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MLB The Show 19 Re-Review: Taking Stock

MLB The Show 19

MLB The Show 19 Re-Review: Taking Stock

One month (give or take) into The Show and my opinions remain, for the most part, the same as they did when I first reviewed the game. Since my review, the Operation Sports Full Minors rosters were released, marking to many players the “official” beginning of the game’s cycle. Many, many thanks to everyone who worked on and put those together. These breathe new life into franchise mode as well, which I covered in-depth here.

Nonstop Rewards

The Show still constantly rewards you just for playing the game, and the rewards often feel very well worth the time. At the conclusion of seemingly every other game, The Show gifts some sort of treat for my DD team, which absolutely encourages a few more games. A reasonable value for the trade-in missions encouraged my participation in those as well. Though some still linger, Moments appear to have noticeably less luck-based requirements, which is great for those of us who just want to hop in and enjoy the scenarios as opposed to grind for hours.

Way Too Many Errors

To put it bluntly, the amount of in-game errors is shocking. It almost feels as if the game logic awarded the player safe passage to first base in some capacity, but it could take a bizarre ricochet or curiously errant overthrow to get you there. Outfielders frequently miss routine fly balls in the outfield even if they are gravitating towards or underneath the fielding icon. Infielders get eaten up by nonthreatening exit velocities, often without needing to move more than a few steps in a single direction. They will drop balls on the transfer that they will have milliseconds ago speared off of a tough hop, get lead feet when chasing down a slow roller between infielders, and throw their bodies at the batted ball like hockey players attempting to deflect an incoming shot by any means necessary. Even catchers have resumed their inability to stop passed balls from 2018’s release, though the frequency as which they do is much less egregious. On top of that, those passed balls don’t lead to runs nearly as often, which is also a welcome change.

Errors with this regularity destroy the flow of gameplay in every mode. March to October playoff games suddenly turn Gold Glove hopefuls into blindfolded tee-ball outfielders. For example, in a 1-1 game in the top of the ninth inning, two runners on, two outs, and a routine fly ball is hit to center field. George Springer, standing under the icon after ranging maybe three feet to his right, misses a can of corn and allows two runs to score as the ball rolls to the fence. It sure does make the eight-plus hours put into the mode feel like a frustrating waste of time. Even worse is in online play, when three-inning games can be decided in a similar manner.

I completely sympathize with and encourage the secondary and out of position defensive penalties. However, something needs to be done for defensive-oriented outfielders. It is common practice in both baseball video games and real-life managing to move primary center fielders around to the corner outfield positions. However, even a gold center fielder patrolling right field instead of his designated center is akin to that of your last-minute softball sub who you needed to put somewhere or else your team would forfeit. Incredibly poor reads that steal precious seconds off of his pursuit and clumsy out-of-character drops are unrealistic for defenders of that caliber. Yes, players should be punished for attempting to play Paul Goldschmidt at catcher, but there should be much less of a discernible tax on center fielders playing in left or right.

Hitting And Baserunning 

Baserunning remains problematic as I routinely get thrown out with 95 speed 74 stealing Jackie Robinson while players with speed ratings in the 70s and even 60s glide across the diamond. Pick-offs remain so frustrating that they deem stealing frankly not worth the risk, eliminating a sizable component of baseball strategy. Road to the Show and Player Lock do a great job of alerting players when pick-offs are coming, and perhaps this could be better implemented to other modes instead of the current randomized automatic outs.

Additionally, baserunners will suddenly lend remarkably poor judgment on batted balls into the gap. Doubles and even triples that are noticeably clearing defenders’ grasps will occasionally force runners to hold between bases as if they were tagging up. This is a nightmare when this small speed lapse can convert what should have been an automatic run into an out at the plate or a pickle between third and home.

