Sony hits a home run.

User Rating: 9.4 | MLB 06: The Show PS2
Well, another year, another MLB game from Sony, only this time they don't have to compete with EA's MVP series, only Take Two's MLB 2K6 and Midway's newest addition to the Slugfest series. And let me tell you, The Show blows away the competition this year.

Each season Sony's game hasn't gotten better and better and this year they have crafted what is, in my opinion, the best baseball game ever made. What really sets this game apart is the atmosphere. You will actually feel like you're watching this game on tv. Matt Vasgersian, Dave Campbell, and Rex Hudler provide great commentary through out the game, the crowd reactions are realistic and in some cases some of the stuff they shout at players is hilarious. There are also just tons of other little things that really make stand out. The celebrations after home runs, the way the cutscenes after innings make it seem like you are going to a commercial break, etc, Sony just did a tremendous job with this.

The graphics are great as usual, in fact I'd say the graphics in this game beat even those of MLB 2K6 on the Xbox360. Why do I say this? Well for one, the players actually look like their real life counter parts, unlike in 2K6 where even Derek Jeter doesn't exactly look like Derek Jeter. On top of that, the animation in this game is great, turning a double play actually looks like you're turning a double play. Pitcher's wind ups look like they do in real life, and the batting stances of players look pretty close to how they look in real life as well.

The pitching/batting interace is the same as last season, it takes place from behind the plate, though you have the option to switch to an outfield camera or a behind the pitcher camera, the latter of which is similar to the camera in 2K6. The game controls well, it's very responsive, and the controls only take a few minutes for new comers to get accustomed to. Obviously series vets will know what to expect so they will have no problem jumping in.

As far as gameplay features, there are the standard season and playoff modes, and the deep franchise mode makes a return as well. The stellar career mode, which allows you to create a player and work your way up from the minors to "The Show" is also back. The big addition this year, which adds a little bit of depth but isn't really anything that will blow people away, is the "game time decision feature." If a player is tired or not performing well against certain types of pitchers, the game will make note of that and then you have to decide what to do. Rest the tired player, or keep him in there, etc. Like I said, nothing big, but it's still a cool addition.

Overall, I highly recommend this game to sports gamers, especially those who like a good game of baseball. Sony has done an excellent job and I can't wait to see where the series goes from here.