Spring is here and with spring comes baseball, best of all, the new release of the most authentic baseball game that the industry has to offer – MLB 12 THE SHOW. This series has been at the top of the food chain for four years running. The highly polished franchise holds the premier MLB license that boasts unparalleled detail and compelling features to provide the player with the ultimate game-play experience.
So what has changed since last year? First off they have added full move support, something I feel should have been added in the previous title but better late then never. It has full move support now meaning that you can control every aspect of the game on the field in every mode as well instead of only when you are at bat. Custom meters have also been added on screen to enhance the experience.
MLB 12 THE SHOW has also been released on PS VITA. This will allow you to access all of the core modes including Exhibition, Season, Franchise, Home Run Derby, Road To The Show, even online play taking the show on the road where ever you go. New Vita touch screen controls have been specially programmed the front and rear screen can be used to throw the ball, make pitch commands, and run the bases. Cross platform saves between the PS3 and PS Vita will allow the players to share the files between their PS3 and PS Vita. Users will only be allowed one file per PSN account but can be overwritten as many times as you want.
Some new controls have been added to this year’s release. Pulse pitching uses the “X” button that has an on screen pulsating circle for accuracy and placement of the pitch. I like this new set up it seems to give a more realistic margin for error. There’s also analog zone batting with a combination of previous controls with some new ones. The stick will still be used for stride and swing but using the left stick you can actually control where in the zone you want to swing on the fly. You can also guess where the pitch might end up before hand and if you correct the zone will hint by moving to that zone before the pitch is thrown. I like the new controls I use a combination on the new and the old that’s the good part the old ones are still just a option change away if you prefer them.
Diamond Dynasty is another new addition to the series. It has you controlling everything from team management to player’s progress with online competition. Creating teams with fully customizable logos, uniforms, even the name. Starting out with a hand full of player cards at the creation of the team when they are activated they will appear on your teams roster. Dynasty player has to put in the time the same way the road to the show player does including the training. The players are rewarded with and award/ achievement system. Upon completing a collection of MLB players cards rewards of cards from other users. You may also purchase cards from marketplace. Your budget money is earned from playing ranked online matches or play against the CPU. The system will evaluate your team every five games for placement into one of five divisions spring training, season series, division series, champion series , and my favorite the world series.
There have been a ton of improvements to the mechanics this year. Collision awareness that now helps the other players on the field avoid hitting each other and changes how they react when someone is within their proximity. The tag animation allows the players to proliferate out of any throw animation as well as any tag animation helping to avoid it. True ball physics has also been added this year giving the travel of the ball a more realistic path. Incorporating the proper spin and trajectory when it it comes into contact with anything on the field. Including the ball losing energy as it bounces, rising and sinking line drives, and better choppers. I have definitely noticed the improvements in this department the ball reacts to everything from topspin to tailing away from the outfielders.
I’m not sure if it’s because of said improvements but I have experienced some ridiculous errors while playing. For instance a routine ground ball to the shortstop he scoops it up then throws it five feet over the first baseman’s head. Another example of this is a ball hit right at one the outfielders he drops it then goes to pick it up and drops it again. Now these examples always seem to happen at a crucial time when I have a guy in scoring position or I am in the bottom of the eighth inning of a no hitter. Maybe they added the choke factor as well at least that’s what it seems like to me when it happens.
The graphics are well defined at this stage from the realistic looking fully customizable players faces and bodies to the team specific arenas. Even the dust of the infield gravel comes to life when the players shuffle through it. And as far as the music goes doesn’t matter upload your own music and play-lists under THE SHOW SOUNDS you will be glad once you did. In the practice sessions you get the echo of your music playing in the empty field and in-between where the stock music usually plays.
Before we continue the rest of the review, here is a list of enhancements, improvements, and new features.
- Over 500 new Presentation animations
- Over 300 new Fielding, Throwing, and Base running animations
- Over 150 New Batting Stances
- Over 75 New Pitching Animations
- Improved load times
- Completely new bat, ball and glove sounds
- New Bullpen Management options
- New player accessories (new sunglasses, protective gear, hat bills, etc…)
- New Pick off logic
- New player card including advanced baseball stats
- New Batter/Pitcher Attribute snapshot OSD (D-Pad Left)
- More fluid organic fielder animations from start to end of play
- Improved fielder routes on balls off the wall (more variety of pursuit angles)
- Dynamic fielding results and reaction (balls can now be dropped or missed by a fielder anytime)
- Improved button fielding with difficulty levels
- New Pitcher Confidence Logic
- Increased and improved conversation among Matt, Dave and Eric.
- 14 New umpires
- Updated uniforms and stadiums for new and updated teams
- Updated jumbo-tron movies and stat layouts (still team specific)
- Updated LED Ribbon board art and movies
- Focus on interface and display presentation and flair
- Uniform select in all modes
- Front-end sound preview when assigning audio
- New Player Generation Logic
- New Trade interface and screen
- Improved Lineup Logic
- Co-op available in Season and Franchise modes
- Road to the Show career begins as a Double-A starter
- Move video tutorials
- New in-game tips
- Did You Knows on Loading screens
- Season and Franchise mode Co-op
- Base Running Training in RTTS
- Fielding Training in RTTS
- New Base Runner Awareness
- Online Game-play Gets a Boost (better reaction, better experience) (PS3)
- www.TheShowNation.com Community Web Site Revamp
- Operating System supported Virtual Keyboard
- New Online Gamer Card (more information)
- Swing Analysis OSD Improvements and Profile Display Options
- “Free” 1st inning quit in Online Games removed
- Online Profile to use PSN Avatar
- PSN Profile utility support on Vita (Friend Requests)
- Game History showing XP gain/loss
- Play online with your full profile settings (minus negotiated settings)
- Challenge of the Week is now free
- Online League Schedule improvements
- Online League Playoff improvements
I personally enjoy The ROAD TO THE SHOW mode it really helps to build your character to be a well rounded player by training and suggesting goals to achieve in the intern strengthening the otherwise forgotten pieces to the puzzle.
I have to admit I didn’t really expect to see so many improvements nor did I believe that this many remained to be implemented. It only goes to show Sony’s commitment to franchise and the fans to keep it fresh and at the same time continuing to hone in on the realistic values of the sport as well as its surroundings.
Over all MLB 12 THE SHOW continues to reign supreme over any other baseball title. Improving and polishing the core of the franchise while still coming out with original content and adding things like new controls, animations, physics, modes, it’s no surprise that this is the most sought after baseball game in the marketplace and will continue to be for many years to come.
Overall Score: 8/10
This game was provided to the reviewer by the publisher.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Paul I on 20120423 and was last modified on 20120423 .