Hitting, too, has taken a turn towards becoming frustrating, presumably after one of the game’s patches.  Fly outs and line outs occur at an alarming rate as batted balls shoot across the screen like heat-seeking missiles locked in on fielders’ gloves. The difference between some no-doubt home run animation hits and some routine outs is remarkable, as regrettably, good timing on squared up pitches within the PCI does not always equate to solid exit velocity, much less a hit. This does appear to be more of an issue at higher levels in ranked play — where it too often feels like soft contact and subpar timing lead to better outcomes than good timing and good contact — but it’s still something that overall feels more pronounced than it was at launch.

The Game Is Still Great 

All told, MLB The Show 19 remains a tremendous joy to play, but recent patches have converted the game into more of a randomized experience than the exceptional on-field gameplay the title boasted for the few weeks after launch. No matter the difficulty setting, the game can take a turn for jarringly difficult or offensively easy. Some games see the ball flying off the bat with ease while others find players unable to squirrel more than two hits off of a bronze or common pitcher. The game appears to be navigating two identities: either the nerfed hitting, impossible baserunning, and error-ridden frustrating Show or the ultra-engrossing, hitters’ and pitchers’ clinic fun Show that showcases how the great the series is. What is frustrating is that this problem lingers both in offline and online modes, and you never know which version of MLB The Show 19 you are going to get.

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  1. re:Way Too Many Errors
    ...Yes, players should be punished for attempting to play Paul Goldschmidt at catcher, but there should be much less of a discernible tax on centerfielders playing in left or right.

    I'll admit I dont know how it works in game but IMO even putting left or right fielders in centerfield, there should be ZERO penalties. whatever reaction(range?) and speed attribute ratings they have should be the penalty that matters. If they possess good enough speed and range to play center, that should be all that matters, again IMO. same for putting a left or center fielder in rightfield, if they dont have the arm strength and accuracy to man rightfield, well, user beware. dont need any extra penalties in outfield, ZERO. unless you put a catcher or second/third/first baseman in the outfield
    So I read that hitting and fielding are problematic but “ the game is still great”. Interesting conclusion.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I’m not at all trying to say the errors and base running problems don’t exist. I hate when people belittle others experiences or opinions when they don’t have the issues themselves. This is just my personal take.
    Thanks to other OS members figuring out the stealing mechanic ,once i  used the L2 then holding L1 button to steal it’s not only alleviated any issue I had with stealing, it also made it the best, most enjoyable experience I’ve had with baserunning in the show.  I like that it’s not just an automatic steal because the player has 95 speed. You still have to time the jump.  Personally I have  other issues with base-running, mostly AI decision making, but  the difficulty in base stealing isn’t one of them.
    as far as errors , in I dunno how many games I’ve played , I really haven’t experienced anything that I thought was egregious in the error department.  I like that  it’s a concern to have Lourdes Gurriel  playing second base. I’m constantly subbing Teoscar Hernandez out in late inning close games  because he’s a fielding liability. I’ve had so many “is his offense enough to deal with his defense” moments with this years game and I love it.  Full disclaimer I do use button accuracy so any throwing errors are on me.  Which leads me to my issue. I wish they didn’t take fielding difficulty out this year. Button accuracy is way too easy. I’ve made 1 throwing error all year. 
    I think the negatives you pointed out are actually positives to me. It used to be that I had to really concentrate  while batting or pitching but fielding and base-running was a snore fest and you could just mail it in . Not anymore.  Could they fine tune some of it? Definitely  but I still think it’s much better than before and the added strategy  of defensive  liabilities is helping my enjoyment. 
    CujoMatty
    I’m not at all trying to say the errors and base running problems don’t exist. I hate when people belittle others experiences or opinions when they don’t have the issues themselves. This is just my personal take.
    Thanks to other OS members figuring out the stealing mechanic ,once i *used the L2 then holding L1 button to steal it’s not only alleviated any issue I had with stealing, it also made it the best, most enjoyable experience I’ve had with baserunning in the show. *I like that it’s not just an automatic steal because the player has 95 speed. You still have to time the jump. *Personally I have *other issues with base-running, mostly AI decision making, but *the difficulty in base stealing isn’t one of them.
    as far as errors , in I dunno how many games I’ve played , I really haven’t experienced anything that I thought was egregious in the error department. *I like that *it’s a concern to have Lourdes Gurriel *playing second base. I’m constantly subbing Teoscar Hernandez out in late inning close games *because he’s a fielding liability. I’ve had so many “is his offense enough to deal with his defense” moments with this years game and I love it. *Full disclaimer I do use button accuracy so any throwing errors are on me. *Which leads me to my issue. I wish they didn’t take fielding difficulty out this year. Button accuracy is way too easy. I’ve made 1 throwing error all year.*
    I think the negatives you pointed out are actually positives to me. It used to be that I had to really concentrate *while batting or pitching but fielding and base-running was a snore fest and you could just mail it in . Not anymore. *Could they fine tune some of it? Definitely *but I still think it’s much better than before and the added strategy *of defensive *liabilities is helping my enjoyment.*

