The 2015 MLB season is underway, and with it comes another MLB The Show. The Show has become the leading baseball video game franchise, and a powerhouse in the sports gaming industry with its consistent improvement and commitment to making the experience as realistic as possible. This year’s The Show features plenty of visual and technical improvements that make this game a must have for sports fans and gamers alike. The attention to detail on the uniforms is also impressive, from the stitching on the jerseys to the ever-changing wrinkles in the baseball pants.
Let’s start off with how much MLB 15 The Show has improved visually. The stadiums and fields look as impressive as ever, right down to the textures of the turf and dirt. The stadiums are so true to their real counterparts that you could actually pinpoint a seat you’ve sat in at a real life game. The only thing missing from the stadiums are the occasional restaurant, retail, or beer advertisement banner or sign. The players for the most part look almost photo realistic, especially now that most of the major baseball sponsors like Nike and Under Armour are on board. Players like Bryce Harper and Jose Reyes are decked out in all of their official gear.
The control scheme has been somewhat tweaked, especially the batting controls. With the defensive shift becoming such a big strategy in baseball, there has been some control changes to help overcome the shift. The left analog stick can be used to influence a fly ball for a sacrifice fly or a ground ball through a gap in the infield. There has also been some other minor batting and pitching changes, but as always you have the option to change back to the classic controls if you’re not a fan of the new changes.
Soundtracks have never been The Show‘s strong suit, and MLB 15 The Show isn’t any different. This year’s soundtrack isn’t very impressive, but for the amount of time you’ll actually hear them it’s not a big deal. In franchise mode you’ll instead be listening to an all new radio show. The radio show recaps the previous day’s games in your franchise league, as well as injury updates and trade rumors.
MLB 15 The Show has a major focus this year on the Diamond Dynasty game mode. For those who aren’t familiar with Diamond Dynasty it is essentially a fantasy baseball mode revolving around card collecting. This year’s The Show rewards you with cards for playing games in any game mode, and even for just playing the game on a daily basis. This benefits players that usually focus on one game mode and that may have missed out on Diamond Dynasty in previous installments, since you’ll constantly be collecting cards and could possibly have a stacked team waiting for you whenever you feel like switching modes. Another improvement to Diamond Dynasty mode is the elimination of contracts. You no longer will have to collect contract extension cards and worry about a player card expiring.
The created player in Diamond Dynasty has also been revamped. Your created player can play every position on the field, and his stats can be increased by feeding him cards. For example if you’re looking for a home run king you’ll have to feed all your extra power hitter cards to increase those stats.
The Road to the Show mode has always been the cornerstone of the franchise, and this year’s mode is the most enjoyable yet. The main thing that has hampered not only RTTS mode, but The Show in general has been the lengthy load times. This year the load times are actually reasonable, which makes transitioning between the usually short RTTS games much more efficient. MLB 15 The Show‘s RTTS mode focuses mainly on showcasing your talent and raising your stock for the draft. After the showcase games you’ll be drafted based on how well you did or didn’t do. If you are unsatisfied with your draft result you can elect to return to school, receive some stat points, and repeat the process. Also new this year is the ability to assign equipment cards to your player with stat boosts. These stat boosting cards are acquired the same as the Diamond Dynasty cards, and may give you the little edge you need to become a top prospect. There are some things still left to be desired in RTTS, specifically in regards to the player customization. It would have been nice to see San Diego Studio and Sony take advantage of the camera capabilities, like NBA 2K15 and its face scan player customization. With that being said, Road To The Show is still one of the most entertaining game modes in all of sports gaming.
Last but not least is the major game changer in Franchise mode, the ability to carry over saves from last year’s game. This is something that has always hindered sports games in general, the fact that every year you have to start over with a brand new franchise and lose all of your progress. All of your roster changes and records carry over, and you get to experience all of the new features MLB 15 The Show has to offer. This new feature gives MLB 14 The Show players a bit more incentive to give this year’s game a try.
MLB 15 The Show continues the franchises’s trend of being the top sports game with it’s revamped visuals and consistently improving game modes. There is still some room to improve with player customization and soundtrack selection, but MLB 15 The Show is well worth they money for baseball fans and gamers.