It can get pretty lonely at the top. When you’ve been on top of the mountain for too long, it can be easy to become complacent. This is not the case for the king of console baseball gaming. MLB 13: The Show has taken everything its fans have come to love about the franchise and expanded upon it with new gameplay features, presentation tweaks, and an attention to detail that’s been unrivalled since modders started tricking out the PC version of MVP Baseball 2005. This year’s instalment of the Playstation 3 exclusive is glorious in just about every facet of its existence.
First and foremost, MLB 13: The Show simply looks amazing. The series has consistently produced a highly polished product, but the implementation of the new TruBroadcast Presentation 2.0 has given The Show a sense of realism that’s rarely approached in the realm of sports gaming. Whether it’s a glimpse at any one of the new cut scenes or just the highly detailed player models, MLB 13 offers the most realistic and immersive simulation experience yet. In total, MLB 13 features upwards of 1500 new animation sequences between its regular in-game mode and Road to the Show mode. No longer will Opening Day, the All-Star Game, and the postseason come off feeling like a regular season game in mid-July.
Both Road to the Show and Franchise mode have undergone an overhaul of sorts. The former has scaled back the in-game commentary, limiting it to before and after significant achievements, opting to let the natural sounds of the game take over while the user’s player is at-bat or in the field. RTTS also features new streamlined controls, which provide users with a more fluid experience. Franchise mode sees numerous tweaks and adjustments to its management component, such as the inclusion of the new CBA “qualifying offer” system and a renewed focus on scouting and player development.
In addition to the new presentations and various changes to the game’s franchise and RTTS modes, MLB 13 also includes a variety of minor changes that all help to enhance the gaming experience and have built upon the greatness established through past years’ efforts. We’ll highlight a few here:
- Commentary has received a much needed boost in the form of Steve Lyons joining Matt Vasgersian and Eric Karros in the booth.
- The new button accuracy meter for fielding aims to cut down on errant throws by giving users complete control over arm accuracy and strength.
- A new “postseason mode” lets gamers jump right into the playoffs without having to take a team through a 162 game schedule.
- Lastly, “beginner mode” attempts to attract less experienced gamers by offering simplified controls and an auto-adjusting skill level mechanism.
While there is another baseball video game out there, the Show has no competition on the console market. MLB 13: The Show is worth owning a PS3 on its own, and I’m being as genuine as possible. As an Xbox owner who recently picked up a PS3 for this exact purpose, I will commence kicking myself for all the hours I’ve wasted over the past four years by playing a far inferior game.
We had our testers rank the game on a scale of 1-to-10 in the areas of graphics, presentation, controls, and replayability. The verdict: 9.2/10