*EDIT* Sorry about paragraphs, Gamespot doesn't seem to want me to use them :( As an MVP fan I loved the series for it's completeness. Everything you could want in a baseball game was there. Tons of game modes, great batting mechanics (hitters eye was awesome) even the tiny details, like being able to get managers to argue a call, and choosing the intensity of the argument were included. Well a couple years have passed and since then I've been itching for another game of hardball that could match the quality of MVP. Not only has MLB 07 The Show scratched that itch, it has surpassed in many ways, MVP! I'll start with the most important part of any game, the gameplay. This has gotta be the most realistic game of baseball I have ever played. In my time with the game I have played maybe thirty odd games in the new Road to the Show mode, which allows you to take control of a single player and guide him through his baseball career, and about 10 standard games. This game gets pretty much everything right. Almost all aspects of baseball are executed flawlessly. Pitching for instance, feels great, while it's still the standard choose a pitch, click for power, click for accuracy, the catcher will now give you signals, which you can choose to ignore or follow. The catcher doesn't choose any old place at random though, if a batter can't catch up to your heat, chances are the catcher will call another fastball. Alot of times you'll find yourself agreeing with the catcher just because he chooses pitches so accurately. If however, the opponent manages to get a hit you'll be left to field the ball. Fielding in The Show is actually pretty standard fair this year, the ball always seems to shoot really quickly off the bat, leaving you with very little time to react. It can be frustrating, but isn't too big a deal, as the more you play the faster you'll be able to jump on those fly balls. New this year is a meter that allows you to throw the ball harder or softer, by holding or tapping the corresponding button. It's been implemented in other games, but it's definetly a nice feature to have. Batting in this years edition is handled exceptionally. Now I play on a baseball team in the summer, and I can honestly say this game truly makes you feel like you're standing at the plate, against Haliday or Sabathia. Before the pitch you have the option of guessing where you think the pitcher will throw the ball. You can also choose if you want to try and hit the ball low, high, to the left or right using the analog stick. This can come in handy when you're trying to avoid a double play, or trying to score the runner from third on a sac fly. You can also decide if you want to use a standard swing or if you want to hit for the fences, by either pressing square or X. As a whole batting is ALOT of fun, and actually makes you think everytime you step into the box thanks to the incredible pitcher AI. Now we approach my favourite element of this game... baserunning. In a normal game where you play as the whole team, baserunning is pretty normal. Select the runner, select the base you want him to run to standard practice. But in road to the show mode it's a totally new "ball game" (excuse the pun.) Even more so then batting, baserunning actually feels like you're on the base paths on a sunny sunday afternoon at Fenway. Everything from holding up on flyballs, to how much you lead off, to choosing whether to take a chance on going home from first is left to you. One added feature that was a great touch is the inclusion of base coaches (third in particular.) They will actually give you signals on whether to go, or hold. The first time I noticed this I smiled to myself, it's these little touches that make me love this game. Baserunning simply shouldn't be this fun. The graphics, while not amazing are pretty good. Considering the games running on old hardware the presentation still manages to look sharp. The little details are again what makes the presentation shine, for example, I was in the bottom of the 9th in road to the show mode. My Albaquerque (Iknow I spelled that one wrong) Isotopes were tied against Iowa, 2 outs and I was up to the plate, I took a couple and waited for my pitch, I like em' low in the zone, I got a curve ball that hung a little and swung, I must of timed it a little late because the ball was heading way right, My player stood watching it, everyone on the field seemed to stand still, it was curving and curving and SLAM right off the foul poll homerun! The announcers were actually pretty excited and when I came around the bases my team was waiting at home plate, right after the play of the game came up and whaddya' know it was my 2 out bottom of the ninth homer! The announcers talked about it a bit more, before the game ended. Needless to say, it was one of the greatest experiences I've had in a video game and I've been gaming for awhile! One gripe I had with the old MVP series is that it wouldn't always show you the batting average of the batter stepping up to the plate. As a pitcher I like to know what I'm up against! There are some aliasing issues which just look weird at times, and the crowd is always only wearing 3-4 different coloured shirts, but obviously this doesn't hinder the gameplay. Throwing and batting animations seem pretty standard here, it is nice to see alot of variety of pitching animations though. Various pitchers simply throw the ball differently, and you'll spend your first couple of at bats getting used to their various styles. As for audio, all the standard baseball sounds are in here. Complete with various taunts from fans, and organ music. Of special note is the commentary which is always right on top of the play and features alot of interesting dialogue. The three man cast has alot to say, and you won't hear them repeating themselves too much. The tracklist includes alot of popular bands including Fall Out Boy and Alexis On Fire. To wrap this up (It's been a long review, I know, but I can't stop raving about this game!) MLB: 07 The Show, is the most realistic and fun baseball game I've ever played. Apart from the odd slow down, and the difficult fielding the game is practically flawless and has turned out to be the most realistic interpretation of the sport I have played to this day.
Now, personally, I hear my friends, random folks, whoever it may be, say that this game isn't that great because it's essentially the same game as last year. My question to that is: So? The Show was an amazing game... Read Full Review
(Note: This is strictly a review of MLB: The Show’s Franchise mode.) I’ve been milking EA’s MVP ‘05 franchise mode for as long as possible, convinced that video game baseball could never get better. Finally broke down... Read Full Review