MLB 13: The Show Review

This game will keep the baseball fans busy for a long time to come.

MLB 13: The Show is the brand new entry in the ever lasting exclusive Sony’s Baseball franchise. The MLB:  The Show series is very well known for delivering great amount of content, customization to roasters and of course satisfying the needs of baseball fans. This year it has gotten even better with MLB 13: The Show. I will be breaking down each aspect of the game in greater detail including its visual presentation, new gameplay additions/content, feel of the game and an overall verdict at the end. Let’s start out with the game itself and it’s new additions.

The Gameplay and Content

MLB 13: The Show packs a whole lot of new content for baseball fans to enjoy and the game also introduces something called “Beginner Mode”. Beginner Mode makes the game much more accessible to newbie players who have played any of the previous MLB games. It’s a fantastic feature that you can turn on and off, when you play the game it makes everything easier. However, the better you get at hitting the ball, or pitching the harder it gets later on. The system adjusts difficulty of the game on the fly, if you learn quick how to play the game and get better at it, then the difficulty will start noticeably become harder.

If you are more of a slower paced learner and it takes you time to get good at something then the difficulty won’t be bumped up as much. Thanks for beginner mode, it makes the game much more less intimidating for those are interested in trying out the series for the first time and it also makes it a lot more interesting as the challenge gets harder.

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MLB 13: The Show has finally created a Post-Season mode. Main purpose of this mode is to let the player jump straight into Post-Season without having to wait for the actual season to be over. You can play Post-Season with either 1 team or all of the 10 teams, it will also track your entire run of the games into the World Series. You may play Post-Season in single-player, head-to-head, co-op play and the game supports PlayStation Move if you’re interested in playing a different way. A lot of players have been asking for a game mode that let’s them just jump straight into post-season and the developers of MLB have finally made that dream come true.

For first time players will be able to play Online Home Run Derby mode cross-platform on their PS3 and PS Vita if they wish. The only biggest drawback of this is that Online Home Run Derby is the only mode that you can play cross-platform. PS Vita version is not included in the PS3 version, you have to buy them separately. Its kind of unfortunate , because the developers had a great opportunity to take an advantage of cross-platform play and it would let them sell more copies if they included the PS Vita version with the PS3 version, however that is not the case here.

As far as the game mode itself, it’s a ton of fun if you just like playing to make home runs and see how many you can get with your favorite player. You can choose different team stadiums to play on, pick any players how many rounds you want to go for. MLB 13: The Show packs pretty much every MLB team you can think of with all the major players in them. If you ever wanted to know what it feels like to score a crazy amount of home-runs with any of the Yankee players in a home-run derby, then here is your chance.

The Show Live mode is one of the more interesting game modes. This mode let’s players play exhibition-based games that are taken from MLB.com, it lets you play real world matches. The Show Live updates calendar event takes and new things on daily basis, as soon as you see an upcoming match on the calendar it will tell you which teams are playing and what players have taken which positions.

All of the statistics will be provided, that includes commentaries on previous match ups and everything else you can think off. Have you missed a favorite match that you wanted to play-out ? You can scroll back the calendar dates and play any of the matches that been played in the past. This is great stuff for the baseball fans.

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Road to the Show  is another great addition to the game. This mode is quite unique compared to others, it let’s you create a custom player, choose his position in the game and of course let’s you pick a team. What different about this mode is that the whole thing is based on a single baseball player and you play as that person on the field. The camera views are completely different and you have control over him depending on whatever position you picked. You can make him to be the guy who’s a batter, pitcher or just a dude who chills on the 3rd base trying to catch a ball. For MLB 13: The Show RTTS recieved the most upgrades, better camera views, addition of leaderboards, a full revamp of audio/game presentation flow and new controls for baserunning and fielding.

New to MLB 13: The Show is the Season mode, Season mode let’s you play out an entire season with 1 or all of the 30 teams. You can play this also play this in co-op if you wish for a more social experience even though you’re going against an AI. The goal of this gameplay mode is to start a season at Spring Training and get your teams to the World Series.

The Franchise mode is the same for the most, expect with the addition of a new training system and a few other small things. The new training system let’s you pick what you want the player to be constantly training at throughout the course of the season as you play. Franchise Mode is more for player that like team management, you can fire/hire people, trade players with other teams and so on. If you like think that game managing is more of your style of baseball play then this is the mode that I’d recommend you play.

League mode is similar to the franchise mode expect that it’s online and much more social. You can create or join a league and have up to a total of 29 other plays join you in your conquest for the World Series. The League owner plays the same role as the GM in the franchise mode. The GM can kick people from his team, invite someone else, create a league lobby for people to socialize and so on. The new additions to the League mode is the scheduling system, new creation options, manual advancement, a new way to view game history and the ability to scrimmage against opposite league players.

