athlete with superhero strength in hitting the ball and robot precision in throwing. And if the fans of the Angels have dedicated a series of special choirs to him like “It’s shoe time!“, the guys at Sony’s San Diego Studio (formerly 989 Studios) have chosen it as the text of the highly anticipated MLB The Show 22, the new chapter of the most beautiful and beloved baseball simulation on the planet.

After being exclusive to the world of PlayStation for almost twenty years, the SDS series debuted last year on Microsoft consoles directly on the Game Pass service: MLB The Show 22 has finally arrived on Nintendo Switch as well. And like Shohei Othani, too MLB The Show 22 aims to reclaim the MVP title from sports simulations.

A season to the last breath

The Major League season was saved in the last inning and the new collective agreement signed by the owners and the players’ union brought with it a series of novelties at the sports level, such as the introduction of the designated hitter also in the National League, the playoffs to 12 teams, the runner to second base in extra innings and PitchCom, a device to prevent sign theft on the mound. There were also differentiations at the economic level, from the increase in minimum wages to the luxury tax for deductibles, the new tradeline and more. There was a real risk that the baseball season would be cancelled. like the one in 1994 and played “alone” in virtual with MLB The Show 22 or with Out of the Park Baseball 23, on April 22.

The San Diego Studio team has been fighting for years with the Visual Concepts team for supremacy in the field of sports simulation: a title sanctioned not only by sales but also by numerous awards given by critics. MLB The Show 22 was presented on the opening day with a well-prepared team after a year of filming the new generation of consoles: the development team has opted for the path of continuity for a somewhat particular year, and some novelties, such as the extension of the playoffs to 12 teams or the updates in the rotations and list of equipment, will come with the next updates.

club twist

What we have always enjoyed in a simulation like MLB The Show is the gameplay: Hitting the ball for a double or home run brings immense joy to the player, as does a last-inning relief with three strikeouts. The alchemists at SDS have managed to improve their magic formula in both the batting phase and the mound phase: stick/ball contact offers more variety in the shots and finding the right moment gives even more satisfaction.

The “Pinpoint Pitching” implemented last year was inspired by the pitching system of the defunct MLB 2K series, and has been better calibrated, at least in the PlayStation 4/5 version; for Xbox One, on the other hand, some input/lag issues with right analog stick handling have been reported, especially for downward throws. Pinpoint Pitching in MLB The Show 21 was too easy and allowed all the performances in the style of Randy Johnson (who debuted this year in the Legends park) or Roger Clemens of the heyday: in the new interaction offers greater realism and, above all, it causes a greater number of erroneous launches and giveaway bases. However, pitching with a pitcher of the caliber of Scherzer, Burnes or Alcantara is exciting in MLB The Show 22.

Outsiders play better

The new animations added and the increased attention devoted to reproducing the behavior of insiders and outsiders in the defensive phase take the series a step further: having phenoms like Cody Bellinger, Kevin Kiermaier, Nolan Arenado or Mookie Betts on the team really makes that the difference, especially when you are facing the dreaded “flying ball”. Throws between shortstop and outside look more natural and fluid, as do the flight paths after a serve or bounce off the turf.

What makes outside shots more believable is, in particular, the reading of the trajectories: the defenders, in fact, no longer go from one point to another automatically, hoping to intercept the ball, but move and are positioned at more realistic angles. In short, defensive plays more similar to reality, small improvements and details that the veterans of the series will grasp and that make MLB The Show the benchmark in baseball.

It also changes for the so-called “check swings”, that is, when the batter begins to turn the bat but freezes to let the ball pass -without hitting it- and thus avoid a possible strike. We have the feeling that are best judged by CPU-managed referees. The sound effects also give the player that extra bit: it’s impressive to hear how the sound of a ball received in the glove changes depending on its speed.

As for the running game, stealing some bases seems to have become a bit more complicated than in the previous chapter, even with phenomenal runners like Starling Marte or Whit Merrifield and without bothering His Majesty Rickey Henderson: therefore a good patch is urgently needed. Sac bunts, on the other hand, work best while the CPU, even at the highest levels, has an annoying tendency to spin the stick as it hits the plate: by working with the sliders in the options it is possible to limit this. trend and find the square.

