If years of The Show's evolution hadn't worked so darn hard to present baseball at its purest, the inaugural Vita edition wouldn't feel so stunted. Imagine The Show with its soul ripped out, the soul in this case being atmosphere, and you've landed squarely on the Vita's mound.
It's one thing to create a portable baseball game designed exclusively for that on-the-go presence. It's another to create one where a grand slam is so glossed over, the commentators are still catching up with the excitement as the next batter steps into the box. The flow of The Show, and even baseball itself, has been degraded. Were the series gunning for a retro approach--although even Bases Loaded celebrated a home run--crushed presentations wouldn't matter so much.
Here, even with the clipped commentary of Matt Vasgersian and crew leading credence to the TV style, instant replays don't exist. Maybe Major League Baseball is cutting back on costs this year, or maybe San Diego Studio was rushed. Put your money on the latter.
With the time they did have, the product was stuffed full of features and modes. The game case, mind you, is hardly stuffed at all, unless you consider the leaflet online pass. Publishers claim to be going green by restricting paper use, unless of course it's going to make them money. Newcomers are bound to be overwhelmed in game, partially because of a confusing menu that never makes it clear whether it's touch or button controlled. The other half is dealing with simulation aspects, and lack of proper manual.
It's impressive that The Show doesn't feel behind. Generally, the rule of thumb is to issue the portable edition based on a prior year. Vita players have access to the wonky, refreshed Pulse Pitching introduced in the PlayStation 3 brethren. It has to keep up given the option to cross play, uploading save files to that magical cloud and picking up on the alternate version. That said, it's not capable enough to stop mid-game. It's constrained to future match-ups only. Saving mid-game, more so in baseball than any other virtual sport, should be standard.