Many may or may not know this, but March is actually a pretty big month for the game industry. Apart from the Holiday season, March bears witness to the biggest release of new titles onto the market. Many are originally holiday titles that got pushed to the beginning of 2007, and others are sports games. This is just one of the biggest times for sports titles, and another example of that is MLB 07: The Show for the Playstation 2, which is the latest game in the ever-growing MLB franchise from Sony. Can this year’s game continue to build on their success from last year’s game, or is this game going to get struck out? Read our full review to find out.
Last year really marked the complete turn around story for Sony’s baseball title, which like many of there sports games just didn’t do what it needed to, to be successful. Last year we saw this revamped baseball game, which I personally thought made the best overall baseball experience out of every release of the past year. Now coming in with that sort of status you have even higher expectations the following year, and thus here in 07 the big question is could MLB 07: The Show continue to take this game in the right direction?
To me, there is one thing about this game that I just absolutely fell in love with right away, and that is the career mode. Similar to what we saw in Madden and the superstar mode, the career mode puts you into the role of one player throughout the entire experience. Now for this career mode, I created a pitcher and went through the Angels’ spring training. After what was a pretty up and down spring training, I was sent to AAA to the Salt Lake City Bee’s, where I spent a lot of time working on my pitches trying to earn a bid to the big league. Playing as a pitcher had its advantages, as you pitched, simulated a few games, and pitched again.
The career mode has a lot of neat little features that for me set it apart from any other sports career game. First off, each game you will be given goals on the fly, whether it be to get ahead in the count, force a groundball, or strike out the batter. By completing these objectives you then earn points, which are used for improving your skills, and in my case increasing the stats on my pitching. The career mode also hosts some interactions with your ball club, which can be asking for a trade, complaining about getting taken out of a game, all of which can either have a positive or negative outcome. The career mode was engaging, addictive, and a hard one to put down.
The actual baseball in MLB 07 is as solid as they come, with a lot of little nice touches this year that really do make this experience a good step forward from last year. The pitching in MLB 07 has really gotten better, which is why I chose to create a pitcher. The game does have more interactions with what pitches you should pitch, and your confidence is a big factor in this game. If you start getting taken apart by your fastball, then the game will definitely let you know that and throwing a bunch of fastballs would probably be a bad idea. The hitting is still very similar to last year, and above all else probably has the least impressive feel. The fielding in the game is as smooth as ever, and makes for a nice solid experience.
Sony has been known for having feature rich sports games, and that used to be to make up for the lack of gameplay ingenuity. However in MLB 07: The Show, they have combined both great solid gameplay with just an unbelievable amount of depth. Coming down to the final years of the PS2, I have to say that MLB 07 quite possibly could be one of the best baseball games ever created for the console.
The one area I just didn’t see a lot of difference in between last year’s game and this years is the visual department, that for the most part stays with status quo. MLB 07: The Show manages to bring a level of detail similar to last year that manages to continue to make this PS2 game look quite good. The amount of animation that went into this game still impresses me, as you will notice that a lot of the fielding plays continue to look different and the game does feel unique on each sitting.
With all of the next generation consoles out, I was not sure what to expect from a last generation baseball game. And even with playing many of the previous MLB games, I have to say that this year’s MLB 07: The Show just completes all of the puzzle pieces together to make one of the best baseball games I have ever played. MLB 07: The Show has great online play, solid franchise and career modes, and just a great game of baseball.
With MLB 07: The Show, you have a game that has taken baseball to a whole new level by offering up an experience that for some may feel dated on the PS2, but if you let yourself get into this game you will be in for one big treat. I think more than anything, MLB 07: The Show sets extremely high hopes for its PS3 counterpart, which is scheduled to release later this year. If you haven’t made the transition to the PS3, or even if you have and you want your baseball fix, the PS2 version of the game makes for a great baseball experience.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.