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Diamond Dynasty 

Diamond Dynasty is one of the core multiplayer modes in MLB 13: The Show. Diamond Dynasty lets players create a custom team from scratch, give it a name, location and of course let’s you customize every single team member on the roster. The team customization is really robust, you can create your own custom logo with a full logo editor, your “Away” and “Home” uniforms and so on. For the players you can change their first and last names, change their physical looks and even give them any player numbers.

You will probably spend a good few hours or so just customizing your team and making everything from the start. One of the most unique things about this game mode is that you also have something called “Budget Bonus”. Budget Bonus are points that you can earn as you play the game and complete certain in-game set of achievement goals (Not PS3 Trophies).

Once you have a achieved certain goal you will be rewarded a set amount of budget bonus points depending on the achievement, you can then later use these points to invest in your players individual and train them to become better at whatever it is that you desire.  You can also of course just manage your roster in general, change up player rotations and so on.

There is also something called Dynasty Player and a MLB Player. Dynasty Players are you’re long-term investment players that you train over a long periods of times, MLB players are something that you can activate and use right away using the MLB collection cards and usually are used for quick and short term plays.

You can trade, buy, sell collection cards with other players, or you can purchase packs of cards via PlayStation Network by using budget.  At the beginning you’re pretty much forced to use your custom created team, but once you start earning budget by pitting your team against a computer or head-to-head versus play online. You can also buy stadiums and train your players.

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The ranking in Diamond Dynasty works just like the Elo system that is currently implemented in many popular online multiplayer competitive titles. MLB 13: The Show is no short of providing a robust multiplayer experience the developer has thought of pretty much everything they possibly can and executed it very well. Diamond Dynasty will last you a while, if you’re a huge fan of the previous series and cannot wait to get started on competitive online baseball play then this is your answer.

Every five games you play your team will be re-evaluated for placement in one of the five divisions, the five divisions are: Spring Training, Season Series, Division Series, Championship Series and World Series. So depending on how good you play you will always be re-evaluated every fifth game for a new placement.

Customization

The amount of customization in MLB 13: The Show is quite overwhelming. You can create and customize your own roster, modify sliders and even edit every single baseball player’s animations. Sliders allow you to change things like solid hits, contacts, power, timing, foul frequency, pitching, and plenty of more things. This basically makes the game completely editable, if you are looking to farm trophies then you come in here and chance sliders towards your favor.

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Every slider is also separate for the human and computer controller, you can basically make your players have the lowest amount of possible foul plays and have the best hitting power and pitching while completely making the CPU weaker. This is awesome, if you’re having a hard time playing the game, you may mess around with these settings to make the game more easier or harder for yourself. The roster customization lets you can edit any of the teams and pick which the players pitching rotations and lineups. Overall the customization is pretty deep, you can also customize very specific things in some of the game modes if you wish.

Presentation

MLB 13: The Show is most likely the best looking baseball game you’ll ever play today. Not only does it look fantastic and plays well, it’s also presented in a great manner. Good looking menus, fitting soundtrack and in-game visuals are all well done. Everything from characters animations, sound effects and character models look and sound all top notch. The only small complain is the way the crowd looks. The crowd is completely 2D and it makes the game almost look like an older sport game where they didn’t have the technology to support more detailed crowds. This is a bit disappointing because it ruins the overall presentation in the stadium as you play the game. Everything looks great in the game and then when you see the crowd you just want to cringe a little bit.

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Overall

MLB 13: The Show is the best baseball game on the market period. The game provides different ways of playing it, it allows you to edit the game that suits your personal play-style and the overall flow of the baseball games. If you’re a person who just enjoys a robust single-player baseball experience then there is plenty of ways to satisfy that hunger with the amount of game modes and customization this game provides. If players are looking for a deep competitive system then they can find that in the Diamond Dynasty mode where they can developer their own custom-made team as time progresses. Thanks to the game’s overall slick presentation, outstanding depth this game will keep the baseball fans busy for a long time to come and possibly until the next season starts which will be on the PlayStation 4.

The game was reviewed on the PS3.

The Good

Beginner Mode rocks, Post-Season is finally in, the re-enhanced Road to the Show is fantastic, great presentation, fitting soundtrack, great options for competetive online play. tons of customization

The bad

PS Vita version is separate from PS3 version, Online Home-Run Derby is the only cross-platform playable mode, loading times are a bit long, crowd looks disappointing

FINAL VERDICT

MLB 13: The Show is the best baseball game that you will ever play in this generation of consoles. From great presentation, great variety of content, robust multiplayer mode, Diamond Dynasty and a great amount of customization. If you're looking for the god-like baseball experience, then this is the game that you should be buying.


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