In this week’s Three Point Thursday, Matt Blumenthal examines the appeal of MLB '08: The Show’s Road to the Show mode.
Point #1: We all grew up wanting to be professional athletes.
If you’re reading this column, I can almost guarantee that you wanted to be a professional athlete when you were a kid. In fact, I’ll go one step further and wager that you dreamed of playing major league ball -- and if you didn’t, what’s the matter with you? Some of you probably still dream about it, but at some point the majority of us have to force ourselves to surrender to the harsh realities of everyday life, and we stop chasing the dream. However, we never relinquish that precious part of our childhood, and our heroes on the field always remain dear to us.
Point #2: Sports games don’t just let us play as our heroes, but they allow us live our dreams for a moment.
Playing as our favorite team and players presents us with a unique perspective as fans, but creating ourselves allows us to move even closer to the action. Sports games have featured the capability to create our own players for over a decade now, and sports gamers have seized this opportunity over the years to create themselves as players in the games. It doesn’t even have to be yourself that you create; simply having your own player makes all the difference. Regardless of the sport, the feature offers a fun twist while playing the game and permits us to play with and against the guys we see on television every night. Sure, it’s not quite the same as playing in the professional ranks, but it gives us a small taste of our dream without all of the sacrifices that normally go along with achieving it.
Point #3: Create-a-player has gotten a bit stale over the last decade.
But let’s face it: create-a-player really hasn’t changed much since its introduction. Sure, it has evolved over the years along with the graphics, but its ability to bring you closer to the field has barely changed. First you create yourself, and then you put him on a team, allowing you to see yourself, control yourself, and if you have a common last name, maybe you will be fortunate enough to hear the announcers say your name. But you’d think that with all of the innovations we’ve seen in sports games over the last decade, this crucial area would not have gone virtually unnoticed.
The Point: MLB '08: The Show’s Road to the Show mode gives you the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Road to the Show gives you plenty of options when you create your player and in terms entering the organization of your choice. Finally, you have your own reality where you can essentially live as one player and play a central role in his journey through the minor leagues.
MLB '07: The Show built the foundation for this mode last year, but it still felt lacking in some ways. With the new and improved goals system, you face the same challenges as real-life minor leaguers trying to prove themselves and work their way up the ladder to the big leagues. Now, you can finally step up to the plate or toe the rubber as your virtual-self.