Wednesday, August 8, 2007

MLB 07: The Show

Developer: SCEA
Publisher: SCEA
Release Date: May 15, 2007 (PS3)
Systems: PS3 (reviewed), PS2, PSP
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: The MLB stands for Major League Baseball.

0:01 The frenetic video intro. makes baseball look like a non-stop thrill-fest. In other words, the intro. lies. "Welcome to MLB 07: The Show" Thanks, disembodied voice!
0:02 A loading screen appears as data is loaded to the hard drive. Ah for the days when you could put in a game and, y'know, just play.
0:04 Now we're ready to play. Oh, not quite, I have to create a player profile. It's a little unsettling that it assumes the Orioles are my home team. I mean, it's convenient, but still unsettling.
0:05 Playing around in the options. It's nice that they include a big list of new features right there in the game. Like a built-in press release.
0:06 The options include a ridiculous number of sliders to affect everything from pitch speed to throwing accuracy. A simulators dream.
0:07 Diving into a quick game. There are an amazing number of minor league teams to choose from. I choose the Yankees, because even though I'm an Orioles fan, I like winning.
0:09 Most of this minute spent watching a loading screen.
0:10 Matt Vasgergian's intro. speech is surprisingly natural. He mentions the new Yankee stadium being built and some random trivia about the players. Just like on TV.
0:11 On close ups, the players look a bit like mannequins with ery waxy skin. From afar the movements are pretty natural.
0:12 My first pitch hits the batter. Whoops. I have no idea what I'm doing here.
0:13 The second batter gets walked. I can't get the pitches to go where I want.
0:14 I finally get a pitch solidly in the strike zone and it's called a ball. I know umpires are blind but usually the computer is not.
0:16 Just like that I'm down 3-0. Wow I suck.
0:19 A ball goes up the middle, right past the shortstop. Why won't he dive for it? Oh, a hint comes up. I have to shake the controller to make him dive? Whatever. I finally get out of the inning with a grounder to third.
0:20 I guess orrectly on the pitch and location, but I still hit a fly out. Oh well... I liek the system anyway.
0:23 BAM! A quick single then A-Rod guesses the pitch right and hits it out of the park. 3-2
0:25 Another strike that gets called a ball causes a walk. Damnit.
0:26 An outfielder misses a ball that drops right next to him. What the hell?
0:27 And I give up a three run homer. Double damnit.
0:28 Another homer. Sigh. "Sometimes when things are going bad, everything kind of snowballs on you. A domino effect." You're telling me.
0:29 I'm really not impressed with the fielding controls. Fielders just watch balls go by. The umpire's continuing blindness also continues to frustrate.
0:30 Another one that falls just past the left fielder. Am I missing something here?
0:31 Finally a fielder does something right and catches a quick drive to second.
0:33 In between batters about pitch coach and nice vignette in dugout. Interesting.
0:34 My runner at first decides to try to steal second without nay input from me, as far as I can tell. Wha?
0:38 "Oh man he just can't catch a break here." the commentator says after the umpteenth bad call on a strike.
0:40 I finally figure out what I'[m doing wrong with the pitching. Apparently I was letting go of the button at the wrong time. Armed with this knowledge, I get out of an inning without giving up a run for the first time.
0:42 I like how the actions freezes and the camera pans when I get caught on a close play at first.
0:43 On another close play the runner waves his hands for a safe call and then looks exasperated when the call doesn't go his way. The little things matter!
0:44 I'm finally getting the hang of this pitching thing. 1-2-3 inning.
0:47 I haven't gotten the hang of hitting, though. Another 1-2-3.
0:48 Finally get a good strike call on the corner. "You gotta hack or they'll send you back."
0:50 Another 1-2-3 inning. Excitement, thy name is baseball.
0:52 I can't figure out the running controls. I want the guy to round third and go home, instead I get the guy at first caught in a rundown. Sigh.
0:56 Another perfectly fieldable ball gets by my infielder. I give up.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? No
Why? Complicated controls, bad responsiveness and I suck.

This review based on a retail copy provided by Sony

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