Fans of The Show series have grown to develop high expectations for the game year in and year out. The attention to detail has always been top notch, being referred to as arguably the most realistic sports game available. MLB The Show 19 is a new, yet still familiar experience for players of all types.
If it was even possible, SIE San Diego Studio made the game even more realistic by taking a focus on the defensive side of play. In previous editions of the game, stellar defensive plays could be made by almost every player on the field. In this game, a player’s ability to make those plays is now better determined by their real life counterpart’s skill. For example, a top tier defensive player such as Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons is much better at making great catches in The Show, whereas a player of lesser defensive caliber would have a much lower chance of successfully completing an out. The Show also adds a new element to hitting, making pitches faster as the difficulty increases. This slight change keeps the player intrigued through each at-bat in the various game modes.
The Show’s “Road to the Show” career mode has been totally revamped, focusing on the type of player the user wants to be, rather than having users rely on attribute points to improve the abilities of a created player. Users can choose between five different categories for positional players, including pure power, small ball, Mr. Utility, rock steady, and the anomaly. Making a pitcher as your created player has three categories to pick from, including plain filthy, flamethrower, and control freak.
Road to the Show has users play minigames and engage in training sessions to improve abilities. They’ll also engage in dialogue with players and coaches to develop personality traits, which in turn give attribute bonuses. These changes are a huge improvement over previous career modes. The choice for which type of player you want to be works well to just give users the abilities they use the most right out of the gate. Previous career modes always start off very awkward. They felt more like a time investment dedicated to getting to those very types of players.
The “March to October” mode lets players pick one of the 30 Major League clubs and play various “key moments” throughout a team’s season. Users find themselves in moments like the bottom of the ninth inning on opening day. The player’s goal is to give their team momentum by completing the challenges successfully. This will in turn give them more wins in the simulated games between each moment. March to October gives players a more interactive version of the normal franchise mode. It’s much more nuanced and requires a deep knowledge of baseball to be successful in. The Show succeeds in giving people a fun gameplay experience while also making their way through a major league season.
Perhaps the game’s best mode is its “Moments” mode, which allows players to literally become MLB Legends. Legends such as Ken Griffey Jr., Babe Ruth, and Willie Mays, playing in their biggest career moments and completing challenges for each legend. Moments also allows players to relive some of baseballs greatest individual moments. Such moments like Tony Gwynn’s final hits or Jose Bautista’s bat flip in the 2015 Postseason. The mode even features authentic throwback stadiums, uniforms, and rosters for each legend. Moments is one of the best that The Show series has featured, providing players with a challenging and enjoyable sports gaming experience.
Overall, MLB The Show 19 gives players a fuller experience than something like R.B.I. Baseball 19. It provides updated, more realistic gameplay, along with new and revamped game modes that baseball fans and gaming fans alike will have a great time with.