MLB 14 The Show PS3 Review - realistic baseball gets even better
- Posted April 1st, 2014 at 22:17 EDT by Timothy Nunes
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San Diego Studios' success continues with MLB 14 The Show. The ambiance, from the sounds and tracks to the visual and animations, lives and breathes baseball, and the game capitalizes on PS3 hardware in a big way; even if the online servers need some attention.
- Adds highly-sought game modes
- Caters to hardcore and newcomers alike
- Improvements accentuate an already-successful foundation
- PS4 promise lessens its luster
- Degraded quality during online play
Another interesting addition is an in-game currency called Stubs, which can be used to buy skill points for RttS players or gambled in online game mode Diamond Dynasty (where user-generated challenges can be found and completed). Before MLB 14 The Show, for example, players would have to spend money in order to obtain skill points without playing RttS. Now, players can focus on one mode and have an overall pool of Studs usable in all game modes for their respective functions.
Like every year, the soundtrack is worth mentioning. With popular, varied, and below-the-radar tracks that ebb excellence, the entire ambiance of MLB 14 The Show is completely welcoming. The sounds of the game are equally engrossing, as the top-notch commentating of Matt Vasgersian, Eric Karros, and Steve Lyons, whose delivery is borderline perfection, giving a clear, accurate picture of what's taking place on the field. The cracks of the bat, the thuds of baseballs hitting gloves, and umpire calls are all expertly recorded, and the complete audible package of MLB 14 The Show puts almost all other sports games to shame.
With an entire list of improvements and tweaks across the board, the only impeding difference between the PS3 version and the upcoming PS4 version is one of aesthetic. More animations, textures, and customizations will be available when the PS4 version releases, but all new modes and gameplay changes are present on the PS3. With that in mind, early adopters won’t be missing out on what this year has in store, but the PS3 version obviously won’t have the visual horsepower of what the PS4 version promises.
The longevity of the PS3 and its still-bright future is validated by MLB 14 The Show and what San Diego Studios has managed to do on aging hardware, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed. All major advertisements have touted what’s coming with the PS4 version, and the PS3 as well as the PS Vita versions cannot hold up to this presentation benchmark. Understand that the level of detail and refinement in the PS3 version is above and beyond even that of the year before, but the lack of highly detailed character models leaves a bit to be desired. MLB 14 The Show really looks better than it should on the PS3, but the upcoming PS4 version holds the final key to realism--which may make the most elitist baseball fans hold off until early May.
The development team at San Diego Studios knows what it takes to make annualization look good, and MLB 14 The Show proves that now more than ever. New online and offline features make this the ultimate baseball option out there, but the PS4 version releasing next month may keep this from being a PS3 must-buy. Nothing is missing here, and the entire experience, both visually and audibly, keeps to a form from which the entire gaming industry could learn. San Diego Studios has outdone itself again, and MLB 14 The Show is a fortified success that, unfortunately, will also get better in a different iteration.
Be sure to check out our review for the MLB 14 The Show PlayStation Vita counterpart right here.
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