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The Best Gameplay of 2017? MLB The Show 17

MLB The Show 17

The Best Gameplay of 2017? MLB The Show 17

When it comes to sports games, they can offer all of the options or modes in the world but none of that will matter unless the game actually plays well when you’re out on the field/court/ice/generic playing surface. This year’s crop of the usual contenders proved once again that no game is perfect in this regard when placed under the microscope, as it seemed they all had their issues that generated complaints. NBA 2K18 had AI problems and easy exploits, Madden 18 had more bugs than the patches could keep up with, NHL 18 is still fiddling around with its tuner set to get things right, and FIFA 18 has practically their entire community in an uproar. When the dust settled, MLB The Show 17 distinguished itself from the rest by adding some choice new features to what was already working fine in years past.

Perhaps the biggest (and surely the most controversial) change in MLB The Show 17 was to the game’s hitting engine, which saw a bit of an overhaul to allow for more realistic trajectories off the bat, and more variations in the types of slicing liners and bloopers you would encounter. While there were those who found the changes to result in too many warning track balls or frozen ropes hit directly at outfielders (not to mention the issues with the misleading feedback), it’s hard to argue that they didn’t at least achieve the desired effect of more variety in how balls jumped off bats. Another great new addition was smarter AI in fielders that allowed them to adjust their urgency on throws according to who was on the basepaths, essentially eliminating the recurring frustration of fielders being far too casual in their attempts to throw someone out. Now if they could only fix some of the slower throwing motions and tagging mechanics, they might actually approach perfection.

Aside from these larger wholesale changes, there were some smaller adjustments to further refine gameplay that was already pretty stellar in previous years. The heart of the game, just as in real baseball, has always been in the eternal struggle between pitcher and batter, and MLB The Show 17’s greatest feat is how accurately it replicates this strategic duel, even in online games where you would fear that lag might hinder the experience. Returning players will also appreciate the addition of many new animations within the game, allowing everyone on the field to now move a little more like actual people rather than the stiff robots they had a tendency to resemble before.

It would have been easy for MLB The Show 17 to rest on their laurels this past year and churn out a game that didn’t deviate much from last year’s formula, but they instead decided to innovate in ways that, while not always wholly successful, at least point the way to a more dynamic and realistic way of hitting. As far as sports simulations go, there’s no one recreating all of the subtleties and nuances that make up a sport better than MLB The Show 17.

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  1. I don't play the other sports titles but if the Show 17 was the best gameplay wise those games must be really roughl. To me gameplay went backwards last year offline and especially online. To give credit though, there were individual gameplay aspects that improved but as a sewn together package I found it unbalanced and disjointed.
    You mentioned Madden and its patches but the Show was patch city last year. In having interacted with the design team in the past I am hopeful they will try hard to pull it together tighter for 18.
    Yeah I gotta agree with Nemesis. There was some nice improvements to gameplay, but it didn't feel well balanced at all. Must have been a weak year for sport videogames in the gameplay department.
    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    underdog13
    Yeah I gotta agree with Nemesis. There was some nice improvements to gameplay, but it didn't feel well balanced at all. Must have been a weak year for sport videogames in the gameplay department.
    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

