Lets start off with the good, shall we? MLB 06 has presentation, incredible presentation. When you turn on the game, you'll notice your standard Exhbition, Franchise, Season, Home Run Derby is back, Online, etc. When you start playing a game you'll notice how smoothe the presentation is. You get a nice look at the park before the game, a rundown of the batting order and a tidbit about each teams starting pitcher from the nice 3 man announce crew of Rex Huddler, Matt Vasgersian, and Dave Campbell. The graphics look incredibly nice, the game features the correct batting stance for just about every player in the game, and their ratings are very accurate.
The hitting controls are nice, though the power and contact swings are a bit prehistoric, it works, along with the guess pitch, and guess location features which allow you to lock in on your pitch and jack it over the fence, or pull it to left for a double, whatever your fancy. The Baserunning, and fielding controls, can be a bit weird but you'll get used to them. Franchise mode is incredibly deep. First of all, you have to hire scouts, trainers, manage player morale, team transportation, player marketing, sell billboards in your stadium, as well as set the prices from everything from a bleacher seat to a burger. Or if all of this is too much for you, there's season mode, which features everything franchise has, outside of the incredible depth. The Home Run Derby is incredibly fun, and you might find yourself playing it for hours and hours with a friend.
Sounds like a great game right? Well, it's good, but let's get to the bad. First of all you'll notice when your fielding, that you'll be tracking down a ball, right on the path, be right on it, and it will drop and roll past your player for a triple. I know what your thinking, fielders make errors right? But no, these aren't errors, these happen 4 to 5 times every game, forcing you to switch off your player to the computer and let them make the catch, because they magically do it correctly. Speaking of the computer, you'll notice some funny things they do also. Such as walking towards a ground ball, then diving for it, when they could have easily ran for it and had it. When stealing, you'll notice that if they pick you off and your running, you can press r1 to go back to the base, then press l1 just before you get there, the first baseman will act as if he tagged you, and you'll steal 2nd without a throw. Doesn't stop there though. Remember the great Home Run Derby mode I talked about? Well you'll notice that in various parks, you'll hit a ball deep, way back, and drops, the game says it traves 405 feet on a 400 wall but it drops, does that make sense? Now lets imagine your playing with the Tigers and highly touted rookie Curtis Granderson. He's tearing the cover of the ball, let's say he hits .322 and wins rookie of the year. Your excited about his future, but not so fast, after the season, take a look at player progression, righty and lefty contact minus 3? But I hit .322. Yes, that's right, the player progression in MLB 06: The Show, is totally and completely flawed, whether your playing season or franchise mode. You'll notice on each players, player card that they have a potential rating from F to A. And if you have a player with C potential, it doesn't matter if you hit .400, he's going to regress. And you can have a young A potential player, who hit's .122, yet he'll increase in nearly every stat category. This takes all the fun out of fantasy drafting, because you can't key in on players you like, you have to draft a team with all A potential players. The potential fluctuates each time you start a season, but once you start a season or franchise the potential your players have is the potential your players get.
So while, MLB 06 is a good game, I dare not call it a great game. It has some things that are done oh so well. The presentation is oh so nice, but all of the bugs in this game are as if a 365 pound man fresh off eating a Nacho Grande pinched a loaf on this game. Just like a .322 hitting C potential Curtis Granderson, MLB 06 the show is good, but it doesn't live up to the hype.