Thursday, August 5, 2010

Welcome to the Show!

Today, as promised, I've procured an excellent guest post about a video game. Which, thankfully, has saved me from writing anymore posts about video games this week. I'd reached my limit, folks. So here instead is a review of the Playstation 3 baseball juggernaut, MLB 10 The Show, written by my brother, Chris. (Only slightly edited to remove profanities...)

Take it away, Chris.

I have returned after a four month sabbatical to talk about the greatest sports video game since Tecmo Super Bowl--MLB 10 The Show.

Before I delve into the greatness that is The Show, I recently experienced the worst thing that could ever happen to a gamer--death. No, not my own. My PS3. I had the old, fat, clunky, and glossy PS3 system for three years and it finally crapped out on me after thousands of hours playing it.

There I was, playing The Show, in the 2012 season of my franchise with the San Francisco Giants (Lincecum and Cain, anyone?). It was opening day and the big free agent signed in the offseason was Carl Crawford, who homered on the second pitch of the game.

I was well on my way to bringing a championship to the Bay area...and then there was darkness. My game shut off and there was a yellow light. “Don’t go toward the yellow light!” I yelled. But it was no use.

My system had finally died.

I called up Sony customer service and they said that it would take three weeks to repair my poor, broken system and it would cost me about $200 for shipping and handling. I decided against it and bought a brand spanking new 120 GB slim PS3 for $300 bucks...after I got off the phone.

Now to the game.

Let me start off by saying that this game isn’t perfect but it’s darn close to it. Yeah, there are a few bugs, but what game out there doesn’t have bugs these days?

What makes MLB 10 The Show great are the little details/nuances that come from watching baseball day in and day out. From the umpire getting nicked with a foul ball, to the catcher throwing his mask off on a pop up, and even those annoying rally monkeying fans in Anaheim banging thunder sticks late in the game, The Show has it all.

Not to mention almost every batting stance, pitching motion, and pre-at bat rituals (like Big Papi spitting on his gloves before gripping the bat). It really is the most realistic baseball simulation out there (isn’t that from a commercial?).

Adding to the realism of The Show is the “Franchise” mode, which is the best in the history of the series. In addition to drafting and scouting future prospects, signing free agents, and making blockbuster trades, comes the ever-so-confusing waiver wire.

True to the real thing, lower market teams who can’t afford their high priced players will attempt to dump them on waivers. Sweet, I just grabbed Adrian Gonzalez...oh wait, the Padres just pulled him back.

Gotta love it!!!

And if you think you can just mash your way to victory, think again. MLB 10 The Show is by far the hardest baseball game to date. The AI is very smart and if you swing at a pitch out of the strike zone, that’s all you’re going to see.

If you’re hitting Josh Beckett’s fastball, he’ll adjust and throw off speed stuff your next time up. The key to hitting is to be patient, smart, and to work the count. Like I said, the AI will adjust to your success and exploit your failures.

MLB 10 The Show is without a doubt the greatest sports game to date. The series is so great that other gaming titles such as NCAA College Football and Madden are following the same formula by concentrating on small details to make a realistic sports simulation while not taking away from the game play.

See you in The Show.

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