There aren’t many good sports games these days. Most aren’t bad, but rarely do we see one that puts us in awe. The Madden franchise hasn’t made any significant improvements to the game in nearly a decade, and the 2k games (for all sports) feel like you’re playing at an arcade in the 1990s. For those of us who actually enjoy sports enough to warrant wanting to play sports video games, the pickings are pretty slim.
Enter MLB: The Show.
MLB 12: The Show
• Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
• Previewed on PS3
• Also Available on: Playstation Vita
• Release Date: March 6, 2012 US / March 6, 2012 Europe
In it’s first year (2006), The Show blew people away with a built-from-scratch baseball simulator like nothing we’d ever seen. It wasn’t a cookie-cutter game that was put out there just to shut people up. It was made with the hope of being perfect, and even though it wasn’t perfect, it was leagues above any other sports game on the market.
Every year The Show franchise improves at a staggering rate, and this year is no exception. While I haven’t read anything about my biggest gripe with the series (a bunch of things involving the crowd), the updates San Diego Studios has made have got me drooling for this one.
Ball physics. No, I mean actual physics. This is the first sports game, to my knowledge, that uses actual physics in the way things happen. Gone are the days of the Call of Duty 2-like pre-rendered instances. The rotation of the ball coming out of the pitcher’s hand, the way it comes off the bat, the condition of the ground; all of these things affect how the ball will react. According to San Diego Studios, the physics of the ball are 1:1. For someone who doesn’t really care about sports games, that might not be a big deal, but for the rest of us, it’s an amazing step in what (hopefully) will become a standard in all sports games soon.
Players also have a heightened sense of being … well, people. Players will make sure they get out of each others’ way, rather than morphing through each other. If they can’t get out of the way … BOOM!
But what about better utilizing the PS3’s technology? How about full Move support? In MLB 11, we were given the Home Run Derby with Move support that, surprisingly, worked very well. This time around, you can play everything with the Move. Pitching, hitting, fielding, everything.
“But what about the Playstation Vita?”
Glad you asked! Not only will the game be available on the Vita as a complete experience (not a gimped, handheld version), but you will be able to play seasons between the two systems. As long as your save is between games, not between innings, you can play some games on your PS3, save your season, and continue it on your Playstation Vita. That is, of course, assuming you have the game for both PS3 and PSV.
There will be more information to come, and I will surely be keeping an eye out. The developers have hinted at other things, such as an online mode that is unlike “anything in a sports game, ever.”
Look for this game to hit shelves on March 6, and, until then, you can probably pick up a copy of MLB 11: The Show for relatively cheap.