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MLB 15 The Show Is the Series' Magnum Opus
 
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It happened when my 35-52 Philadelphia Phillies were shut out for their third game in a row. It’s a rebuilding year and no one is expecting the playoffs, of course, but three shutouts in a row? At this point in the season, Hamels, Lee, Ruiz, Harang, Williams and Revere are no longer Phillies - so why I’m still playing every game and acting like it's the World Series is beyond me.

But then it hit me: this game is so fluid and realistic that losing doesn’t matter. It feels just and it is just. Every strikeout is earned (with the exception of a few horrid calls on the part of The Show’s umpiring crew), every bomb that my pitching staff gives up is a result of poor skill, and every little bit of success feels like a paycheck after a hard days work. I was willing to lose another fifteen games in a row if it meant that I got to keep playing MLB: The Show 15. This year’s title is like a sturdy statue that has been chiseled to near-perfection. There are flaws, as there are with any work of art, but the game’s elegance and refinement make them so easy to overlook. It’s time to realize MLB: The Show 15 for what it really is: SCEA’s magnum opus.

Franchise mode is still a bit of a mess, but everything is tight and easy to understand, and the realistic gameplay lends credence to every move that’s made off the field. It is so easy to spend several hours roaming the trade screens as you weigh the pros and cons of dumping your ace in order for a better future. Are a couple of top prospects really worth Chad Billingsley being the new No. 1 in your rotation? There is certainly an attachment that stems from the immersive gameplay - most players have an individual look and feel to them, and if they don’t, you usually end up creating it by yourself. For instance, there are guys in this game that I absolutely cannot hit with, especially players that are well known hackers in real-life. Young prospect Maikel Franco is already has a reputation in my franchise for wearing the “golden sombrero” far too often. Conversely, patient hitters like Chase Utley are no problem. The great thing about this is every player feels different, which is something I’ve always struggled with in past years of The Show.
 
 
The game is so good because of its security that the likely thing to happen isn’t always the thing that is going to happen. Despite it’s lack of important advanced statistics in the game, SCEA has a perfect understanding of how variance plays a role in baseball. After my three shutouts in a row, I dropped twenty runs on Mike Leake and the Cincinnati Reds. Aaron Harang has a sub-3 ERA while Strasburg is pulling a 4+. These weird bits of variance make every game feel new and provide a unique sense of hope after every failure. MLB: The Show 15 is the best at keeping these moments contained, rather than just having things feel like random chance. “Good” players won’t always succeed and “bad” players aren’t always going to fail. The fickleness of it all is perfectly measured and makes every waking moment of The Show feel unique.

The core gameplay is perfect. That shouldn’t be something thrown around lightly and it isn’t. Everything that is good about MLB: The Show 15 is rooted in the fact that every little thing that you do is going to boil down to this fantastic game of cat and mouse between the pitcher and the hitter. There is no other game where playing against the CPU feels more lifelike than it does here, as pitchers continuously attack hitter’s weak spots and throw off-speed at all of the right times. Mistakes are hard to come by, but when they do, hitters make the best of it. There is a tiny margin for error in MLB: The Show and depending on who you’re putting up to the plate or on the mound, the margin grows and shrinks respectively. The game is precise and it doesn’t bother hiding that from its users.

This year’s game is the apex of the series, and perhaps of the entire sports gaming genre. It all circles back to SCEA’s willingness to give its consumers a choice in how they play the game. Multiple difficulties (all of which are usable, by the way), sliders that perform properly, and an abundance of control and gameplay options - all of which can be shifted around until you’ve found your perfect experience. This isn’t a game that’s meant to be played any one way, it’s a game that feels so comfortable in its own skin that it lets you make the important decisions. This game is the statue that SCEA has built, but thankfully, they have given us the tools to whittle it down in any way that we would like. For that, MLB: The Show 15 is a true work of art.

MLB 15 The Show Videos
Member Comments
# 1 Armor and Sword @ 06/11/15 11:32 AM



I could not have said it better myself. Offline MLB The Show 15 has been a joy. I have never played the game as much as I am right now. It literally has not left my PS4 since 3/31/15 I can't bring myself to take it out and pop in another game. Every time I finish a game, whether it is one of my offline franchise games, a Diamond Dynasty game or an online franchise game, I find myself always saying.....one more. The game has made so many under the hood refinements this year that have brought it to a new level of realism on the field. Playing the CPU is unlike any other sports game experience in my history of playing the genre. The CPU will exploit your weakness as the OP pointed out in his article.

Crazy thing is they are going to continue to refine and build off this solid soul. My hope is more advanced and deeper statistic tracking comes (which is priority one) in MLB 16 and online franchise is refined to play like offline franchise. Also Diamond Dynasty has been the mother of all surprises for me. 40% of my game time has come playing that superbly fun fantasy baseball mode. I love it.

But I always come back to offline franchise. It is the heart and soul of the game for me personally. Couple that with our incredible roster community, I have never had more fun playing console baseball than right now. I feel like I am 15 all over again.

