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OS Scores Explained MLB 14 The Show Overview (PS4)
Pros
Nearly feature complete with the PS3 Version, outstanding graphics, lighting, and texture, retains stellar gameplay the series is known for
Cons
Few minor graphical issues, long load times, online experience is very hit or miss.
Bottom Line
The definitive version of the definitive baseball game, MLB 14: The Show on PS4 is the best reason to own the new console.
8.5
out of 10
MLB 14 The Show REVIEW

MLB 14 The Show Review (PS4)

It’s been more than a month since MLB 14: The Show released on PS3 and the Vita, and for many of us, April was agonizingly long month. As a community, we collectively waited for the release of our favorite baseball game on PS4 by analyzing every piece of news and video, playing lots of The Show on PS3, or perhaps just watching real baseball. My short trip to San Francisco to play the new version with the developers was an all too brief tease, as were the gameplay videos and Puig/Pence showdown.

The month is over, however, and those with the interest and ability probably have the next gen version of The Show firmly planted in their PS4s. If you are still looking for info and deciding whether to jump in, read on to see my thoughts on this latest edition of Sony’s hardball title.

Gameplay

First, it’s important to know that the gameplay is wholly intact from the PS3 version. I’ll direct you to Roberts’ review of The Show on PS3, because his thoughts and analysis of the refined gameplay pretty much mirror my own. Basically, if you’ve enjoyed The Show in the past, you’ll find the 2014 iteration to fit like a well-oiled glove.

All of the new improvements have made it to the PS4 version, such as the dynamic difficulty setting and the dynamic hitting and fielding cameras. I like all of these additions -- while they don’t wildly redefine the gameplay, they work well and certainly improve the total package. I’d say the new camera -- which doesn’t cut away from the ball when it’s put into play--helps to showcase the PS4’s graphical upgrades.

Presentation

It’s these graphical improvement that you are paying for, you should “trade up” from the PS3 version. And, for a first year attempt at next gen graphics, this game looks pretty amazing.

First, I think the lighting is incredible. During the night, the colors really pop, recreating what night game looks like on TV. You can pick out individual bulbs in the lighting rigs. Each weather condition has a different visual feel, which also helps to emphasize the broadcast quality of the graphics.

There are additional animations as well, but I’ve had a hard time pinpointing exactly what’s new. While at Sony HQ, I was shown a “slap hit” animation, which looked good, so I know that they are there. I suppose the seamlessness of the new animations is a good thing, as it’s another subtle improvement to the game as a whole. Again, most of what you see are what you’ve seen if you’ve played the PS3 version this year or in the past.

Stadiums have also been given lovely makeovers, with much more detail and better texturing. In fact, these new textures (skin, leather, cloth, etc) are evident throughout the game, except in a few odd spots. I saw a dugout railing that looked remarkably flat and 2D next to the new, better-looking players. Speaking of players, most look fantastic; however, a few don’t quite capture the player they are supposed to be representing.

The crowds, too, look outstanding. It’s nearly impossible to notice repeated models, though I did catch a few of the aimless walkers who wonder to the bottom of the stairs and then back up. The new ball boys are a nice touch, though ball girls are more common in real life, at least here on the East Coast.

With huge graphical improvements to players, lighting, stadiums, and the crowd, you might expect the potential for glitches and slowdowns. I’m happy to report I’ve experienced very few instances of problems: a slight dip in frame-rate during a few cut scenes, a “shimmery” foul line, and a few randomly empty camera feeds. None of these have impacted my enjoyment or gameplay, though I suppose experiences may vary.

What is occasionally frustrating are the long load times. While I didn't time it, I'm estimating load time of approximately a minute, depending on the mode in question. There can also be a long load time just to get into the front end menu from the start screen. That said, my franchise file, once loaded, seems to get into games with a reasonable pace.

Commentary and sounds are uncompressed and of higher quality, but otherwise the same in content.

Game Modes

Again, the PS4 version is feature complete (minus custom sounds), so you can expect to play Road to the Show, Diamond Dynasty, and Online and Offline Franchises. I even tried loading my saved franchise from the cloud, and it worked flawlessly.

I will warn you, though, if you are expecting the cloud saves to be those PS+ uploads automatically, you’ll be disappointed -- especially if you’ve already traded in your PS3 copy. When you go to save your franchise progress, be sure to select the Save to Cloud option if you wish to take advantage of cross-platform saves.
 