Modes and customization

One of the most popular modalities in recent years is the so-called “March to October” capable of offering a more simplistic experience than the Franchise and letting you live all the magic of an MLB season in a short time (fragments of matches are played) .

An option much appreciated by those who do not have much time to dedicate to the experience, which in the new interaction brings a series of novelties: the possibility of playing several seasons (instead of just one) and having a low season with lots of trades, free agency and even minor leagues. In short, a small step forward for what many considered a “light” version of the usual Franchise. However, the customization possibilities are missing, not only from the championships or divisions, but also from the spring training or draft itself. Swaps absolutely need to be improved, because it’s still too easy to cheat the CPU by swapping samples for addicts.

Career and other options

Road to the Show has been the career mode of MLB The Show 22 for several years.. For the new season, SDS has added a series of live events to make the gaming experience more engaging: Seeing two legends of the stature of Ken Griffey Jr. or Joe Mauer provide statistics on a rookie is something that will delight the fan, although sometimes their comments seem to have little to do with what happens on screen. Compared to last year, the progression has been accelerated and it is possible to customize your champion in an even more detailed way. They are small improvements, nothing more: the mode still lacks bite.

Diamond Dynasty, meanwhile, is the FUT version of baseball: Compared to EA’s work, SDS production is less money-hungry and gives the player the opportunity to create fabulous lineups without spending a fortune. , especially playing offline: for vintage 2022 New legends have been added. in addition to the aforementioned Randy Johnson and Joe Mauer as Ryan Howard, Justin Morneau, Chase Utley, Kirk Gibson, Dontrelle Willis, JR Richard, Kevin Youkilis, Jered Weaver, Mike Mussina, Brian Wilson, Ray Durham and Mike Napoli. Too bad you still miss Derek Jeter.

In particular, the new “Mini Seasons” mode has been added, which allows you to play matches of only three innings against teams created by other players but managed by the CPU, a bit like Squad Battles in FUT. Ultimately, this is a very fun mini league to play. The news in Diamond Dynasty does not end here: We can also play cooperatively with friends and challenge other human opponents in “2vs2” or “3vs3” modes. Unfortunately, only exhibition matches can be played and it is not possible to play simultaneously with your teammates: one shoots, one hits and one runs per turn. a pity

The editor to create stadiums

MLB The Show 21 finally pleased fans with the desired editor to create your own stadium: In the 2022 edition, the possibility of playing at night and even managing the lighting system of the stadium was finally introduced. More attention has been paid to the development of the neighborhoods, while the accessories available are more or less those present in the previous version. Aside from a few errors loading your builds, there’s not much else to report.

Must see MLB The Show 22 is still splendid. The presentation is impressive, while the quality of the animations on the mound is amazing. The polygonal models of the pitchers and hitters are of a very good level, despite having been developed on an engine from a few generations ago. There’s no shortage of issues with the depiction of thick hair, and some faces not quite like the real thing, but seeing athletes react to a strikeout by hitting their helmet with the bat or getting nervous is just fantastic. MLB The Show 22 is full of touches of distinction and details to discover (including the sticks engraved with the players’ names) and the rendering of the courses is truly elegant, as is the lighting that casts realistic shadows, especially at sunset. In terms of fluidity, the PS5 version we tested proved to be solid overall in terms of framerates, aside from some sporadic drops.

Let us now turn to the technical commentary.: In the United States, the departure of commentator Matt Vasgersian, voice of MLB The Show since 2006, caused a sensation. The MLB Network presenter has been replaced by two ESPN commentators: Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton.

New commentary, new dialogue and better play-by-play commentary. The information provided by the new duo is usually accurate and detailed, and it’s nice to hear the commentators get excited about a good play or tell an anecdote. However, there are a number of errors. (the number of eliminations in the innings is usually wrong) and after a dozen games you will notice a bit of repetition in the comments. However, this is a good start.

Leave a Comment