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. 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.
The other part that brings me in every time is that each game only lasts ten to fifteen minutes since you only play the parts of the game your 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 through the 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 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. Its 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. Its not a great pitching mechanic and one that I hope they change in upcoming releases.
In the end MLB 14: The Show is an excellent game of baseball, but it might be the smallest update we’ve seen. Quick Counts is an incredible addition that might sound trivial but truly makes playing nine innings a joy. They also did add an online franchise which takes their incredibly deep franchise mode online. I did get into a league and so far it seems to be working out well.
Even with MLB 14: The Show not adding a ton it still remains one of the best sports games on the market today. I truly cannot wait to see what Sony will do with this franchise on the Playstation 4. Until then we still have a great game of baseball to play on the Playstation 3.