'MLB 12: The Show' Review

'MLB 12: The Show' Review
Mark Buehrle

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That seemed to be the approach the MLB 12: The Show team took for this season’s game as there weren’t any drastic changes to this year’s title, which is not always a bad thing. Sometimes minor tweaks and additions to a solid title are all you need, and that is what MLB 12: The Show gives you.

The biggest addition to this year’s title is Diamond Dynasty mode. Diamond Dynasty is similar to EA Sports’ Ultimate Team modes in Madden, FIFA, NHL, etc., but Diamond Dynasty has its differences. In Diamond Dynasty you’ll have generic players where you can edit names and appearance. The generic players, or prospects, will have longer contracts than the MLB players you get in the packs of cards, so you’ll want to try and build them up and not rely as much on the MLB players. You’ll also have a pretty deep logo customization tool so you can create the perfect logo for your team. Other than that, Diamond Dynasty is similar to Ultimate Team: buy packs of cards (with credits or real money), train your players, play with your custom team online/offline to earn credits, etc…

MLB 12: The Show introduces new options for both hitting and pitching this season. Zone Analog Batting allows you to control where you swing in the zone with the left analog stick, while striding and swinging with the right analog stick. You can also just use Zone Batting where you can control where you swing in the zone with the left analog stick, but use X for contact swing and the square button for a power swing. Pitching wise, MLB 12: The Show has added Pulse Pitching to the many pitching options on the game. Pulse Pitching gives you a pulsating target and you’ll have to time your pitch when the target is at its smallest. The smaller the target when you throw your pitch, the more accurate the pitch. And as with previous “Show” titles, you have the ability to change all the options and customize the gameplay to your liking, for online and offline play.

My favorite new feature for MLB 12: The Show (and I didn’t think it would be) is the cross-platform functionality with the PS Vita. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a nice idea, but didn’t think I would use it all that much – I was wrong. You can start your franchise on your PlayStation 3, save the file to the cloud, download it to your PS Vita and continue your franchise. You can also do this with Season mode and Road to the Show mode. You are limited to one file save per mode. I have played 20 games in my franchise and half of my games have been played on the PS Vita. So when my wife takes over the TV to watch one of her mind-numbing TLC reality shows, I can just fire up the PS Vita and keep my franchise moving. Hopefully, more sports game will follow suit.

Online play continues to be a problem for the “Show” franchise. I’ve played a handful of games online and there was a tremendous amount of lag. This has been an issue for years and it always leads to me rarely playing an online game.

Graphically, MLB 12: The Show looks great and plays great. As with all “Show” titles, it’s ridiculously hard to hit – and yes, I takes pitches and work the count, but hitting is still a chore on this game. You’ll need to adjust sliders or just lower the overall difficulty.

Overall, MLB 12: The Show is a solid game and a must have for baseball gamers.

SCORE: 8.5 out of 10

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