MLB '10: The Show Review (PSP)
MLB '10 The Show on the PSP is a continuation of a tradition. Like previous editions of the games on the portable device, lil' brother is contiuing right where big brother left off. Everything that you love from The Show franchise from Sony Corporation Entertainment America (SCEA) you will find in your hands for your PSP.
In this game, the crack of the bat sounds crisp and authentic as it reverberates through the tiny PSP speakers.
The commentary from Matt Vasgersian, Dave Campbell and Rex Hudler is progressive and insightful. Vasgersian brings a broadcast feel to the game by covering a lot of ground during pregame introductions and also within in-game action.
Campbell’s commentary is delivered on cue, and he takes notice of very specific details happening on the diamond. One example of this detail-oriented focus came across during a Rays versus Diamondbacks game. Campbell commented on the Upton brothers and how Justin Upton was looking to make some plays in a game against his brother.
Beyond the commentary, the rest of the audio is also solid. Some cool features in this title are the customized batter introductions, walk-up music, and home runs that can be set in the "Sounds of The Show" menu.
The game allows you to input custom playlists that are saved on your memory stick, and it even adds the ability to chop them up into small clips for in-game action.
The stadiums in the game have a considerable amount of detail. Shadows look great in the stadiums, the big screens are functional and advertisements are properly placed.
Player models look a bit small, but the attention to detail is still there. Players like Alex Rodriguez will wear their high socks, and some of the best players even have pretty lifelike faces. Batting stances and pitching motions for the stars and prominent players are present as well. Bottom line, the game is deep in this respect.
The main modes of play in this game are Exhibition, Manager Mode, Road to The Show, Season and Home Run Derby.
Manager mode provides players with a micro-managing interface where you can adjust your player’s strategy at the plate or on the mound. I do not see this mode taking off since a great deal of the time is spent clicking through the interface to make your guy make his next pitch and tell him where to locate it -- why not just play the actual game at that point?
Home Run Derby feels smooth and natural, and up to 10 players can play against each other. The small details like the pitcher’s protective net should give you a nice added visual as well.
In Road to the Show (RttS), you can create a player from scratch and enter him into the MLB Draft to begin a career. You are also given the choice to choose your team. Similar to the Playstation 3 version, during gameplay you are positioned in a third-person view of your character and must execute plays to gain reward points. These points can be put towards training to improve your player.
Season mode provides you with the basic season mode options and structure -- no long-term dynasties here. Roster management, schedules and goals can be found in your season home page.
This game of baseball is as pure as it gets on the PSP. The pitcher-hitter interface is the same as it has been for years, and the simple approach translates well to a handheld experience. Users pitch with the face buttons and the pitching meter, which is all timing based.
The check swing here is highly effective -– with a slight tap of the "X" button you can still hold up on pitches out of the zone. Simply put, working the count is very rewarding in this game.
Fight off some nasty pitches with some foul balls and check swings to work the count and jump on the pitch that you like. Timing is the key to hitting the ball to all fields. The later you swing, the better chance you have to knock it to the opposite field.
Also present in the game is the Adaptive Pitching Intelligence (API) and Plate Coverage Indicator. API displays the pitch suggestions from the catcher by taking into account dynamic situational factors. The Plate Coverage Indicator displays your batter's ability to cover the plate while hitting.
The gameplay has been tightened up a bit in the field. Baseballs hit the grass and dirt with more variety, which includes high choppers and line drives that roll for days in the outfield. You can turn double plays, hit cutoff men and change your fielder's throw power depending on the length the face button is held.
MLB 10: The Show's pitcher and batter interface has some quality depth. The baseball physics operate nicely within the timing-based hitting mechanic, and the ball responds quite naturally to the bat.
There are plenty of options and game modes here, including a solid career mode that will keep you playing to upgrade your created player. Combine the great gameplay with world-class presentation and immersive sounds, and you have a title that lives up to its award-winning baseball reputation.
On the Diamond: From the hitting and pitching interface to the fielding and baseball physics, fundamental baseball abounds in this title.
Graphics: The graphics are relatively basic and player models do not have the greatest amount of detail in terms of height and weight, but the signature style for the star players is there.
Sound Design: There is solid commentary and high quality sound effects.
Entertainment Value: This is one of the most polished sports titles on the PSP. I would like to have seen a deeper season mode, but nonetheless, this game still plays well between the foul lines.
Learning Curve: The pitching meter is tough in the beginning due to the size of the PSP. Once you pick it up, the game is money.
Online: Online play was removed this year.
Score: 9.0 (Exceptional)