Thank you SCEA!!!
 
# 2 Bullit @ 06/11/15 12:37 PM
I am so glad someone else shares my opinion on this. With all of the negativity in this forum this year, I truly felt that I was just about the only one that loved this game.

Honestly for me it doesn't get much better than this. I have never had so much fun with this title as I am having this year. I usually play one Franchise and one RTTS every year. Well now I have 3 franchise teams going. Two RTTS and I just set up a play off grid with the worst teams in baseball to decide who my next franchise is going to be.

I truly do love this game more that I have ever loved it before.

Thank you
 
# 3 Turbojugend @ 06/11/15 12:50 PM
It's refreshing to see a purely positive, non-critical piece every now and then. I'm sure you'll be getting counter points about everything that is absolutely "broken" with this game, but we sometimes we just need to step back and appreciate what we have. MLB 15: The Show deserves praise, it's a tremendous sports game. Thumbs up.
 
# 4 ASUBoy93 @ 06/11/15 01:31 PM
I really like The Show 15, but taking away last year's pure analog holds it back from me for being a truly all-time great game. The graphics are terrific, pitching/fielding is great, and the franchise mode is much deeper than any other respective games'.

I was annoyed the other day though when I had a perfect game going with Felix Hernandez in the 8th and the defense gave up 5 unearned runs to give him a lose with a 0.00 ERA. But that's my own personal hangup and not the game's fault.
 
# 5 AvengedAgainst @ 06/11/15 01:37 PM
So your not getting line drives hit right at your shortstop and him ducking like a coward?

You start a paragraph with "The core gameplay is perfect." I completely disagree. While it is great from a hitters and pitchers perspective, the fielding and throwing is atrocious.

Don't get me wrong, I love this game but if somebody bought a PS4 and The Show just by reading this they would be highly disappointed.
 
# 6 BenGerman @ 06/11/15 01:44 PM
Thanks for the praise, everyone. I'm usually like the lone critic of The Show on OS, but I'm marveling at how organic the gameplay feels this year. I've played 100+ games already and haven't gotten sick of it at all.

I've changed my position that the game needs an overhaul to that I think it just needs to keep piling on the new animations where it can. The ones they added this year have really helped keep the game fresh, for me.
 
# 7 RogueHominid @ 06/11/15 03:26 PM
Exactly right. This game captures the variance of the sport with amazing fidelity. It's hard to overstate how right they got this aspect of the game that is so central to the baseball experience.
 
# 8 Bullit @ 06/11/15 03:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvengedAgainst
So your not getting line drives hit right at your shortstop and him ducking like a coward?

You start a paragraph with "The core gameplay is perfect." I completely disagree. While it is great from a hitters and pitchers perspective, the fielding and throwing is atrocious.

Don't get me wrong, I love this game but if somebody bought a PS4 and The Show just by reading this they would be highly disappointed.
Or they could be absolutely delighted. You cant deal in absolutes here. Just because you have issues, doesn't mean everyone else will or does.

As much as people say they keep seeing the Vets and Show supporters bashing everybody who doesn't like something in this game should really take a step back. i am certainly not speaking for everybody but a lot of us have tried to help anybody with issues with this game find solutions that help with the situation. I think we can find just as many cases of us being shot down and told we are fanboys and obviously this game is wrong and so are you.

So if you want to say someone who buys The Show and a PS4 from reading posts on OS is going to be disappointed, I will gladly stand on the opposite side of that argument.
 
# 9 SDwinder @ 06/11/15 03:37 PM
No doubt, the PS4 version is the very best baseball game I have played in 30 years. Big step up over last year. Love the Diamond Dynasty mode too.
 
# 10 Armor and Sword @ 06/11/15 03:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDwinder
No doubt, the PS4 version is the very best baseball game I have played in 30 years. Big step up over last year. Love the Diamond Dynasty mode too.
Right on man. I have been saying this about each iteration since 2009. That is the sign of a great product.

It get's better and better and better.

Did they remove some things I want back? Yep. But that happens in sports games. But as long as the core game play keeps improving I am cool with some subtle changes to certain things and I typically learn and adapt to other ways to getting the info I want in-game. Some presentation elements missing now? Yeah...but I got past it already. I have played far too many games to even think about it anymore. The game is too much fun.

But no question for me this was a big leap from MLB 14 on the PS3....huge leap for me on the field and online. I also played 14 on the PS4....same thing a big leap for me this year. It feels and looks next gen now.
 
# 11 Padgoi @ 06/11/15 04:00 PM
Is it a great game? Yes.
Are there shortcomings? Yes.
 
# 12 sactown_13 @ 06/11/15 04:09 PM
Been my favorite Show so far and I, like many of you, pick it up every year. I've had such a good time with it I can't bring myself to play the witches or elder scrolls yet and I love those series. Thanks for a great game SCEA
 
# 13 ManiacMatt1782 @ 06/11/15 04:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvengedAgainst
So your not getting line drives hit right at your shortstop and him ducking like a coward?