Online

My experiences with The Show online have been spotty, at best. Frequently, I've been unable to even connect with an opponent. When I do, it's usually a laggy experience, similar to past versions of The Show. Baseball is a game that requires precision timing to be successful, so any hitches in online gameplay can really ruin the experience.

For a more in-depth look at the state of MLB 14: The Show online, read our in-depth look here.

Final Thoughts

If you like the MLB: The Show series, this new PS4 version is the definitive way to play. It includes everything that makes the series great, but adds a true next-gen level of visual flair. I personally think the graphical improvements themselves make it easy to recommend an upgrade for PS3 owners.

That said, if you are jumping to the PS4 version in hopes of radical gameplay improvements, you’ll be disappointed. This is the same game -- just a much better looking version.

If you own a PS4, but haven’t picked up MLB: The Show 14 yet, what are you waiting for? This is certainly the best looking MLB game ever produced, and perhaps the best playing.

Learning Curve – Easy, if you’ve ever played the series before. Easier if you are a PS3 convert. Maybe a bit more difficult if you are a true rookie -- this is a very deep game.

Control Scheme - The same number of options found on the PS3 version are here.

Audio – Commentary and sounds get a auditory upgrade, but there no new content.

Visuals – The best reason to buy the PS4 version -- and console. This is a beautiful game, from the fine textures to the outstanding lighting.

Online – Really spotty performance. It can be tough just finding an opponent. Cross-platform saves, though, seem to work flawlessly.

Lasting appeal – With all of the gameplay modes making the jump, there’s no reason not to be playing this game through the World Series.

Score: 8.5 (Great)

Scoring Note from the Editor: MLB 14 The Show is a great game, despite its online flaws. Its simulation of the sport of baseball is unmatched, which makes it perhaps the most realistic sports game on the market. If Sony can ever figure out how to fix the online mess within the game, there is no doubt this game will be in the 9s in the future once again.


MLB 14 The Show Videos
Member Comments
# 1 ratedmoney @ 05/12/14 10:15 AM
This review is spot on. Its a next gen graphical imporvment but thats it. Is this game a true next gen experience ? Probably not but The Show is a good game, top 2 sports game as far as gameplay goes. For anyone on the fence that has the PS3 version the question is do you wanna pay for better graphics ? If you dont have the PS3 version then no question you should get the PS4 version.
 
# 2 ps3veron @ 05/12/14 10:15 AM
Perfect review! Love that your con is on the Online being a hit or a miss...pun intended?
 
# 3 HustlinOwl @ 05/12/14 10:16 AM
no issues here with finding opponents in several leagues and a full list of PSN ID's from our own OS members
 
# 4 vegaas @ 05/12/14 10:30 AM
Let me qualify this by saying I really like the game. That being said how can you do a review and mention the dynamic lighting but not mention lighting issues in night games? Also the review mentions audio but doesnt mention that there is no organ music, or that the PA announcer audio level seems off?
These are minor gripes to some, major issues to others. To me these are minor but I do not understand how a review does not mention these issues.
 
# 5 PAPERNUT @ 05/12/14 10:51 AM
I think it's time the devs of this series get some bad press for their online issues and now loading times on a Next Gen console that supposedly was going to make loading times a thing of the past. Even with all that, I cannot disagree with the review as the gameplay is the best recreation of any sport in a game currently by far. The sheer amount of options they give for control and tweaking of the game to suit any player level is needed in all sports games IMO. Graphics at times are lifelike. Audio when using headphones or a 7.1 system is very good compared to other sports games even with the loss of Sounds of The Show. People should give Sony a tweet or two on that as well.

Bottom line, this game deserves praise for it gameplay and offline play. It also deserves major criticism for its online play.
 
# 6 Blitzburgh @ 05/12/14 10:56 AM
This is a great game but you shouldn't have praised the lighting so much in my opinion. The lighting on the field/players does look pretty good but the stadium lighting, crowds and the cities are mostly in the dark. There is not shine or lens flare coming from the stadium lights and the scoreboards do not pop like they should. This should be stated as a con. I think next year though we will be amazed by the overall lighting.
 
# 7 DaveSBX @ 05/12/14 10:57 AM
How come so many people who review this game leave out all of the continued issues with this franchise? The sloth-like play of outfielders on a lot of XBH that sometimes result in an extra base being taken. The ball going straight through the catcher, even if it's directly down the middle of the plate. The lack of urgency on some double-plays where the two IFs throw the ball to one another like it's just a lone out opportunity. The terrible lighting in night games in the OF. The way the RP/CP stats don't show up in RTTS when you're brought into a game -- the overlay space is there, but the display never pops up with the stats. The tons of wrong calls on steals to 2B where the runner is called out, but is clearly safe, even in replays, etc.

