Some may think its a little late for us still to be looking at baseball video games, but when you think that baseball season starts in April and ends in October, there is still plenty of good baseball left to play. Sony has decided this year to bring their improving baseball series to their new console, the Playstation 3. After extremely solid results on the Playstation 2, can Sony manage to bring the game to a complete next generation feel, or is this just a simple port with more polygons? Read our full review of MLB 07 The Show for the PS3 to find out!
Sony has had some of the worst sports outings of all time in the gaming world. Much of their 989 Sports titles were years behind that of EA Sports and 2K Sports, and that has really put them far behind the pack in terms of first party sports titles. Sony did some revamping a few years back, drops the 989 Sports title, and has made some serious strides in the right direction with their MLB franchise leading the pack. Now here on the new Playstation 3, Sony hopes to start fresh with a new fresh sports beginning.
To me, there is one thing about MLB 07: The Show 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 ground ball, 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. The difference between the PS2 and PS3 versions in terms of gameplay are limited at best. The two games feel literally identical in terms of gameplay, with the same mechanics and only more unique animations placed on the PS3 version.
The online experience seems much more consistent, and although I got this game a bit before its release, towards the release of the game many more players were online and the experiences were solid. I have to say that if Sony can expand this online universe in the year to come, I really feel that the MLB franchise could really thrive online.
The only real problem I had with the gameplay on the Playstation 3 version was the amount of glitches that the game had. It really did have a lot of unpolished characteristics that stopped the overall performance of the game. For example, my last game I played was a nine shut out inning game, with me playing as the Dodgers against the Tigers. I ended up hitting a walk off homerun and the first base coach was wearing a tiger shirt and patted me on the back. There are a lot of this little problems that make me believe this product was rushed or not given the proper testing it needed as it is the first baseball game on the Playstation 3 from Sony. If you can get past the somewhat annoying glitches, there is still a great game of baseball to be played.
Visually I have to say that I was expecting more from MLB 07 on the Playstation 3. I thought with the extra development time that Sony took with this game I thought they would have the next generation version of MLB 07 version ironed out, but there are some things that really needed worked on before the release of the game. MLB 07 The Show still looks extremely good with some nice character models, great environments and solid animations. If it wasn’t very the sporadic glitches, this is still a good looking game that has a lot of potential for later games.
There is still a lot of things that needed to be improved in this game in order for it to get to a point where it can truly be a next generation version of baseball. MLB 07: The Show is a somewhat improved adaptation of the Playstation 2 version, with a more in depth online mode and some smoother animation in the game. The biggest problem I had with MLB 07: The Show was the lack of refining around the edges, as the gameplay is missing some serious refinements that could have taken the game to the next level.
MLB 07: The Show is one of those games that had the potential to be a real home run hitter coming out of the gates with very little in terms of expectations. I would say the final results are more of a base hit than anything that they game had the potential to do. If you’re into baseball and own a PS3, I would recommend checking out MLB 07 The Show, as it has a great deal of potential and manages to still make a good first outing.
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.