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MLB The Show 21 Review - The Mark Prior of Baseball Games

MLB The Show 21 review

MLB The Show 21

MLB The Show 21 Review - The Mark Prior of Baseball Games

The story of Mark Prior’s career is filled with incredible highs, devastating lows, comparisons to Tom Seaver, USC folklore, what-if scenarios, and on it goes. It’s weird to think back on Prior’s career now because it technically only lasted for five MLB seasons, but it just felt like so much happened, and there were so many different ways it could have gone. Did a lot people really say he had “perfect” mechanics, or did that just get accepted as part of the lexicon after the fact? Does he still have the same number of injury issues if anyone but Dusty Baker becomes the manager of the Cubs in ’03? Questions like these are hard to answer, and you’re probably also wondering how this relates to an MLB The Show 21 review. Well, a lot like Prior’s career at certain moments, The Show this year does feel like it’s at a crossroads.

The Show‘s pedigree is just about unrivaled in the sports gaming space, but the expectations coming into this season were massive. The Show goes next gen. The Show goes cross platform. The Show was just our Sports Game of the Year for 2020. The pedigree is all here, and this franchise continues to have all the potential in the world. However, while The Show still has nothing but upside, it’s hard to deny this is going to probably end up being that first “arm injury” for the series in many years. It’s not enough on its own to question the long-term prospects of the series. Still, there are growing pains here as The Show tries to get used to this newfound superstardom as a multi-platform system seller that is being featured as a selling point for Xbox Game Pass. The question will be is ’21 just SDS getting Dusty Baker’d a bit by a mix of Covid, next-gen crunch, and multi-platform stress, or are the mechanics of the series not quite as “perfect” as we all thought?

All that being said, SDS has delivered a baseball game that feels more realistic than ever on the field. On top of that, while some modes are stuck in neutral — or even going backwards in some respects — most fans of the sport are going to be able to find something here that scratches that itch.

(Editor’s note: Our reviews for the biggest sports games are never going to cover everything all at once. We try to explain to outsiders at times that folks don’t quite appreciate how deep sports games are now. Even if you play them a lot, you’re still never quite an “expert” at every mode and know every in and out like you can for most other games out there. We have a community concerns/launch guide up to cover some of the feelings of the general populace here at OS, but we like to keep our reviews more focused on the experiences the individual reviewer had. We’ll have more deep dives, thoughts, and all that good stuff as it relates to various modes and aspects of The Show in the days and weeks ahead. In short, if you think we missed your pet issue or something “obvious” in this review, fair enough. However, no one review is ever going to cover every single thing.)

What I Like – MLB The Show 21 Review

mlb the show 21 review

Graphics/Presentation

The first thing I love to do each year with a new MLB The Show is play a game vs. the CPU without pushing a single button ever to skip any of the presentation between pitches. This year it’s downright astonishing to see all of the little details that beautifully capture the leisurely pace of a day at the stadium. Baseball has its share of exciting moments, but they’re made all the more special by every little mundane action in between them. The game captures so many of these little routine flourishes. From pitchers staring in at an umpire after a close call goes against them, to infielders leisurely throwing the ball around after an out, to a batter’s specific ritual of what he does after stepping out of the batter’s box following each pitch, there’s so much here. In fact, there’s so many little nuances it makes it frustrating on some level that we don’t get catchers throwing the ball back to the mound each time, or little obvious things like that which would make this a “pure” baseball experience if you never clicked any buttons to skip something.

MLB The Show 21 review

The Show‘s broadcast style continues to make each game feel increasingly like one you would watch at home. Replays are ready to go after highlight players, and the appropriate cutaways, closeups, and scenic wide shots highlight just how faithfully all of the real stadiums have been rendered. The players themselves also closely resemble their real-life counterparts (there are way more face scans this year), and their models are large and detailed enough that they’re easily recognizable based on how they look and move. People who play the game every year are probably still bound to notice more of the similarities to last year’s game than differences (such is the nature of the annual sports release), but you’re also sure to pick up on all sorts of new animations and presentation wrinkles once you’ve played a couple games.

