With the World Series coming to a climax the next two nights (Editors note: or one if my Rangers have their way), you may be thinking that it’s a bit early to start looking forward to next season. But with free agency starting not long after the Classic ends, time will start to fly by. After all, MLB 12: The Show is the next big sports game release.
Here are a few things I think could improve the annual SCEA release.
1. More control over the fielders
This is something fans of The Show have been asking for, for a very long time. It was reported from those who attended The Show’s community day last year that Sony gave this a shot. It was said that the ball travels to fast for the user to field it effectively.
If possible, slow the ball down. Let us have total control to make the play.
2. Fix the Pick-Off System
Runners shouldn’t be getting picked off multiple times a game. It seems like whenever you take that extra step, your chances of getting picked-off skyrockets. Let us hold down L2 and release to take off, Instead of doing it automatically. MLB 2K11 does this very well.
3. Better Ball Physics
I would like to see the ball come off the bat more realistically. When a ball is hit down the line, it tends to slice. This is represented to a small degree, but could be done much better. This would also include balls with top spin and knuckling action. It would add just another touch of realism the series is so well known for.
4. PS VITA Compatibility
Whether it is the ability to actually play our franchise games on the VITA or just manage our franchise, give us something innovative. This is something the fans have wanted to see with the PSP for years, but it never came to fruition. Sony may be surprised how much VITA sales spike by implementing this feature.
5. Franchise Changes
Franchise mode, for the most part, is well done in The Show. The upgrades needed shouldn’t be in the form of an overhaul or anything like that, but we would love to see the scouting system get some love. Team tendencies should be tied to the manager; trade logic needs looked at as well as roster management; make managing rosters more user-friendly; and last but not least, give our editors, like Knight, better tools for roster adjustments.
6. Licensed Equipment and Accessories
Another long standing community wish. With seemingly every other current-gen sports game having licensed equipment and accessories, it's time for The Show to follow suit. It would add so much to the immersion factor. Being able to decide if I want Carlos Santana to use Nike or Under Armor catchers gear would be pretty cool. You could also take this a step further in Road to the Show mode and have certain brands offer to sponsor your player based on performance.
7. Presentation Upgrades
Announcing needs a breath of fresh air. You don’t necessarily have to add or subtract anyone; just give us a ton of new commentary. It would also be great to see enhanced presentation for rivalry games, or games with meaning. That could be something as simple as some special commentary, new graphical wipes. Same goes with playoff games; make it feel like October and give us some on-screen playoff logo splashes. Talk about the importance of each and every at bat.
8. MLB Today-Like Mode
Sometimes a competing company does something so well that you have to capitalize on it for yourself. I am a big “Play Now” guy, and this feature would be a fantastic addition. Keep the rosters updated daily and let the user follow along with the season.
9. Create-A-Team/Expansion Mode in Franchise
This was a blast in the now defunct All-Star Baseball series. The Show lovers love customization. Give us the ultimate customization experience with this mode. Let us select our city, build our own stadium and jump into whatever league and division we want and participate in an expansion draft.
10. Miscellaneous Additions
Co-op Franchise mode, more sounds of the show options, Single-A teams, cleaner user-friendly interfaces, more uniforms, umpire arguments, ejections for arguing, more stat overlays, more hit variety, stand-alone Playoff mode and more catcher animations.
This is just a small sampling of what the community would like to see this year. If we know the folks at SCEA like we think we do, I would be willing to bet a lot of our wishes will be granted this year.
After all, there may not be a company who listens to its fan base like SCEA.