MLB: The Show is a long-standing Major League Baseball video game series by SIE San Diego Studio, published by Sony Computer Entertainment, and the 2016 installment just goes to show the improvement and the effort invested in every game since the debut in 2006. Published in March 2016, the game is available for both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 and it’s one of the sports game titles of the year, proving to be a great and established baseball sim experience building on the success of MLB: The Show 15.
MLB: The Show 16 Game Modes
We have seen remodeled and newly introduced game modes with MLB: The Show 16. Firstly, Road to the Show has returned with new features such as the Scout day which gives a real feel to start your career by showing your capabilities to provide top notch performance and impress the crowds. After completing the drills, there is an official report where you get the comparison of your skills to what was perceived by the scouts. Also, the Franchise mode in MLB: The Show is improved with unprecedented depth in both the pools and information available which will actually make trading and changes easier based on morale and consequently overall rating.
The Conquest Mode
The all-new Conquest mode creates a challenge for your Diamond Dynasty team where you face all 30 MLB teams to take in new territories in North America while also defending your own when attacked. You thus play or simulate the minimum three-inning games to capture the whole North America and reaching fame.
Battle Royale mode
The other new mode is Battle Royale, which is similar to Conquest mode but you play against other players. The PvP is also played in minimum three inning games with 25 rounds to draft your team. You can win bonus cards with 20 straight wins, but if you lose two games you are out. Entry costs 1,500 stubs but you can join the first time for free to learn the ropes.
The Show 16 is, of course, similar to the last year’s installment of the series but there are some crucial improvements and changes that make the game even better. We have already discussed the improvements to specific game modes and the gameplay within them, but it’s definitely worth mentioning other tweaks.
Firstly, we’ve loved the Fish Eye camera as the default when batting! It gives a wider sight of the pitch and allows you to see all the infielders at that moment. You have more control over the game and you can see the ball where the ball goes at all times.
Secondly, the game is much faster and you can play more games as you are not returned to the menu after each match in the Road to the Show and you do not have to wait for the loading each time. Thus, you spend much more time actually playing the games and you are able to level somewhat faster.
There are also consumable and passive perks once you start leveling, where you have something like superpowers or sixth senses needed to become an MLB superstar. These sometimes do feel like cheats changing the situations in your favor but if you’d like to use those, you have to take it smart as they are limited.
Consumable perks can be used at any time during the match but they are available only once during a game while Passive perks activate automatically in certain situations. Whenever used, the perks will take part of your ShowTime meter which is an ultimate cost.
ShowTime is a cool new feature very much similar to Bullet Time, where you actually slow down the time when you need to make actions of critical importance. As mentioned, you can actually rationalize this with the adrenaline the MLB stars feel while batting and taking it out of the pitch or making amazing defensive plays. There is a meter you need to pace throughout the match and save it for situations where you need it the most, and using perks also affects it connecting the ‘sixth’ senses at your disposal.
The Road to the Show indeed encourages playing more and leveling up to become more competitive than previous installments did. This especially shows as you can play multiple matches with no breaks and long waiting times, with easier access to the training screens while still in-game which largely improves the speed you go through the series. This will easily pull you into the MLB world and have playing The Show for hours.
While MLB: The Show 16 is very similar to the 2015 installment of the game, we have seen many animations completely redone and integrated into a great, realistic baseball experience. The changes from pitching to fielding positions are much smoother and the general stances look more genuine. The overall stadium atmosphere and most of the models are done correctly.
While we were rather happy with the overall graphics and the performance, seeing many models improved to remarkable likeness we could not help but notice there were still some creepy mishaps, especially in the minors while playing our Road to the Show career. While this is unfortunate, the game does give a very good player experience and these, of course, did not break our impression of the realistic baseball sim.
MLB: The Show 16 is one of the long-standing sports franchises and it actually delivers what its worth. The game is still the same old baseball sim we’ve loved but it was improved to the last year’s installment just enough for us to want to buy it and a baseball fan can’t go wrong here. Developers finally speed up the process of going through the series and introduced the perks, which enable players to level up faster. To top that, with enhanced realism, animation, and game modes make the game much more enjoyable and appealing to a wider specter of gamers.
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