There are a ton of other issues and it seems like nobody is bringing them up in reviews.

Here is an example of that steal issue -- runner has clearly reached 2B, but is called out despite the glove not even touching the runner. This happens CONSTANTLY.

 
# 8 Bryzine21 @ 05/12/14 12:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSBX
How come so many people who review this game leave out all of the continued issues with this franchise? The sloth-like play of outfielders on a lot of XBH that sometimes result in an extra base being taken. The ball going straight through the catcher, even if it's directly down the middle of the plate. The lack of urgency on some double-plays where the two IFs throw the ball to one another like it's just a lone out opportunity. The terrible lighting in night games in the OF. The way the RP/CP stats don't show up in RTTS when you're brought into a game -- the overlay space is there, but the display never pops up with the stats. The tons of wrong calls on steals to 2B where the runner is called out, but is clearly safe, even in replays, etc.

There are a ton of other issues and it seems like nobody is bringing them up in reviews.

Here is an example of that steal issue -- runner has clearly reached 2B, but is called out despite the glove not even touching the runner. This happens CONSTANTLY.

Good review. I agree with everything .U do know there is an option to make umpires call games more accurately right?
 
# 9 radney @ 05/12/14 01:12 PM
The lighting isn't as great as they claim for it to be. There should be day games for the 1:00 times, afternoon times at or around 4:00 which should fade into early evening and the night for 7:00. Even in the overcast games in which the lights aren't even on during the day games, should progressively gets darker as the game goes on. As I said in previous post, that's the one area where MLB 2K Series shines. I also think the night skies aren't that good.

I also agree with the others with that there's no urgency with trying to turn a double play as where there were too many times where either the SS or 2B loops the throw instead of firing the ball to 1st. Too many dumb errors commited in the OF where you think you have a catch on a fly and then it's not caught and it becomes a 3-bagger.

I have stolen many bases that I was clearly safe only to be called out. Also have been picked off a number times with Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner and sometimes other players when I haven't even taken a lead. Over all, it is still a great game but there are issues that are being left out in this review.
 
# 10 Woodweaver @ 05/12/14 01:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSBX
How come so many people who review this game leave out all of the continued issues with this franchise? The sloth-like play of outfielders on a lot of XBH that sometimes result in an extra base being taken. The ball going straight through the catcher, even if it's directly down the middle of the plate. The lack of urgency on some double-plays where the two IFs throw the ball to one another like it's just a lone out opportunity. The terrible lighting in night games in the OF. The way the RP/CP stats don't show up in RTTS when you're brought into a game -- the overlay space is there, but the display never pops up with the stats. The tons of wrong calls on steals to 2B where the runner is called out, but is clearly safe, even in replays, etc.

There are a ton of other issues and it seems like nobody is bringing them up in reviews.

Here is an example of that steal issue -- runner has clearly reached 2B, but is called out despite the glove not even touching the runner. This happens CONSTANTLY.



Hard to say from a still, but it looks like the runner's foot is resting on the fielder's glove from that angle.
 
# 11 coolkev21 @ 05/12/14 01:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by radney
The lighting isn't as great as they claim for it to be. There should be day games for the 1:00 times, afternoon times at or around 4:00 which should fade into early evening and the night for 7:00. Even in the overcast games in which the lights aren't even on during the day games, should progressively gets darker as the game goes on. As I said in previous post, that's the one area where MLB 2K Series shines. I also think the night skies aren't that good.

I also agree with the others with that there's no urgency with trying to turn a double play as where there were too many times where either the SS or 2B loops the throw instead of firing the ball to 1st. Too many dumb errors commited in the OF where you think you have a catch on a fly and then it's not caught and it becomes a 3-bagger.

I have stolen many bases that I was clearly safe only to be called out. Also have been picked off a number times with Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner and sometimes other players when I haven't even taken a lead. Over all, it is still a great game but there are issues that are being left out in this review.
In my copy, the lights are on in late afternoon games and the day does fade to night......

am i the only one? lol maybe cause it's a franchise game? i dunno but i have seen that happen

totally agree about the lazy double plays though, very frustrating... sometimes they turn it quick sometimes they dont...
 
