For MLB fans, the spikes have been back on the mound for a few weeks now. And with this return of one of America’s most popular sports rhymes with the release of the latest iteration of the San Diego Studio series: MLB The Show.
With this opus numbered 21, the series not only takes its first steps on a new generation, but also tests the platform with its releases on Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox one and Xbox Series X. A commendable attempt that does not fail to please players all over the world. But of course, the success of a game can not just be based on such add-ons. This is why we should push our analysis a little further.
Test condition: We have tested MLB Show 21 on PlayStation 5. Our journey took us to Road to the Show, Diamond Dynasty and other game modes, not to mention the stadium editor, just that!
At the heart of baseball, the real thing
If there is anything in the series MLB The Show has always won us over, it’s its graphic quality. Once again, this is an aspect that is on the agenda. On PlayStation 5, players and stadiums are more realistic than ever. Obviously we are far from perfect, but the improvements are remarkable, especially thanks to the player’s animations, always so qualitative. For this release, San Diego Studio has even taken the trouble to add more than a hundred new animations, as well as various graphic enhancements, especially at the level of acting and lighting.
But a sports game like MLB The Show, it is also known for the difficulties that lie in the sport that is represented. With baseball, the task can be difficult since the rules and playing styles are not known to everyone. And this is where San Diego Studio makes a small mistake. In fact, no tutorial explaining the rules is present in the title, which almost immediately excludes the neophytes of this sport from the game. If any tutorials related to the different styles of play are available at the beginning of the game, nothing related to the sport itself is offered.
Game level, therefore, tutorials for all phases of the game are available. Thus, we find pitching, batting, basic flight, field play, etc. These trainings are done via a match deepening, where the player has several attempts to get acquainted with the various actions to be performed. Nothing revolutionary, but it does the job, especially when you know that the game offers multiple configurations for each type of game.
In fact, each time the player has the opportunity to choose between casual, simulation and competitive. The first is the style of play for newcomers, offering more arcade-focused games. Simulation, on the other hand, increases the difficulty and is based on the score of each player and each team. Finally, competitive brings the maximum difficulty by focusing the action on the player’s skills instead of the rest. It is also this third style of play that is the one used in online mode.
In addition, San Diego Studio has planned to delight fans for this new opus, especially by adding a brand new pitching interface. It had been a while since that happened, but this has been resolved with Pinpoint Pitching. Very difficult to learn, this new style of pitching asks you, after selecting your type of pitch as well as the desired zone, to draw a specific curve with the correct joystick, curve depending directly on the type of pitching selected. This is a great addition that everyone should try out. But let’s be honest, it’s so punishing and difficult to master that I for my part stuck to the old styles that were offered.
New and familiar
Side mode, of course, is the much-appreciated path to the show. Already very popular in the days of MLB The Show 19 and MLB The Show 20, this game mode has benefited from further improvements in this new opus. For those who do not know, Road to the Show game mode that offers to follow a player is created throughout the career. A bit like Towards a Legend of FIFA what.
But things have changed. In fact, more passing through the exhibit before the draft matches. No, the player enters the scenario at the time of the draft. Just before the draft, your character receives a call in which they are asked a series of questions to see which team you want to create. These answers will therefore affect the position that your player will develop into, as well as the team that wants him.
And if there’s one point we can say nothing about, it’s the immersive side of this mode. MLB Show 21 comes with the addition of videos taken from journalists who Robert flores and other very “real” items that are added throughout the adventure. Another interesting addition is the ability to play pot, while at times occupying a different position on the court. Thus, my character not only occupies the position of pitcher, but also shortstop. But of course you have to improve your character in both positions, which is not necessarily obvious if you are new to the MLB adventure.
But as a whole, MLB Show 21 also happens, and above all, with the ability to create stadiums. On the menu, 30 basic stadiums to customize to your liking. Or you can also start from scratch with a scene to create completely. Offering with many components, this editor will delight lovers of creation as the possibilities are several. And if you’ve proud of your work or enjoy a friend’s work, you should know that stadiums from other publishers are available for download. Enough to open many doors for creativity and immersion.
Obviously, what would an MLB game be without Diamond Dynasty mode? This mode always keeps the same face: you build your baseball team based on cards you get through packs. These packages can be purchased with money in the game or with real money. There is not much to say about this mode since it has not received many improvements. The good news, though, is being able to import your player from Road to Show mode. Things to know, what you do in this mode will affect the skills of your imported player, which will make him more interesting to integrate into your team!