Sure, it’s a little disappointing to find in comparisons that people have done online that there really doesn’t appear to be all that much of a pronounced difference between current gen and next gen when it comes to the graphics. However, I have a hard time complaining about that too much when everything looks really good as is, and all of the action moves at a glorious 60 fps. There’s plenty of room for improvement, and it’ll be interesting to see how SDS fully harnesses and integrates the power of next-gen consoles in future releases once they’ve had more time to develop on them.

Stadium Creator

As a feature that fans have been demanding for years, it’s nice to see SDS finally allows people to make their own stadiums in MLB The Show 21 — though that creative power is only available on next-gen consoles. The process is fairly intuitive and includes a helpful tutorial from Coach (The Show‘s lovable puppet mascot) on how to master all of the basics. There are a ton of options at your disposal and there’s an undeniable thrill when you design a park with, say, a scoreboard in the shape of a guitar with a brontosaurus hanging out underneath it. It’s made all the more special when you hit a home run in an online game that happens to land right near that dinosaur. The community is bound to have a lot of creations that are both amazing and awful, and I can’t wait to see all of them. I get the gripes about the fact that you have an allocated budget for each stadium, but since this will prevent people from having absolutely every prop imaginable at a single stadium, it does seem like a logical design decision.

As you might expect from a feature in its first year of implementation, there are some things that could be refined to make the whole process a little easier. Often, it can be hard to select certain props when you hover over them with your cursor, which can quickly become frustrating. When toggling between easy edit mode (which you can use to ensure that your ballpark is okay to use in online modes) and pro edit mode, it can be difficult to tell what changes you’ve made in pro edit mode that cause a ballpark to not be playable online (hint: it’s usually the walls not being preset ones).

It’s also unfortunate that you’re not able to play any night games (or have domes) at created stadiums, making it seem like the sun never sets wherever your park happens to be located. That also kind of makes all of the lighting rig props that you can use in designing the stadium all but moot since they’re not ever going to get used anyway. Additionally, there are no ad boards, and there is no search option for the Stadium Creator Vault, which makes it very hard to find specific parks. Lastly, Stadium Creator still needs moderation from SDS/Sony/Microsoft as there are a number of bigoted and/or inappropriate stadiums that need to be purged from the game.

Diamond Dynasty

It was already the best card-collecting mode in any of the sports games, and Diamond Dynasty has only become even better in MLB The Show 21. Continuing to work with a model that allows you to build a quality squad by playing games rather than forcing you to spend real money to obtain elite cards, the mode has an overwhelming amount of ways to play. This takes on added focus this year because whether you prefer playing online or offline against the CPU, it feels as “fair” as it has in years in terms of not favoring online or offline people too much one way or another. On top of that, being able to earn any card by grinding is a great change.

New additions this year include Daily Moments, which include some solid rewards for just coming back regularly. Beyond that, the Inning Programs now are the main focus, and SDS has removed the long-term XP goals. I actually like this so far as it keeps me more focused, and the rewards still seem quite good. Plus, there are always more “programs” in progress now since BR and Ranked Seasons now have a more Events-like structure with goals tied to just grinding wins and stats. Even Conquest looks better from the outset because there are a handful of maps that you can conquer, and there is even a reason to repeat some of the maps for extra rewards.

Pinpoint Pitching

Pinpoint pitching

Long overdue for some sort of new pitching mechanic, MLB The Show 21 has introduced Pinpoint Pitching this year. As someone who has long been a meter pitcher, it has quickly become my new go-to on the mound. This probably has as much to do with how fun the new mechanic is as it does with the fact that meter pitching had grown rather stale after all these years.

Owing at least a little something to the MLB 2K series, Pinpoint Pitching involves moving the analog stick in different directions depending on what kind of pitch you are trying to throw. Naturally, a fastball only involves a straight up and down movement (though it can still be difficult to time correctly), while other pitches like sliders and changeups will have you using more elaborate circular motions to locate and command.

