For the first time in a long time, we only have one baseball game this spring. After Sony and 2K Sports battled it out for years, 2K Sports decided to cancel their struggling baseball franchise leaving the door wide open for Sony to continue to dominate the video game baseball scene now with their first entry in The Show franchise for the Playstation 4. So does Sony take advantage of the open market or do they rest on their laurels?
The Show has always focused on bringing a simulation style baseball experience to its players with deep franchise and career modes. The Show continues to be my favorite career mode in a sports game, continuing to provide the very addictive RPG like experience to the game of baseball. You start now with the new pre-draft showcase that allows you to show your skills and earn a spot in the draft. From there you will make your way through the minor leagues hoping to take a spot in the big leagues. It’s an extremely addicting formula and one that gives you just enough to keep coming back for more. Sony didn’t change much else in the mode and yet even though I’ve been playing it for years it’s still by far the best career mode on the market today.
Another huge benefit to Road to the Show is that each game only lasts ten to fifteen minutes since you only play the parts of the game you’re involved in. Sony realized that was a huge selling point for “Road to the Show” and so in MLB 14: The Show they also introduced “Quick Counts.” The idea behind Quick Counts is to shorten the time it takes to play a full nine innings by bringing you into each at bat part way through the pitch count (0-2, 2-0, etc.) making each at bat half the potential length. It does a great job of speeding up the game of baseball but not taking too much of the game out of your control. It’s a fine balance and one that is a truly stellar addition to the series. My only complaint is that you have to decide whether or not to use Quick Counts before you start a game and cannot toggle it off during a game.
MLB 14: The Show is still an incredible game of baseball. Action remains almost completely unchanged from previous years, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just an all-around great playing game of baseball. I’m still holding out hope that they come up with a new pitching mechanic. The Show defaults to pulse pitching which to me still isn’t the answer. You pick a pitch, and the ball pulses an area and you want to time it with the smallest amount of area which gives you the most accurate pitch. It’s not a great pitching mechanic and one that I hope they change in upcoming releases.
The Playstation 4 version of the game looks gorgeous. The player models are some of the best in any sports game on the market. However, what is even more impressive then the player models are the stadiums which come alive in the PS4 version of the game. I cannot tell you how many times I sat back and just awed at the atmosphere brought to life in these games. Whether it’s the lifelike crowds behind home plate or the gorgeous recreation of some of the most memorable stadiums in baseball everything is done with a level of precision that is second to none.
There are some very small graphical hitches that happen when transitioning from one at bat to the next. These very small sputters don’t happen every time but they do happen frequently enough to notice. The other small caveat with the PS4 version of the game are the load times which are a bit longer then the already long load times of the PS3 version.
In the end MLB 14: The Show is an excellent game of baseball, and is made even better on the Playstation 4. The game is drop dead gorgeous and comes in as one of the best looking sports games on the market to-date. Combine that with arguably one of the deepest sports experiences and this comes in as just an all-around incredible baseball experience that shouldn't be missed.
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.