The de facto standard in video game baseball from Sony is back and it does not disappoint. MLB 13: The Show could easily have sat back and rested on their laurels this year, due to the lack of competition (i.e., progress) from MLB 2K13, but rather, they completely revamped their presentation system and advanced their game to a new level.
While MLB 13: The Show may look graphically similar to previous games, possibly due to maxing out the hardware, a complete overhaul of their presentation brings a refreshing feel to this year’s release. Specifically, within Road To The Show, hitting and fielding camera systems have been completely changed. Now when you hit a ball in play, the camera zooms behind your head to give you a 3rd person view of the ball’s path to allow you to make better base running decisions. This is also true with fielding. When a ball is hit, the camera pulls closer to you, giving you a better viewpoint to field the ball, as well as a new reticule guiding you to where the ball is hit.
Not only have changes come to the visual presentation, but also the audio presentation. A noticeable change is the addition of Steve Lyons to the booth. Another big change found in the Road To The Show mode is the change to first person sound while you are on the field. When playing as your player you will only hear the on the field action, not hearing commentary until after the play has completed.
Additionally, a brand new Postseason mode is dedicated to providing a more realistic atmosphere for playoff baseball, including more amped up fans, postseason-specific commentary and stadium dressings. While this presentation can be used in the Postseason specific mode where you can select teams to battle for a World Series ring, it is also integrated into the Franchise mode.
That battle is made much easier with this year toning down of the hitting difficulty. In the past even on the Veteran difficulty, hitting was difficult for many gamers. Swings with Perfect timing and contact would routinely end up in ground balls to the middle infielders. This year the hitting window has been opened up allowing you a greater amount of time to make solid contact, because of this, even casual players can ramp up and be confident on the All-Star difficulty.
Diamond Dynasty has all become easier for casual players to get into. In the past users were able to max out Dynasty Players training stats to 99. This year, each player has caps to how high each attribute can go. This makes it a lot more accessible, because last year, the majority of online players would increase their players to 99 and hit home runs almost every at bat, making for a very unexciting experience.
Another big change to Diamond Dynasty is the increase in Dynasty Budget that you earn after each game. In the past, an online win would net you around 2,000,000 B, because of that it would take you about three wins to afford a pack of Dynasty Players which runs you 5,000,000 for the basic pack. Now, a win nets you around 6,000,000 which can almost get you an MLB Player Pack, which starts at 7,500,000. This makes the mode a lot easier for players to get in to and start playing with good players.
With the additions to the presentation over the past few years, MLB 13 is a big leap over its predecessors. Assuming that the main Sony San Diego team will be moving onto development of MLB on the PS4, this is as perfect a game to end the generation on. Of course Sony will continue to develop the MLB The Show on the PS3 for years to come, however, and as it stands, this is the pinnacle of the series.
If you are a baseball fan with a PS3, there is no reason for you to hessitate to run out and pick up MLB 13: The Show.
MLB 13: The Show is available now on the PS3 and PS Vita. Game Rant played the PS3 version for its review.