    I think the problem is it was a "review". If I went on what he said, I'd never touch the game. Cujomatty you touched on the stealing. I'm in the boat with you. I picked up a lot reading what some of the guys here, who know what they are doing, offered and actually "fixed" it for me. I wasn't even trying to steal because of it. Now, it's 100% better.
    I guess I'd just like to look over his shoulder when he's playing and watch what he's doing. It was totally subjective, then blaming patches? I dunno. Whether you love the game, hate it, whatever, it was all over the place and really came off more as a personal gripe (to me anyway).
    What never ceases to amaze me....is the wide differentiation of experiences we all get with the same game.
    The last two versions of this game (18 and 19) have been nothing short of the best console baseball game experience I have ever had.....and yes there are some quirks here and there. But I am not feeling this review at all. Nor experiencing his frustrations. I love how fielders bobble more balls, misplay fly balls, but also are able to stick with the play and still throw guys out.
    The past several years.....everyone was a gold glover. Now? You can clearly see and feel the difference between below average, average, good and elite defensive players. It is really nice to finally have that. And even the elite will make an occasional error. Like they should. I am not seeing a crazy amount of errors...not at all. I don’t get what the reviewer is seeing....because I am simply not experiencing that at all. I have seen comments about every diving catch in the OF is dropped.....ummmm no not at all. I have seen so many amazing web gems...and yes ones that are missed, smothered or dropped....as they should be. But let me put in this disclaimer.....I use auto fielding with manual throwing. SO my experience is certainly a lot different than the reviewer who is clearly using manual fielding. So I cannot really compare my experience to that of a manual fielder.

