Publisher: Sony Entertainment
Systems: PS3, PS Vita
The Show has quietly become one of the best gaming franchises of any genre on the PS3. MLB 13 The Show is no exception, delivering everything you’d want from robust season and franchise modes to realistic and stunning game play.
The Show is consistently successful because it’s loaded with options that allow you to play the brand of baseball you want, and at a skill level you can handle. You can start playing in the postseason or play a season of variable length from 14 to162 games. You can play with existing rosters or re-draft the entire league. You can take a player through the minors into the bigs in The Road to the Show mode. From the Home Run Derby to advanced scouting, it's all here.
There’s also a wealth of options for hitting, pitching and fielding. You can hit with one button or use a traditional meter or the newer pulse-style. With all the controls at your disposal it doesn’t take long to dial in the right scheme.
The other great strength of The Show is the visuals. There are tons of player animations and the game nails all the real-life batting stances. It’s impressive the first time you see Bryce Harper’s goofy death-metal eye black in a day game, or when a fan falls out of the stands trying to scoop up a foul ball, or just seeing the brilliant details of your favorite ballpark. On the downside, there’s some slight clipping when fielders collide with walls and other players, and occasionally the crowd textures look strange.
One big improvement in this year’s game is the inclusion of a fielding meter which accounts for a player’s skill, positioning and momentum. It adds tension to fielding and makes you think more about defense. And when you commit a throwing error it seems less random than in last year’s game.
The biggest weakness of the game remains the in-game commentary. The Show features the voices of Matt Vasgersian, Eric Karros and Steve Lyons. It doesn’t take many games before you’re heard enough from them, and it doesn’t help that their commentary often does not match the on-screen action. Fortunately, you can turn them off but it would be nice to see a more advanced approach in next year’s game. Score: 9 out of 10