# 12 JKSportsGamer1984 @ 05/12/14 02:03 PM
Good review, but no mention of the choppy frame rate & screen tear during cut scenes? While the presentation is great, it's hampered by the poor frame rate & at times. It's a shame that this happens because it really takes away from the polished look of the game. Hopefully it can be addressed in a patch.
 
# 13 DaveSBX @ 05/12/14 02:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryzine21
Good review. I agree with everything .U do know there is an option to make umpires call games more accurately right?
That's the setting I play it on. Not only are calls still incorrect, but the strike zone is still not called correctly each time either. I believe the setting may be broken on the PS4 version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodweaver
Hard to say from a still, but it looks like the runner's foot is resting on the fielder's glove from that angle.
I should have taken multiple angles. The foot is on the base and the glove is sweeping to tag his knee. That's why I originally took it from that angle, in order to show that the glove hadn't reached his knee/leg yet.
 
# 14 JKSportsGamer1984 @ 05/12/14 02:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKSportsGamer1984
Good review, but no mention of the choppy frame rate & screen tear during cut scenes? While the presentation is great, it's hampered by the poor frame rate & at times. It's a shame that this happens because it really takes away from the polished look of the game. Hopefully it can be addressed in a patch.
My apologies, the frame rate was mentioned
 
# 15 dalger21 @ 05/12/14 02:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodweaver
Hard to say from a still, but it looks like the runner's foot is resting on the fielder's glove from that angle.
It's happen to me a few times. I just chopped it up to ump missing call like a number do in real life...(I'm looking at you CB Bucknor and Angel Hernandez, perhaps two of the worst umpires ever...but I digress)..
 
# 16 caseyj622 @ 05/12/14 02:26 PM
The game is amazing to me. Anyone complaining about unbearable load times is just plain lazy IMO. It takes 1 minute to load the game. Get up and get a glass of water, use the restroom, etc. Do something. Yes there are some issues with stadium seating lighting and a few animations, but overall this is the best baseball simulation to date IMO. I have full confidence that Ramone and his team will fix any glaring issues. He is always active and addresses any problems. They are the best in the business. He doesn't hide from it like some companies here...Looking at you EA and 2k.
 
# 17 DaveSBX @ 05/12/14 02:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalger21
It's happen to me a few times. I just chopped it up to ump missing call like a number do in real life...(I'm looking at you CB Bucknor and Angel Hernandez, perhaps two of the worst umpires ever...but I digress)..
That's what I originally felt as well. However, if you steal as often as possible, you'll see it happens way too frequently. I don't think stealing every chance you get is realistic, but just to test how often this would occur resulted in it happening a lot more often than it should be.

And changing it to that "perfect calls only" option doesn't change it either. Still happens a ton.

I just don't understand how this is all of a sudden an issue when before I rarely saw it happen.
 
# 18 DaveSBX @ 05/12/14 02:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by caseyj622
The game is amazing to me. Anyone complaining about unbearable load times is just plain lazy IMO. It takes 1 minute to load the game. Get up and get a glass of water, use the restroom, etc. Do something. Yes there are some issues with stadium seating lighting and a few animations, but overall this is the best baseball simulation to date IMO. I have full confidence that Ramone and his team will fix any glaring issues. He is always active and addresses any problems. They are the best in the business. He doesn't hide from it like some companies here...Looking at you EA and 2k.
I don't think the load times are too bad when you're playing a full 9 inning game with quick count or not, but when you're doing a CP RTTS, it's almost unbearable.
 
# 19 The_Balm @ 05/12/14 02:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSBX
That's what I originally felt as well. However, if you steal as often as possible, you'll see it happens way too frequently. I don't think stealing every chance you get is realistic, but just to test how often this would occur resulted in it happening a lot more often than it should be.

And changing it to that "perfect calls only" option doesn't change it either. Still happens a ton.

I just don't understand how this is all of a sudden an issue when before I rarely saw it happen.
This doesn't directly fix the your problem, but you're going to get called out a lot less if you dive headfirst to the right of the bag.
 
# 20 DaveSBX @ 05/12/14 02:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Balm
This doesn't directly fix the your problem, but you're going to get called out a lot less if you dive headfirst to the right of the bag.
I try to always slide head first and away from where the tag will come, but for some reason the game sometimes insists on going feet first. Is this a setting I'm missing to turn off sliding assist? I don't think I saw one, but I may have missed it.
 

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