Custom Cameras Will Not Save or Work Online
The ability to create customized batting and pitching cameras is an awesome, game-changing feature, whenever it is working properly. Right now, it is not.
Custom camera angles are not saving after the MLB 14: The Show application shuts down, forcing gamers to recreate their favorite viewpoints each time they load up the game.
While this appears to be a fixable bug, there is also a major design issue, which is the inability to use your custom cameras during online games. If PlayStation 3 titles like NHL 14 can successfully run online matches with 10 different skaters using 10 different custom perspectives, then there is no good reason why a simple one-on-one matchup on the PlayStation 4 cannot do the same.
If you're playing MLB 14 The Show with "broadcast" presentation turned on, you've likely noticed the large frame rate dips during the game's transitional cutscenes. You'd think the PlayStation 4's processor would be able to handle a close-up shot of two or three player models in the same frame, so hopefully, this is just an optimization an issue that can be resolved in a future title update.
Gamers playing the Road to the Show mode, which can suffer from a decreased frame rate during live gameplay at certain fielding positions, have no option but to wait for a patch.
For everyone else, the only current workaround is to enable "fast play" presentation, which skips past these slideshows entirely.
Contact Swings are Overpowered
The "contact swing" (circle button) is supposed to be a way for batters to protect the plate whenever they have two strikes and are in danger of striking out.
In MLB 14: The Show, however, contact swings have become good for much more than just fouling off pitches or blooping singles into open gaps; they are just as capable of producing towering home runs.
I can live with muscle men like Ryan Howard or Jose Bautista occasionally powering a contact swing past the fences, but it makes no sense that lightweights like Ben Revere and José Reyes are also able to hits homers with the circle button.
Steals Are too Easy; Pick-Offs are too Difficult
While human pitchers have access to three different types of pick-off throws, the "quick" and "casual" commands are rarely successful, especially against baserunners who have been instructed to "steal on motion" (tap L2). The "deceptive" pick-off is even less effective, as it's more likely to cause a fielding error than to catch a greedy baserunner.
Throwing a pitch-out to the catcher (L1 + X) is also ineffective against human baserunners, as the pitch-out animation is noticeably different from a normal throw, making it easy for the runner to hit the "go back" button (R1) as soon as he sees the animation begin.
Increasing pick-off success, decreasing pick-off overthrows, and making the pitch-out animation less distinguishable from a normal pitch would all help to balance MLB 14: The Show's baserunning, which currently favors the offense over the defense.
During MLB 14 The Show's opening week, lengthy loading times were hurting every game mode. Thankfully, Community Challenges are now the only area of the game that's still taking too long to load.
Walk-off scenarios that can be beaten in 10 seconds of gameplay require a full minute of loading before the game is ready for you to swing the bat. Add another 30 seconds of waiting around every time you need to retry a failed event.
Even if you can stand the constant loading, the majority of affordable events cost the same amount of stubs to enter as they reward if you win, making most challenges pointless, if your goal is to gain stubs.
Online Franchise Games Failing to Register
Nothing sours a night of gaming like finishing an hour-long match, only to realize that your game did not count and will not be recorded due to a server error.
The NBA 2K, Madden NFL and NCAA Football series have all dealt with similar issues in their online franchise modes, and now, MLB 14: The Show will also need to figure out what's preventing these matches from registering consistently. Otherwise, few gamers will want to waste their leisure time playing games that may or may not count.
Local Multiplayer Needs More Pitch Cursor Options
"Couch multiplayer" has been making a comeback in recent months, thanks to fun releases like Sportsfriends, TowerFall Ascension, Samurai Gunn and Nidhogg.
MLB 14: The Show does not belong on that list, until it includes an option to hide the pitch cursor's yellow breaking ball tick marks.
Since your friend can tell the exact type of pitch you've prepared just by looking at the yellow markers on the TV screen, the pitcher/batter duel begins to feel as if the pitcher is equipped with an empty water pistol, while the batter has a loaded RPG.
Disabling the pitch cursor entirely is the only way to keep friends guessing, but that option still leaves the pitcher at a significant disadvantage, since he cannot see where he's aiming his throws.
Batting Interface Lacks a Ball Icon
Speaking of pitch cursors, MLB 14: The Show could greatly reduce the frustrations of its "zone" hitting style if there was an on-screen icon that represented the ball from the time it left the pitcher's hand to the time it crosses the plate. Presently, the ball's location only appears on screen once it's inside the catcher's mitt.
Baseball titles from Konami, SEGA, Nintendo, EA Sports, Acclaim, etc., have all offered this method of hitting, yet Sony's MLB: The Show series still does not.
Fully automated baserunning and fully manual baserunning should not be baseball gamers' only choices.
Players who have experienced Konami's Pro Yakyuu Spirits and Power Pros series know what an excellent alternative the "lead baserunner only" control scheme can be.
When commanding only the lead baserunner, you still get that feeling of being in charge, without having to micro-managing two to four players at once using complicated button inputs.
Additionally, this option could become the default online baserunning method for MLB 14: The Show, providing a nice balance between total computer control and total user control.