You start a paragraph with "The core gameplay is perfect." I completely disagree. While it is great from a hitters and pitchers perspective, the fielding and throwing is atrocious.

Don't get me wrong, I love this game but if somebody bought a PS4 and The Show just by reading this they would be highly disappointed.
That happens much more with 1st Baseman, even guys like Adrien Gonzales.
 
# 14 DJ @ 06/11/15 04:19 PM
I'm in agreement. Having a blast with this game (changed things up a bit and am using all Analog controls and manual fielding). This and NBA 2K15 have made my PS4 purchase in January well worth the investment.
 
# 15 johnlnames @ 06/11/15 04:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvengedAgainst
So your not getting line drives hit right at your shortstop and him ducking like a coward?

You start a paragraph with "The core gameplay is perfect." I completely disagree. While it is great from a hitters and pitchers perspective, the fielding and throwing is atrocious.

Don't get me wrong, I love this game but if somebody bought a PS4 and The Show just by reading this they would be highly disappointed.
I agree, the fielding in this game can be awful most of the time. You get stuck in animations and their reaction time can be unbelievably bad. I still love this game, but you're right. I got a few people to buy this game and they have already turned it in, due to the defensive flaws in this game.
 
# 16 supermanemblem @ 06/11/15 07:39 PM
I have to disagree. This year's game has some great qualities, but the overall gameplay is the horrible. The comeback code is alive and well in this game. Umps start squeezing the zone, .200 hitters turn into Ted Williams and defensive players run around blind-folded. I know about the sliders. I fiddle with the sliders and I cannot get them to simulate a decent game.

1. The CPU has 100 times more hit paths than human. I play zone and cannot believe the CPU is hitting HRs when their PCI is no where near the ball.
2. The CPU has 10 times the defensive range. If I don't hit a homerun, it's not going over the outfielders heads. On base hits with a man on second, the outfielder is 5 steps off the infield grass when they are throwing to the plate. In my last game, my 2B ducked on a critical line drive hit directly at him. WTF??
3. I feel like I'm watching Final Destination when the CPU is about to doogle me: two out walk to the #8 hitter, the pitcher hits a bleeder over the mound, the leadoff hitter slaps a cue shot past my 3B, then the #2 slaps an 0-2 slider which was supposed to be in the dirt into the gap to clear the bases.
4. Human defenders have no awareness of base runners and can take their sweet *** time making throws at the wrong time. While the CPU players make accurate off-balance throws.
5. The fielding animations is straight b.s. on ground balls too.
BONUS: They even spelled "Champions" wrong on Arizona's banners.

MLB 13 was the best game since it came to PS3/PS4. I knew this day would come, but I never thought I would go out like this. I've been gaming since the late 70's, so I've had a great run. I had the following systems when they first came out: Atari 5200, Colecovision, Commodore 64, NES, Genesis, Super Nintendo, Saturn, Gameboy, Playstation (1-4), DS, PSP and Vita, and have been playing sports games the entire time. I think it's time to leave these sports game to the youngsters.
 
# 17 CujoMatty @ 06/11/15 11:05 PM
This game is just so unbelievably good. If I don't play it every day it makes me sad lol. It has its issues like every other game ever but I can't get enough of it.
 
# 18 LowerWolf @ 06/12/15 12:32 AM
It's not perfect, but I think the gameplay is the best it's ever been. And it's been pretty darn good in the past.
 
# 19 Pappy Knuckles @ 06/12/15 06:11 AM
The developers didn't try to reinvent the wheel since the last game, but the tweaks that they did implement have made this a much improved edition. It's not something that would necessarily jump out at you when watching videos, though. It's one of those things that you have to "feel" by actually playing the game.

I've always been a big fan of online gaming because I find that many sports titles offer a mundane and repetitive single player experience. That's definitely not the case here. I find my games against the CPU to be highly entertaining and every one feels like a unique experience. I've mostly just been running exhibitions with random teams lately and having a blast.
 
# 20 CaseIH @ 06/12/15 09:39 AM
MLBTS has been great every since I got smart and bought a PS3 back in 09 and got rid of that crap called MLB2k. The only yr I didn't really get into the game was MLBTS10, because of the relievers playing in way too many games, but other than that yr once this game comes out I have a hard time putting it down.

MLB15 is definitely the best game to date, they really nailed it with gameplay this yr and even using the stock pitching repertoires isn't as bad as it has been in the past to where the game is unplayable without pitch edits.

The new pitch movements and how fielders especially OF'ers will misplay balls is what really makes this yrs game standout. Graphics are great, but graphics every year have always been top notch in this game.

The game does have some flaws, but every game does. The announcers saying wrong names is really the only thing I have found that just annoys me to know end, although it don't happen overly often it does it enough to be annoying to me.

I would like to see Real time presentation be brought back, to where its like your at the game and there isnt replays, as I really liked that presentation when they had it in the game.
 

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