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MLB 09: The Show Preview (PS3)

If I used baseball terms to describe last year's MLB: The Show, I would say it was a solidly hit ball that drove in a few runs.

After playing the demo for MLB 09: The Show, I think the term I might use to describe this year's game is walk-off grand slam.

Now, this is a demo, and I know that, but the stage is set for what might be the best sports game to come around in quite some time. There are lingering questions, such as how the stat engine will work and how good the Franchise mode improvements are, among other things.

However, make no mistake about it, this game will be money -- pure, unlimited, beautiful money.

 


The stadium graphics and lighting effects are just beautiful...


From the stadium graphics, to the stunning lighting, to the animations, the MLB 09 demo looks prettier than any sports game I have ever played. At one point, I also had to remind myself that demos usually do not look as good as the final product.

As for the gameplay, well, I do not want to go into too much detail because I do not want to spoil my review, which will be coming when the game releases, but I am very stoked about the overall gameplay.

This year, SCE Studios San Diego has almost completely nailed the game of baseball. However, I do say that with an asterisk since I have only played until the fourth inning (that is when the demo shuts off).

Either way, some of the little details you start to notice are mind boggling, almost to the point of making you wonder if the guys at SCE San Diego ever went home during the past year.

Let me just stick with a very basic part of baseball, the pitcher/catcher interaction. Watching the catcher give you a sign and set up for the pitch is just beautiful. It is a harmonious movement that makes you feel like you are a part of something real.

That is realism folks.


MLB '09: The Show looks like a must have for 2009.


The ball is no longer just a white blob moving quickly through the baseball diamond; now you can now make out the seams on the ball as it rolls and flies about.

Fielding is wonderful. It feels much crisper, and the new tag animations are a huge step up from '08. As a whole, the fielding just feels so much better than last year -- it is really night and day.

Hitting also feels better. Although not much has been said about hitting improvements, I think something has changed when it comes to the timing of the pitch/bat/swinging area of the game. Yet, it is something that is subtle and hard for me to pick out at this point. My working theory is that players might be swinging faster, as it seems like I have just a split second more time to decide whether or not to swing and still be successful. Then again, maybe the game is coming to me?

Without being able to see the effects of fatigue all that well, the jury is still out on pitching. Still, from what we get in the demo, it appears that you will definitely have to be on your game because the meter is definitely tougher.

When I play this demo, the big thing that jumps out at me is that SCE is "there" -- at least from a gameplay perspective. They seem to have the next-gen sports game we have been waiting for, and now it is only a few weeks away from release. But do not get me wrong, there are still reasons to hold back our enthusiasm -- you never know what crazy things could go wrong with a release, as many of us already know.

But at this stage, MLB 09: The Show may end up being similar to the 1927 Yankees. In other words, the game will obviously succeed, but how many records will be broken along the way?


MLB 09: The Show Videos
Member Comments
# 1 orthostud23 @ 02/06/09 08:51 AM
Nice write up!! I have only played the demo once. I feel the fielding is definately tighter. There was a moment where I had the infield in last night. Longoria hit a HOT SHOT up at Rollins. Rollins made a stab at it but came up empty. That wouldnt have happened last year. I thought the lighting looked very well, player models looked good, commentary was good, crowds looked even better than last year. Looking forward to the full version.
 
# 2 Tycobbler @ 02/06/09 09:06 AM
sweet!
 
# 3 bengtc @ 02/06/09 09:07 AM
I think you are right on the hitting improvements. I noticed that I am ahead on almost every pitch and I played over 400 games of MLB 08.
 
# 4 mwjr @ 02/06/09 09:39 AM
This is a beautiful game.

Seriously, 2K - give up the exclusive license. Give is all a chance to play this magnificent game.
 
# 5 areobee401 @ 02/06/09 09:48 AM
Sorry to burst your bubble but even if 2k loses the MLB license 360 owners will never have a chance to play The Show on a MS console.
 
# 6 BlyGilmore @ 02/06/09 09:56 AM
nice writeup. I'll be making the leap to the PS3 this year just for this game. and so far it sounds like i won't be disappointed.

and yeah, the odds of Sony licensing The Show for the Xbox in a world without exclusive licenses is slim and none. If you want The Show the only way to get it is by dropping $300 for the PS3.
 