    Hitting for me has been on point since day one. Not seeing or experiencing any frustration. The ebbs and flows of my offense thus far as been so cool and a wild roller coaster ride like IRL. My hit variety has never been better. Bloopers, liners, balls down the line and into the corner bouncing around, bleeders, nubbers, ball physics have never been better on any baseball game ever made. Another disclaimer....I use Timed/Directional which is far more ratings driven than the other interfaces so again....this is probably why experiences vary all over the board. Everyone plays with different interfaces, different levels, and of course I adjust sliders to enhance my playing experience along with a clean screen approach....so we are probably comparing apples to oranges.
    Passed balls? Totally disagree with this notion they have reverted. Absolutely not. They are blocking much better, and reacting much quicker. In fact last night I threw out two runners who did not get great reads. One at second and one at third. It had me pumping my fist as I was able to get out of a couple of innings due to mistakes in base running by the CPU. That to me is a huge positive. Also balls back at the pitcher.....SO MUCH BETTER. I think in 70 plus franchise games now I have hit the pitcher 6 times. In years past it was all the time.
    Stealing? I have Trea Turner and lead the A.L. in steals. I do not take any extra lead. I pre-load the steal then hold the L1 button and get great jumps most of the time. Counts, timing, pitch thrown, catcher throwing all factor into the results. But I have no problems stealing with real deal base stealers as well as good speed guys when I do it in the right situation. Again...I also tweak my sliders for base stealing (steal success to 6 every year for me and works like a charm along with the right approach and timing).
    Seems like the reviewer is talking more about online hitting......I don’t bother with online as it is a totally different game online then offline.
    If your an offline player, love baseball, love franchise mode (which needs a lot of love as we all know and don’t need to discuss here), love classic rosters....MLB The Show 19 is the best console baseball game you will ever play bar none.
    I dreamed of a game like this back in 1987 as I played table top games like Statis-Pro and Stratomatic baseball with a bunch of my buddies as we replayed seasons together. Or when I was playing Baseball Stars and Bases Loaded on the NES.
    This is console baseball nirvana man.
    9.5/10 on offline gameplay (simply the best it has ever been)
    9.5/10 on audio upgrades this year (amazing audio this cycle...really well done)
    9.0/10 on Presentation upgrades (love the new score bugs, Hedi, dynamic storylines)
    7/10 on Franchise Mode (this mode needs to be tuned and upgraded but is still functional with 30 team control. But it has been way too long since we got some much needed tuning).
    8.75/10 overall. I can’t stop playing.
    Great review and I agree with everything said, add in the framerate issues that still rares its head in every game and this game (in my opinion) plays worse than last yrs
    Lisac
    Great review and I agree with everything said, add in the framerate issues that still rares its head in every game and this game (in my opinion) plays worse than last yrs

    That is also another interesting point. I know people are having frame rate issues.
    I clearly have not.
    43’ sony XBR in game mode
    On balanced and no 4K for me as I like it off (colors are far more vibrant with it off).
    Zero frame-rate issues.
    Sent from Palm Trees and Paradise using Operation Sports
    I think it's fair to say that my experience is vastly different than that of Elliott's. I don't see the too many errors, nor do I feel that hitting is "off". I also don't see a difference in hitting now than when the game launched.
    The one thing that I agree with is that the game is great.
    Armor and Sword
    That is also another interesting point. I know people are having frame rate issues.
    I clearly have not.
    43’ sony XBR in game mode
    On balanced and no 4K for me as I like it off (colors are far more vibrant with it off).
    Zero frame-rate issues.
    Sent from Palm Trees and Paradise using Operation Sports

    I have 4k 65' Sony
    Where do I find to turn off 4k
    Would love to try this
    Simply turn off the HDR. I also like it without it. The frame rate issues do pop up but I honestly feel it’s a loading issue. Let the game load completely and take it easy starting up the game and it’s much less often.
    As for everything else...I’m just not seeing it. Maybe it’s an online/high difficulty issue. I play all-star.
    Lisac
    I have 4k 65' Sony
    Where do I find to turn off 4k
    Would love to try this

    Well let me correct myself. I run the game on High Performance (I think it is called that) instead of the full 4K option. And on the in-game visual options menu I also turn off the HDR.
    I have my TV picture setting on “game mode”.
    Interesting. I was just thinking about posting a thread to ask if people were seeing enough errors, because I felt like I haven't seen that much. Good to know I might see a good balance the more I play.
    Defense in this game has always been, and still is, garbage. They claimed to fix defense but all they did was  put more errors and slow reactions into the game. I’m still still  sure if I’m mad about them taking away our ability to control how hard we throw, when in previous versions I felt like it was rigged anyways and even a full power throw would sometimes be a lob. Throws that are gonna be dropped still take a weird angle where as the ball is flying in the air you know it’s gonna be dropped. Everything defensively in this game is prepacked and preplanned.  I wish I had more control over the game. Offense is probably pre planned also but it’s just harder to see.   It’s a decent enough game, I just don’t see how people can ever call it great when so much of the gameplay is actuallly out of our control. 
    I use manage mode and I'm not seeing the problem with errors after the patch. I kind of like the fact attributes matter especially with things like outfielders breaking in the wrong direction or taking the wrong route to the ball.
    If there are problems in "joystick" modes perhaps it is user related?

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