Every year, Sony releases another installment in their MLB: The Show series. Now, in case you’re like me and know next to nothing regarding anything even remotely athletic or sports-like in nature to begin with, even that may surprise you. Since its inception in 2006, the franchise has become a very popular, hot-selling item — and I think that such a factor is due to the fact that this PlayStation legacy has remained virtually unchanged since Day One. Now, my unfamiliarity with anything more advanced than playing darts after I’ve had a few drinks at the bar might leave you to inquire “Do you have even the remotest of ideas as to what you’re talking about?” of me — which I would reply with a simple-but-staunch “Of course not.”
Of course, I can tell when something looks exactly the same as its predecessors — especially if I compare it to previous releases. And, in the instance of MLB 13: The Show, there’s really nothing new under the sun. Just about everything that was there before is still there, slightly improved for what programmers presumed would be your convenience. Granted, the series has come a long way since its PS2-on-a-Standard-Definition-TV origins. It has embraced those state-of-the-art High-Def graphics many a gamer has come to expect with just about anything that doesn’t involve gelatinous anthropomorphic objects bouncing up and down on yellow stars and such. It has also gone the extra mile sound-wise, adding contemporary tracks by what many perceive to be recording artists unto itself, as well as enveloping consumers with surround sound — transporting players to a magical land where their favorite team actually is Number One with the rest of the nation.
But that’s only if you work hard to accomplish such a goal, naturally. Like the previous games, MLB 13: The Show requires you to put in some effort — consistent, thumb-pounding training that comes in really handy when you decide to break away from standard games and venture into one of this title’s many other challenges, with names like “Diamond Dynasty” and “Road to The Show.” Now, if you’re a total newbie to this series, even the most rudimental function (e.g. swinging the goddamn bat) might become overruled by frustration on your part — as MLB 13: The Show apparently has no option to begin the beguine with the “Hey, dummy, this is how you do it!” tutorial that I find in every other game I play.
Who knows. Maybe it was there, right smack dab in front of me, clearly marked for me to see. If it was, I completely missed it. Sorry. And so, diving into a game wherein I’m really not quite sure what the heck is going on in the first place tends to grate at my nerves. The only reason I wanted to try the game out was to take advantage of the PlayStation Move option. Sadly for me, I either completely overlooked the tutorial on how to use that device as well, or it just didn’t work the same way as I am accustomed to playing games with Move compatibility. I wasn’t even asked to calibrate the device. Again, this is probably due to some error on my part — or perhaps, ignorance.
Frankly, I was more disappointed that I couldn’t play as The Baseball Furies more than anything. Now that would have made for a fun game; merciless, bloody bludgeoning of overpaid athletes and all that.
All kidding aside, though (and there really wasn’t much of it), MLB 13: The Show is a well-made title. Despite my un-evolved primate method of pressing my knuckles on the various controllers I attempted to master the game with, the graphics are extremely impressive, and the audio (save for the oft-horrendous modern tunes that were probably already outdated the minute the game hit the shelves) is exceptional. Real-life sports commentators provide their tenures here, just as they’ve done with previous entries in the franchise — and current baseball players lend their likenesses to this efficient time-waster. Of course, I only recommend it for those of you who actually have an interest in this kind of game.
MLB 13: The Show is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on: PS Vita.