    See, now I disagree with you both. MLB 17 took noticeable steps forward in gameplay and IMO, is the best playing baseball game ever. The ball physics, especially after they were toned down in a patch, were huge to the realism of the gameplay. The hit variety is still making me say "That was cool!" almost every time I play, even though I've played hundreds of hours in the game at this point. Animations were much improved for both infielders and outfielders - defense is the most fluid, realistic and natural it has ever been. Stolen bases are much more realistic.
    So I'm the opposite, I found that there just a few individual gameplay aspects that were not up to par still, not that there were just a few improved.
    Passed ball & wild pitch logic was annoying. CPU bullpen usage may have been somewhat improved but not where it needs to be eventually (though bullpen logic has to be a major pain in the neck to program!). Average fielders making All Star defensive plays happened to often. Camera in RttS is still annoying and wonky at times. But these are truly individual issues to me, and do very little to detract from the overall gameplay enjoyment. :y220b:
    I agree with nemesis and underdog. While I can appreciate the new improvements to gameplay in '17, the game, as underdog mentioned, just didn't feel balanced. The wild pitch and passed ball issue was troublesome, as was the catcher lobbing throws to the bases after a ball in the dirt. Couple that with a few other minor annoyances I had (ie batter handedness instead of position on batter walkup) and it was just too much for me to find the same level of enjoyment as I did in '16, and years previous.
    As I've stated before, my thoughts on '17 are that the dev team took a big swing looking to knock the ball out of the park, but ended up hooking it just foul.
    With that said, I am very much anxious to see what '18 has in store and I truly believe that it will be, imo, the best baseball game to date.
    The Show is really a mixed bag nowadays, some things it does very well and at times it feels like it can compete with any game  out there but in other aspects it's almost stuck at last gen level and certain things haven't been touched for years. I guess the dev team is small and that' s how it's gotta be.
    I think relative to other sports games, the Show might've had the best gameplay. It's definitely not too far of a stretch to say that. Some people don't play other sports games so they don't get to see all of the problems in other titles, but the Show has consistently delivered the best gameplay experience in my opinion. FIFA is the only other sports game that i would consider.
    The Show has been the dominate sports title for a very long time. The minor issues that it has is very minuscule . With a few slider adjustments, the game plays PERFECT. There will always be complainers regarding this game, but those people will never be satisfied.  Like I said, EA is no longer relevant in the sports market. The only thing EA is focused on is the graphics, they could careless about the actual gameplay. 
    I'm not at all surprised by this. Fact of the matter is, despite its flaws, you can really let yourself sink into The Show and actually feel like you're playing baseball.
    I don't play a lot of other sports games, but I used to be really into the NHL series. I had to stop. No matter what I did, no matter how much I fiddled with sliders, I always was disappointing with the end results. I never felt like I was playing hockey.
    That's always been the best thing about The Show. It just FEELS right to play. Hopefully they keep improving things for 18.
    Its the damnedest thing with this game.  As the gameplay has improved and gotten better and better I get bored with the titles faster and faster.  The Show is IMO one of if not the best sports simulation titles out there, but I find myself losing interest in it faster and faster.  Can't put my finger on it...weird I know.
    N51_rob
    Its the damnedest thing with this game.* As the gameplay has improved and gotten better and better I get bored with the titles faster and faster.* The Show is IMO one of if not the best sports simulation titles out there, but I find myself losing interest in it faster and faster.* Can't put my finger on it...weird I know.
    Outgrowing gaming maybe?
    Though I play The Show a ton every year, I don't play Madden anymore, rarely play NHL series, and NBA 2K is an every-other year purchase pretty much. Beyond that, I play a RPG's a little, and some occasional strategy games. But not much in the way of shooters, platformers, action/adventure, etc. Partially because I don't have much time anymore, partially because I don't get the enjoyment I used to get from gaming - sports games and The Show included. 15 years ago, even 10 years ago, gaming was my primary hobby. Now it is probably 3rd or 4th on my list of leisure activities. :y220b:
    The Show has always been an ALMOST great game for a long time. But something is just a little off. My main issue with SDS is that they are a first party developer. In my mind, when you are first party you have access to all that Sony can grant you as far as the PS4 goes. But they just haven't pushed the envelope like other first party titles have. They have been making some nice improvements, but imo they feel minor. As I play each iteration of the game, something inside of me feels like they have brought over too many old assets from previous generations. That's probably why 4k performs so poorly.
    I think SDS needs to take 2 or more years off and come with something that's worthy of this generation and the next. As it is now, The Show is ho-hum to me. It's a very good game, buy I know they can be better.
    bubba4
    I think SDS needs to take 2 or more years off and come with something that's worthy of this generation and the next.

    bite your tongue lol
    but really, I get where you're coming from and if SDS were able to spend a couple years working on their next release, it would probably be the be all end all for sports games.
    On the other hand, I'd likely have an aneurysm if they announced a 2 year delay and would die before I saw the added benefit :lol:
    underdog13
    Yeah I gotta agree with Nemesis. There was some nice improvements to gameplay, but it didn't feel well balanced at all. Must have been a weak year for sport videogames in the gameplay department.
    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