# 7 Marinerss @ 02/06/09 10:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwjr
This is a beautiful game.

Seriously, 2K - give up the exclusive license. Give is all a chance to play this magnificent game.
that doesn't make any sense. Why would Sony release this game on the 360-- if that's what your saying by give everyone a chance to play this. the show will always be a PlayStation exclusive whether 2k has the right to the 3rd party license or not. So it's totally different, non related issue.
 
# 8 GrandMaster B @ 02/06/09 10:30 AM
Imagine if this same team would work on a football or hockey game. We can only wish, right?
 
# 9 fishepa @ 02/06/09 10:31 AM
No more talk of 2k in this thread. Thanks.
 
# 10 brunnoce @ 02/06/09 10:37 AM
Great read Chris!
 
# 11 NAFBUC @ 02/06/09 11:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMChrisS
If I used baseball terms to describe last year's MLB: The Show, I would say it was a solidly hit ball that drove in a few runs.

After playing the demo for MLB 09: The Show, I think the term I might use to describe this year's game is walk-off grand slam.

Now, this is a demo, and I know that, but the stage is set for what might be the best sports game to come around in quite some time. There are lingering questions, such as how the stat engine will work and how good the Franchise mode improvements are, among other things.

However, make no mistake about it, this game will be money -- pure, unlimited, beautiful money.

Read More - MLB '09: The Show Demo Impressions
Yes sir! Excellent potential for the sports game of the year. Silky smooth gameplay that has a tighter feel this year. Love it.
 
# 12 lou22ny @ 02/06/09 11:52 AM
i heard that the red circle with blue arrows around the user when on auto would be off this year. i turned everything off in the demo and it's still there. does anyone know if it will be there in the real game.
 
# 13 ckarlic @ 02/06/09 12:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandMaster B
Imagine if this same team would work on a football or hockey game. We can only wish, right?
I was thinking of the same thing..well, then again, I don't want to take away the focus from the Show. But yeah, would be nice for SCEA to drop a football game and hockey game on us
 
# 14 seon22_80 @ 02/06/09 12:42 PM
Excellent write up.... you are so right about the hitting. They absolutely did tweak it some. The first two inning I found myself swing like I did in 08 but in this 09 version the swings were early. It didn't seem like they slowed the pitches so it's very like likely that they spend up the bat speed. After recently switching from 2k I must say his is an amazing game. The creative forces behind this game truly deserve some serious credit.
 
# 15 Chargersa7x @ 02/06/09 02:09 PM
Well I barely passed my classes a year ago because of this game. And from what I can tell from the demo, I might as well just drop this semester. Haha, I'm just kidding of course, but this game is truely amazing.

Good write up. I agree with everyone who agrees with you about the hitting. It will take a little bit to get used to, but will be worth it. And I also wish the same team worked on football. Madden still hasn't come close to getting it right after 20 years.
 
# 16 Eski33 @ 02/06/09 02:25 PM
The animations, especially the outfielders, are greatly improved. Everything about this game screams, "Must Buy!!!"
 
# 17 Marino @ 02/06/09 02:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlyGilmore
nice writeup. I'll be making the leap to the PS3 this year just for this game. and so far it sounds like i won't be disappointed.

and yeah, the odds of Sony licensing The Show for the Xbox in a world without exclusive licenses is slim and none. If you want The Show the only way to get it is by dropping $300 for the PS3.
I would say do it if you love baseball, only if you love baseball. also Killzone comes out soon too, I would recommend that game as well.
 
# 18 Infinite202 @ 02/06/09 02:45 PM
Great read.

I also agree with the hitting. I've been playing '08 non-stop since its release, but I was early on the majority of swings in this demo.
 
# 19 ckarlic @ 02/06/09 04:49 PM
Man. I can't wait to get home from work to fire up the demo again!!!
 
# 20 statum71 @ 02/06/09 08:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSW
Too be honest, I feel sorry for anyone who is a baseball fan and does not have a PS3.
I'm with ya. In fact, The Show is the top reason I will never go back to 360.
 

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