MLB 08: The Show PSP Review
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Once again MLB 08: The Show delivers as expected. There is no competition anywhere for this franchise and even though 2K Sports is trying hard with their MLB 2K series, they’re still coming up short. It’ll be another couple of years before they can really compete.
- Road to the Show improvements
- Solid online play
- Great pitcher/hitter analysis
- Visual tearing is rough
- Camera angles are too tight
- Lack of throwing meter
After an above average showing with MLB 07: The Show last year, SCE San Diego upped their game for the release of MLB 08: The Show on the PlayStation Portable. This time around they decided to take the positive from both the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game and throw them into one small portable format. The big question here is, did they strikeout while doing so or did they finally hit that round tripper. Even though the game is an upgrade from last year’s installment, we’ll rest pat with calling it a triple at best.
MLB 08: The Show on the PSP does a lot of things right and finally removed a lot of the issues that was plaguing the title last year. The problem with this is the fact that most of the time you improve upon an issue another issue seems to spring up causing a glaring problem within the game as well. This seems to be a serious issue with this title and actually detracts from the one mode that makes it so great to begin with, Road to the Show.
Everyone who played last year’s version can attest to the reoccurring framerate issues that cropped up during gameplay. This was a disappointing aspect to enjoying the full experience of Road to the Show. SCE San Diego cleaned this problem up but unfortunately included a new issue that detracts from the experience all the same. The camera angles, though customizable, do everything they can to take away from the full playing experience being offered. The camera is often far too tight and zoomed in, in order to make a great play on the ball. You’ll often find yourself trying to make a break on a quick grounder, only to watch it trickle between you and one of your teammates because of the late jump. This will all depend on which position you choose to play though, as each does seem to have its issues in regards to the camera control or lack thereof.
Outside of that small snag, Road to the Show plays very well in comparison to its predecessor, with a handful of new fielding animations, it definitely adds to the authenticity the title has to offer. You won’t experience so many of the same plays over and over like you did last year, as they will begin to feel varied and offer up a much more enjoyable baseball experience.
Much like the console releases for The Show, the PSP version has been given a complete overhaul for the career goals as well. No longer will you be expected to always swing for the fences or to strike out an entire side of hitters. You’ll now receive a balance of goals that are much more attainable and a lot more realistic. This was one of the bigger complaints from last year’s title and we’re glad it was addressed. One of the other new implementations for the mode is the ability to make defensive adjustments on the field in order to get to balls you may have otherwise been unable to reach. This will give you an advantage against hitters who are known to pull the ball or hit away more so than anything else.
If you’re looking to get engaged within the other modes of play, don’t expect anything new. Just like last year’s release, you can expect to see the same season modes, King of the Hill mode, and Home Run Derby. Though they add a bit more to the replay value of the title, they’re nothing new and nothing has been implemented within them that can be discussed. Each mode of play does exactly what they’re expected to do and you can’t ask much more than that in all honesty.
With online play, you’re going to see a lot of what you saw last year - immersive online leagues, decent lag-free experiences, and an overall enjoyable feel. You’ll still have online message boards, downloadable sliders, and a ticker update much like the console versions and each works flawlessly. SCE San Diego really knew what they were doing with the online support of this title and we wish other online sports games could offer the same thing.
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