    I guess it depends somewhat on what mode you play but it also reveals the extent to which people can look at the same thing and draw different conclusions.
    The ball curve produced more of a variety in hits but for some odd reason they decided to have fly balls down both foul lines to curve wildly foul instead of landing fair for a hit. The author complained about lack of perfection from infielders when the new AI made them unrealistically good to the point where below average infielders make all star plays frequently.
    Perhaps in 2018 they will adjust the things they implemented but didn't get quite right. For me it depends on what I see in the gameplay video whether or not I'm a buyer this year.
    tessl
    I guess it depends somewhat on what mode you play but it also reveals the extent to which people can look at the same thing and draw different conclusions.
    The ball curve produced more of a variety in hits but for some odd reason they decided to have fly balls down both foul lines to curve wildly foul instead of landing fair for a hit. The author complained about lack of perfection from infielders when the new AI made them unrealistically good to the point where below average infielders make all star plays frequently.
    Perhaps in 2018 they will adjust the things they implemented but didn't get quite right. For me it depends on what I see in the gameplay video whether or not I'm a buyer this year.
    Yeah I agree. Sometimes the ball curves are really nice, other times way overdone. Also I can't count hoe many times I've gotten "good" timing only to pull it foul.
    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    The Left Shark
    I've said this before and I'll say it again: the MVP series has the smoothest defense for baseball games.

    I agree with that when it comes to manual defense. It was awesome. Fielding on MVP 2005 was fantastic and fun.
    But the animations were no where near The Show so there is the give and take of ultra realism vs total control.
    It is why I play auto fielding and manual throwing. The game is silky smooth when you do that.
    Anyway.....I voted for The Show 17. It is the best sports game I have ever played. I have not stopped playing since release. And will be playing all the way up to 18 no doubt.
    The Show is the only sports game I continually do that with.
    I am sure 18 will be even better.
    underdog13
    Yeah I agree. Sometimes the ball curves are really nice, other times way overdone. Also I can't count hoe many times I've gotten "good" timing only to pull it foul.
    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

    I use manage mode so I see the game in its purest form as programmed with no human input.
    I noticed this in the author's review: Now if they could only fix some of the slower throwing motions and tagging mechanics, they might actually approach perfection.
    I appreciate the new fielder AI but I disagree with the author's assertion/wish it should "approach perfection". Shortstop sprinting toward the left field foul line field a ball and throw perfectly across their body to record the out at first base. I've seen pitchers field a ball with their momentum carrying them into foul territory throw the runner out at first base.
    The new fielder AI was a good idea but like the ball spin they took it too far. It shouldn't be "perfection" because that makes it an arcade game - unless an arcade game is what you consider great gameplay.
    Not bashing the author just the differences in how people play the game and what they see as good or bad gameplay.
    Armor and Sword
    I agree with that when it comes to manual defense. It was awesome. Fielding on MVP 2005 was fantastic and fun.
    But the animations were no where near The Show so there is the give and take of ultra realism vs total control.
    It is why I play auto fielding and manual throwing. The game is silky smooth when you do that.
    Anyway.....I voted for The Show 17. It is the best sports game I have ever played. I have not stopped playing since release. And will be playing all the way up to 18 no doubt.
    The Show is the only sports game I continually do that with.
    I am sure 18 will be even better.

    Same here A&S. I'm a football junkie so I always get sucked into buying Madden when it comes out. However, I'm usually pretty let down by that game and don't play it that much. Maybe some day I'll learn my lesson and won't buy it.
    I love basketball as well. But other than the Bulls and Salukis, I don't watch much basketball these days besides the NCAA Tournament. Since the Bulls have been pretty mediocre to bad, my hype level for the NBA playoffs the past couple of seasons has been pretty minimal. Especially when you know it's going to be G.S. vs Cleveland in the Finals anyways. I think I play more basketball than I watch these days, which is a shame because I love basketball. I always buy NBA 2K and enjoy it quite a bit, but again I never get too into it because I'm too busy watching football or playing the Show, anticipating baseball season.
    Then there's baseball. It's pretty close with football, but I think baseball takes the cake for me. There's nothing better than being at the ballpark on a nice summer day, drinking a cold beer, eating a hot dog, and watching the White Sox (hopefully) win haha. Even when I'm at home, I have MLB.tv to watch the Rockies and any other game that might have a good pitching matchup, along with the Sox on the tube.
    This is where the Show comes in. Like A&S, it's the only game I buy each year and play until the new version comes out. There is so much depth in this game as far as game modes to keep you interested, and I just love baseball. Quick counts are awesome. I usually have 3-4 franchises going at the same time with different teams, as well as dabbling in other modes such as RttS and Diamond Dynasty. I can't wait for '18 to drop.
    Now just put my dude Nolan on the cover for '19!
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