PS3
Recommended
4.5 stars
Amazon
23.43
In Stock. Buy Now»
Overall Grade
4.5 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Game Itself
4.5 Stars
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
4 Stars
The Audio: Rating the Sound
3.5 Stars
Replay Factor
5 Stars
Bottom Line
Recommended

MLB 12: The Show

Street Date:
March 6th, 2012
Reviewed by:
Review Date:1
August 9th, 2012
Game Release Year:
2012
Platform:
PS3
Publisher:
Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer:
SCE Studios San Diego
ESRB Rating:
E (Everyone)

Editor's Notes

3D support plus a completely revamped "Dynasty" mode gives fans of the old stick and ball a great reason to re-up for this year's edition of best baseball game around.

Introduction

If you're reading this I'm going to assume that you like baseball and video-games and preferably in that order. MLB 12: The Show is a deep baseball simulation and you MUST know baseball to get anything out of it. I'm not talking balls, strikes and the in-field fly rule, things any casual fan would be familiar with. I'm talking about knowing when to do a defensive shift when you know the batter likes to pull the ball and how to properly warm up your left handed reliever when you need to sub him in against that left handed power hitting beast that is Adrian Gonzales (who graces the cover). This is a game for the ultimate baseball enthusiast. You want to develop a youngster right out of high school and guide him through the highs and lows of a major league career? You can do that here. Ever wanted to embody Billie Bean and run your own money-ball operation on the Royals? You can do that here, though I would really only recommend that for the severe masochists among us.

The Game Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

People always tell me that America's past time is a simple game and it is. See ball, hit ball, run around a diamond, rinse and repeat. Let me assure you that MLB 12 gets this and more right. And I think it should as Baseball is a sport tailor made for home consoles. The four face buttons on a controller equate perfectly with first, second, third and home. The slow pace, deliberate pitches and simple mechanics all enable baseball to translate well on video game (unlike basketball in this reviewer’s opinion).

Like last year, MLB 12 the Show starts off with a fancy pre-title video which does its job in properly hyping you up for game. The presentation is not massively changed from last year; the same modes and options are shown on the main menu as a convincingly amped up rock chord blares from the speakers. The real fun starts when you select your home team and your buddy (next to you or online) selects his.

Ask any sports game fan what they really want in a game and they’ll tell you two things: Are the rosters customizable (out of date rosters kill interest, absolutely kills it) and how does the game play? The graphics, sound track, stat tracking, fantasy draft, online leader boards are all completely peripheral in relation to how the game actually plays. MLB 12: The Show is a slow culmination of years of tweaking and game-play refinements by the team at Sony and it shows. From the subtle steal/base lead off mechanics to the vibration induced pitching everything that happens is user controlled and that is a beautiful thing. Not only is parlaying an errant throw from a single to a triple totally satisfying, it is equally as satisfying to gun down the greedy bastard who then tries for home.

If you’re one for long gaming sessions then the Franchise mode is going to be your time sink. Micromanagers and wannabe GMs will find everything they could possibly want here. Complete control for your franchise from the majors to your single A affiliate means you are the man from top to bottom. Going even deeper than last year’s mode, MLB 12 lets you set concession prices, manage your training staff and all within the friendly confines of your couch.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

Ballparks and players are all beautifully rendered in full 1080p HD(unlike the offerings from EA Sports). You’ll notice small details that you’ve taken for granted on actual broadcasts but show up glaring here. The flutter of the knuckleball, the blades of grass bending before a rolling ball, the splintering of a bat are all impressively displayed and really showcase the power of the engine.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

My one complaint about the game is the commentary. Baseball announcers are legendary in both their insightfulness and descriptive ability. None of that is present here. From sound bites that gets recycled three times in the same half inning to completely banal commentary “How do you think the weather is going to affect the game today?” there is a lot of improvement that can be made here.

Replay Factor

Online game play and a deep deep Franchise mode means aficionados of the diamond will be playing this game for a long long time (or at least till MLB 13 comes out). The addition of the Diamond Dynasty goes a new crinkle on the baseball trading cards that we all loved in our youth. The draw to collect them all is strong incentive to keep coming back.

Final Thoughts

MLB 12: The Show is the best baseball game out there right now . It boosts top notch graphics, animations, game-play and only falters in the commentary. Baseball fans who love the game but don’t quite want to go through the trouble of picking up a bat will find this a happy and very realistic compromise.

Tech Specs:

  • Blu-ray

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Audio Formats

  • Dolby Digital Surround

Motion Controls

  • Yes

Exclusive HD Content

  • 3D compatible

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Amazon
23.43
In Stock. Buy Now»