MLB 15: The Show is another great entry into a series that has been wonderfully recreating on field action for the past couple of years. If you are a fan of baseball simulations and want to get lost for awhile, definitely pick up this title.
Required Disk Space:
- 40GB Minimum
Supported Video Output:
- Blu-ray Disk
- DualShock 4
Average Playing Time:
- 77 Hours
- DTS Digital Surround
- Dolby Digital
MLB 15: The Show on the PlayStation 4 is the tenth entry in the Major League Baseball franchise, this game was developed by Sony San Diego and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. This game was released on March 31, 2015.
Every year another MLB title gets released to console owners everywhere. Much like the inevitable Cardinals playoff run or the 'out of nowhere slugger' who gets caught juicing the MLB series finds a way to our console. This year we got our hands on the PlayStation 4 version.
MLB 15: The Show is another great entry into a series that has been wonderfully recreating on field action for the past couple of years. If you are a fan of baseball simulations and want to get lost for awhile, definitely pick up this title. Let's get a bit more detailed though and find out why you should check this title out.
In last years entry, MLB 14: The Show, we got to see a couple of interesting new features: Player Lock and Quick Count. These two modes helped cut down on the length of time that you would spend playing actual games. The modes were meant to give a speedier game without resort to Arcade like tactics. They worked. Despite them working there were still big issues with MLB 14, including the unforgivably long load times between gameplay segments. When we booted up MLB 15 that was first on our wishlist of remedies, and it was immediately crossed off.
When we booted up the title we were immediately struck with how smooth the entire game looked, even from the menus. Hit with the perfect blend of rock and hip hop, we were inundated with a variety of menus offering to fulfill whatever we wanted to accomplish in the game. Jumping into the exhibition was the quickest way to get a taste of what MLB 15: The Show had to offer. We jumped in as the Blue Jays and selected the Yankees as our opponents, in Toronto.
The match loaded up quickly and we were promptly hit with excellent broadcast level presentation. We were given a quick aerial shot of the stadium and the announcers immediately began reeling off pertinent information for the game that was about to star. Masahiro Tanaka was on the mound and they showed his stats. Before long we were up to bat and ready to actually get the game going. That's where we saw the first of our many favored improvements: directional hitting.
Taking a page out of 'so obvious, why wasn't it always like this?' hitters now control where they aim their swings. Using the left stick in the direction that you want to hit will allow you to employ batting strategies. If you notice that the shift is on you can try to squeeze a ball through the game. If you are hitting with a guy like Jose Bautista, and the out fielders are deep, you can try to squirt one into the shallow outfield. Directional hitting may make choosing your spots easier, but hitting isn't simplified. Much like actual baseball, it is almost impossible to anticipate where the pitch is actually going to end up. If you choose to directionally swing in one direction while the pitch goes to another spot, you look like an idiot and will quickly rack up the strike outs. The rest of the technique is a little more complicated but nothing that a few ABs won't make you comfortable with. If you end up NOT liking the directional hitting, for whatever reason, you can simply toggle it off in your menu.
Pitching in MLB 15: The Show for the PS4 is also different. Pitch trails allow you to map out where your next toss should end up and whether it is in the strike zone or not. Fans of The Show series will remember that prior entries only gave you a vague idea as to where your pitch will end up. While some may claim that this change is a bit of hand holding, we liked having a clear idea of what was going to happen. It didn't actually make the game any easier and it allowed us to partake in a more precise version of the VERY precise sport that we love. The pitching trail also serves to show how different Aces are from end of the rotation #5 starters. David Price will let you place the ball wherever you want whereas a guy like Travis Wood will struggle, even with the pitching trails activated.
Pitching and hitting are just 2/3rds of the game we love. Fielding takes the final piece of the puzzle and it has also seen some improvements, this time to make things more difficult. One of the biggest issues we had with the series, from a perspective simulation, was how magnetic our defenders acted in relation to the baseball. Now instead of having our fielders b-line directly for the pop up, we have to guide them more instead. You can't automatically find it like you were drawn to it by an invisible string. This makes fielding a little more difficult but a whole lot more rewarding. Better out fielders have better coverage and getting to that tough pop up is so much more enjoyable. It actually feels like it matters, which is nice for a part of the game that many people over look.
The graphical experience of MLB 15: The Show is pretty much glorious. Being an officially licensed game with a hard working development team has paid off handsomely. MLB 15 has perfect stadium recreations and the players on the field actually look like their real life counter part. The problem of wooden fans still exists, though they interact much more appropriately in this title: getting on their feet in important moments and cheering when something clutch happens.
Unfortunately the audio side of the game doesn't quite live up to the rest of the experience. Eric Karros, Steve Lyons, and Matt Vasgersian are about as interesting as vanilla: providing all facts and no flair, mostly in generalities.
MLB 15: The Show is the idea baseball game for fans of the sport. We can't recommend it enough.