MLB 07 The Show

Review

posted 6/29/2007 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PS3
We're well on our way into the baseball season but not every baseball game was released prior to the start of major league baseball. While MLB07 The Show was released for PSP and PlayStation 2 early on, the PlayStation 3 version didn't show up until much later. The extra time given to the PlayStation 3 version didn't seem to help it that much though as what we have is an average baseball game.

MLB 07's gameplay does exhibit some great moments but also moments bad AI decisions. Questionable plays do abound and I can't think that there's a Manny Ramirez type player on every team. For example, base running errors do appear more often than not during the times when a ball is hit to the outfield. The runners would sometimes break really late if I were to throw to home plate rather than the cut off man. This would offer me plenty of time to throw to the base they are trying to go to and get them to tag out.

There are some shining moments though seeing some of the animations where players would dive for the ball and throw from the knees or get up quickly to throw someone out. Even some cool double plays can happen where a second basemen would flip the ball behind the back to the short stop and the short stop would finish the play to first. Seeing the diving catches in the outfield is often times exhilarating and the developers did a great job in the animations.

Fielding though can be a hit or miss especially in the outfield. When a ball is hit there's a circle on the ground that shows where the ball is going to land. It gradually gets smaller as the ball falls closer to the ground. If you are close enough an animation plays of the player catching the ball and if need be getting ready to throw back to the infield. The closeness you are needed to be to the falling baseball for this to happen doesn't always seem to be the same. Sometimes I can be pretty far and the player will make the catch while other times I can be really close and the ball will just fall without even an effort.

On high fly balls, most of the time the player will just sit under and make the easy catch. I've had a few instances where the player would be in the animation watching the ball getting ready to catch and it would just fall right in front of him. Needless to say it gets pretty frustrating to see routine flyballs being misplayed this badly. The glitch should at least result in an error but none is ever recorded and I went through a whole season earning a Gold Glove in left field because of this.

As the title suggests, one of the big features of the game is The Show whereby you take a created player and work your way through up to the majors. You can set yourself up for a primary and secondary position as well as choose whether you bat left, right, or switch it up. You'll be able to customize the look of your player from face to clothing to batting stance. The features aren't robust but they are good enough for the game. After creating the physical aspect of your player, you'll dole out some points to various statistical categories such as speed, durability, and batting power for both right and left handed stances. Player creation gives you some options but don't expect to go crazy in creating the look of your player in terms of customization.

There are various categories that you can improve on and you can do this by earning points in games you play. The more goals and better your team plays the more points you earn per game. A minimum of 100 points is needed to train and you can allocate more than the 100 points to one category if you have more to spare. Certain categories can decrease if you don't address them in training so you'll need to be strategic in which one you want to concentrate on and which category you want to maintain.

One nice thing about the Show portion of the game is that you are only presented with the plays that affect you. That means if you're playing in the outfield, you won't have to sit through the at bats that aren't hit towards you. This also happen when you are batting as you won't see the at bats that you aren't directly involved in. Because of how this is done, games can go by a lot quicker and you can put in a good number of games in a short amount of time.
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