MLB 15 The Show Review (PS3)
For the past few years, the motto for MLB The Show has been "baseball is better." This year, the Sony team has certainly made baseball gaming even better than it was last year; not just for new-gen users, but for PS3 users as well. With all the focus being on the PS4 edition, the PS3 has been largely overlooked. However, that does not mean it has been ignored by SCEA.
The gameplay in MLB 15 The Show is great, which is no surprise. What is a surprise, though, is that even on PS3 it is quite a bit better than it was in last year's title. The addition of directional hitting has given the user more hitting control, along with a bit of added difficulty when using the new feature. User fielding is smoother and more seamless than it has been in the past, and it gives the on-field action a more fluid and authentic feel. Additionally, enjoyable features like quick counts and dynamic difficulties are still in the game this year.
There is one major flaw with core gameplay, and that is a lagging and freezing issue. This issue occurs throughout all modes and can be extremely frustrating. There is not a certain point where the lag occurs most often, but having the game lag right before you release a pitch and subsequently giving up a walk will not make you a happy camper. The freezing issue occurs most often immediately following the games, which is likely due to post-game auto saves. Again, it is extremely frustrating when you finish a great game just to have to shut off your system and start all over. These issues will likely be addressed in a patch, but until then they are huge flaws in an otherwise incredible gameplay experience.
Presentation & Graphics
The broadcast graphics have been updated from last year and look good, but other than that there is not much to say about presentation. The commentary is bland and boring, as usual. Graphics, however, are quite a bit sharper than last year. The ballpark environments looks improved with better shadows and weather conditions, and a new seating variation in the stadiums that keeps most of the upper decks empty and fills the lower seats, just like in actual stadiums.
Offline Game Modes
The offline modes are as plentiful and as fun as ever. While both Franchise mode and Road to the Show (RttS) remain largely unchanged, they are still refined. Plus, we are able to continue our saved games from last year's edition allows us to carry on the legacies we have already started both on the field and in the front office. For RttS, items acquired in The Show Store can be used to improve your player's abilities, even though the gear is not seen in-game on this system.
The online portion of this game is much like the rest of the game: a refined version of last year's title. MLB 15 The Show features Online Franchise, Online Exhibitions, Diamond Dynasty, and all the usual works from last year's game. Notice the pattern yet? Diamond Dynasty is great for those of you who are ultimate team gurus, and Online Franchises are a chance for players to top their friends (or fellow OS users) for World Series titles. The online connectivity has been inconsistent for me thus far, but overall not a bad experience. I have seen a few instances of lag just like in offline game modes, but not very often.
With the PS4 becoming the main focus in this series, SCEA could have slapped a roster update on MLB 14 The Show, and called it a day. But much to the relief of current PS3 users, they actually put time and effort into the last-gen version of MLB 15 The Show and gave us a game that we can enjoy even more than we enjoyed last year's. The lag and freezing can be a real pain, no doubt, however a patch should be in the works to address these issues.
If you haven't bought a PlayStation 4 yet, this game is a no-brainer for purchase. It is an improvement from last year and it is hauling a price tag of just $40.
Learning Curve- The biggest adjustment is learning how to use directional hitting. Other than that, it is very similar to last year. Using dynamic difficulty will make the game easy to learn and adjust to in general.
Control Scheme- MLB 15 The Show offers a ton of control options in all different aspects of the game. With some experimentation you are sure to find a scheme that suits you.
Audio- Taking advantage of Sounds of the Show will greatly improve what you hear in-game, but other than that the audio portion of the game is the same as it has been in the past.
Visuals- Aside from occasional lag, this game is visually stunning.
Online-The modes are fun to play and deep, but connection can be inconsistent.
Lasting Appeal- This game continues the great reputation that SCEA carries with this series. It is a fun and realistic game with tons of modes for users to immerse themselves in all year long.
Score: 7 (Good)