Thursday, March 12, 2020

"MLB The Show 20" Review

Of all the traditions that launch a new baseball season, booting up the new "MLB The Show" game is maybe the one that induces the most chills. It's a way to peak through the blinders of Spring Training into the season, with freshly stacked rosters beckoning hope to even the lowliest of teams.

If "MLB The Show 20" were an MLB team, it would be the Dodgers -- stacked with a ludicrous amount of talent and ability, albeit with a few questions of whether it will all pull together as a cohesive whole.

Like all annual sports releases, the wear and tear of the long season will be the true test of the title's mettle -- with on-the-fly updates and server integrity needed to prove its worth as an evolving service. It's hard to ask for a more promising leadoff showing, though.

The 15th edition of the game, and final PlayStation exclusive edition before it goes multiplatform next year, continues the franchise's confident dominance on the basepath.

Crisp visuals combine with surprisingly incisive and occasionally cruel commentary to make up a well-rounded presentation that matches the feel you get on broadcast and streaming. Animations are meticulous and convincing, but don't take away from the speed and urgency of the gameplay, which flows at a hectic, no-nonsense speed to which the real-life game can only aspire.

Nearly every legacy mode got a significant upgrade. Road to the Show, in which you play as a Minor Leaguer working your way up through the farm system, has more of an RPG feel.
Diamond Dynasty -- the game's answer to EA's fantasy, card-based team-building "Ultimate Team" obsession -- gets a more exhaustive range of players and a plethora of ways to tweak and upgrade your squad.

The most intriguing addition is March to October, in which you watch your team's progress from afar, stepping in at decisive moments to alter your team's fate.

Whether "MLB The Show 20" goes down as one of the greats or makes a promising start only to fade like so many Arizona Diamondbacks remains to be seen, but hope and excitement loom as large for the new game as it does for the season itself.

Publisher provided review code.

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