After the success of MLB The Show 18, MLB The Show 19 continues with more wonderful things. The core gameplay is very familiar and Franchise Mode remains nearly identical to last year’s, but Road to the Show serves as the culmination of years of improvements and a new mode, March to October, is a novel way to experience the MLB season
Fielding has received the most substantial improvements out on the diamond, with the Defensive Runs Saved metric coming to the forefront. Now any player wearing a leather-clad glove is more responsive than before, hustling to field weakly hit balls, recovering quickly from botched catches, and utilizing a plethora of new animations to give you added control over the defensive side of the game. There’s also a clear distinction between each fielder’s individual stats, so if you’ve got a Gold Glove player like Matt Chapman manning the hot corner, you’ll notice how adept he is at reaching balls lesser fielders will have trouble getting to.
An outfielder’s reaction to the ball jumping off the bat varies depending on their attributes, too, while a new interface makes it easier or harder to read balls that careen off the outfield wall depending on the defending player’s skill set. There’s an intuitive fielding ability indicator under the feet of each player to give you a quick reference point for how likely they are to pull off a spectacular play versus an embarrassing one, and that means substituting that beefy power hitter you’ve lodged into left field is now a tactical switch worth considering in the later innings.
Another neat way that outfielders are differentiated is in their varying degree of ability to read a ball off the wall. When you take control of a top-ranked outfielder you’ll see the path the ball will travel pop up on your screen to guide you to exactly where you need to be. However, take control of a subpar fielder and that path is a little less distinct and not nearly as complete, forcing you to do some guesswork. This visual aid is a good way to bridge the gap between the athlete’s abilities and your own skills.
In terms of modes, the most notable new addition is March to October, which essentially acts as a truncated and more streamlined version of the time-consuming Franchise Mode. In the past, Sony San Diego has made strides in contriving various ways to make Franchise less of a time sink. Being able to expedite a 162-game baseball season by alternating between playing full games or using quick manage and player lock was a welcome change, but it’s still a lengthy endeavor that most will still want to simulate through at times.
At the outset, March to October asks you to pick a team, categorizing all 30 MLB teams based on their expectations as either favorites, contenders, underdogs, or longshots. It doesn’t matter whether you pick a team like the Yankees or the Orioles, your ultimate goal is to reach the postseason and win the World Series.
Completing a full season takes roughly 10 to 15 hours, and winning the World Series at the conclusion of March to October nets you rewards for MLB 19‘s card-collecting mode, Diamond Dynasty. This won’t be a mouth-watering incentive for everyone, and March to October still consumes enough time that there’s little replay value involved.
Moments is another new addition that also drops you into crucial situations, with the key difference here being their historical significance. Playing as the likes of Babe Ruth, Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, and other icons of the sport, Moments lets you relive the classic plays, at-bats, pitching performances, and playoff series of these legendary players’ Hall of Fame careers–complete with authentic stadiums and a black and white filter.
It’s not a perfect recreation of baseball’s past, with plenty of default players on top of contemporary commentary and graphic overlays. There’s also little fanfare when you pull off a historic feat, with not even so much as a single line of dialogue. Yet despite these missteps, it’s still exciting to call your homerun with The Bambino, mash your way to a .
Elsewhere, Road to the Show introduces a few more RPG elements this year to give dialogue options some much-needed impact. During the creation of your player, you have to choose between reworked archetypes, with each one acting as a physical blueprint for the type of player you want to be. There isn’t a level cap anymore, so you can feasibly increase each of your player’s stats to 99 overall, but your chosen archetype governs how easy or difficult it is to improve specific attributes. For instance, pick a Small Ball hitter and you’ll find it easier to train your speed, fielding, and stealing, while it will be much harder to improve power and plate discipline, with contact and arm strength falling somewhere in the middle. Enhancing these stats still relates to your on-field performance, with a base hit correlating to an increase in contact, and so on. There are new minigames based around weightlifting and other exercise drills, too, allowing you to progress certain attributes if you want to put in the extra work off the field.
As for Franchise Mode, there’s not really a lot to say. Contracts now more closely mirror their real-life counterparts, both in terms of years and money, and you can finally re-sign players before they reach the end of their current deal. This adds authenticity to the business side of Franchise Mode, but otherwise it’s the same as it has been for a few years now. There’s still no team relocation, stadium building, or online Franchise Mode, which is disappointing considering these are staples in other sports games. On the plus side, at least you can now use two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani as a designated hitter on days he’s not pitching without having to waste a substitution.
MLB The Show 19 continues the series’ slow march of progress, though with a bigger step this year than last. Moments and March to October offer fresh ways to experience the outstanding gameplay, complete with the refinements on the defensive side of the ball. By integrating overt RPG mechanics into the player progression, Road to the Show has evolved into one of the deepest sports career modes currently available, even if it feels like less of a true-to-life simulation as a result. MLB The Show 19’s refreshed looks and sound closely replicates real MLB games on TV, thanks to some nice camera angles and graphical touches that emulate broadcasting. The biggest disappointment is Franchise, which continues to be the mode that’s left behind. Overall, this is the most compelling version since The Show 12 initially added Diamond Dynasty mode.
Despite the lack of innovation in Franchise Mode, MLB The Show 19 excels when it comes to the sheer variety of single-player content on offer, while significant improvements to fielding round out the on-field package, making this one of the best baseball games ever. That’s not a particularly bold statement considering the series’ consistent quality throughout the years, but MLB 19 continues that upward trajectory with its most robust offering yet, guaranteeing another year’s worth of excellent baseball.
Video Game MLB The Show 19 Review :
User Rating :
– The Good:
+ New RPG elements in Road to the Show increase its depth
+ March to October truncates Franchise Mode down to its most thrilling moments
+ Fielding is more responsive and realistic, with greater individualism from players
+ Earning rewards for Diamond Dynasty is a constant occurrence, which makes constructing a competitive team much easier
+ Reliving baseball history in Moments is a joy
– The Bad:.
There’s a lack of innovation in Franchise Mode
Mark : 9