Though it takes some time to adjust to and learn exactly what you need to do to perform each pitch correctly (the refined practice mode is a savior on this front), it’s rewarding to finally reach a point where I can routinely perform the correct gestures. I now find myself able to get in a groove that at least in some way mimics the way a real pitcher can get locked in. It feels like it’s almost designed to be an ideal combination of meter (the timing) and analog (the stick use) that leaves you with the impression that you’re doing more to control where every pitch ends up.

Game Styles

It might not be the biggest deal to some players, but the introduction of different styles of play to differentiate between casual, competitive, and simulation styles (similar to what Madden has done) is a great way to now choose whether you want to prioritize the skills of the user or the different attributes of the players involved. It should at least theoretically cut down on the amount of RNG factored into online play while allowing people who prefer more realistic play in franchise mode to keep things based more on the attrbutes of the players.

What I Don’t Like – MLB The Show 21 Review

mlb the show 21 road to the show

Road To The Show

Road to the Show mode has always had its problems in my eyes, so it was likely due for an overhaul. But the makeover SDS decided to give it has somehow managed to make it even worse. By introducing a new system that confines you to only using one Ballplayer (though you can create other versions of him in different save slots) and initially focusing on the possibility of becoming a two-way player like Shohei Ohtani, RttS has become limiting, confusing, and at least at launch, it flat out does not work properly.

In theory, there’s some appeal to how you can now integrate your created ballplayer from RttS into Diamond Dynasty (should you happen to enjoy playing both modes), but the way that you use archetypes and specific skills to build separate Loadouts that you employ depending on if you are on the mound or playing out in the field on any given day sort of becomes antithetical to the entire point of a two-way player. The idea of having separate Loadouts that you use depending on your position gives the impression of developing some sort of unrealistic split baseball personality. You might be able to hit well and run fast on days you happen to be playing center field, but as soon as you take the mound, you’re forced to abandon all of those other skills in order to adopt your pitching persona.

To add insult to injury, there’s a progression system that involves accumulating stats like plate appearances and hits for batter archetypes, and innings pitched and strikeouts for pitching archetypes, and this isn’t working for many like myself at the moment. Despite logging the required stats in games, none of these ever register towards the progress, effectively making the entire mode a time sink because nothing you do really matters. It’s expected that a patch will remedy this as soon as possible (in fact, it appears SDS is already on it) because it’s pretty much as game-breaking as bugs can get.

Lastly, because the archetypes are bugged and you can’t use custom sliders without giving up all chances to earn XP, it just feels constricting right now. Your best bet for earning boosts in the quickest fashion is to head to Diamond Dynasty. SDS says the intention was not to funnel people towards any one mode — and that would probably be fair to believe if archetypes were not bugged — but funneling people to DD is still the end result as of now. Again, I think Diamond Dynasty rules, but it does not mean I want to feel “forced” to use my Ballplayer there to progress my attributes.

Franchise Mode

Look, I’m not going to belabor the point. SDS was upfront about what the focus was this year with franchise mode, so we all sort of did the math before even playing the game. Carryover saves are gone, and what’s in its place is not a great replacement when the selling point for this franchise mode was the long-term relationship many of us had with our franchises. Carryover saves made the shortcomings of the mode easier to swallow, and now it’s gone. I also have to factor in how buggy Sounds of the Show and the Roster Vault are right now across multiple platforms (not to mention roster creators have to start from scratch now on next-gen consoles). When you put all that together, it’s a bummer these things that accentuated franchise mode are now in a worse spot than they were last year.

If you’ve never played The Show, I think there’s plenty in the franchise mode that you will enjoy, but many veterans are not going to be thrilled with what’s here. On top of that, while trade logic was hyped as an area of focus, even that still looks iffy at best.

Custom Leagues

mlb the show 21 - 26

My hope was that the custom leagues mode that became part of the game last year would grow into a proper online franchise mode rather than just a one-season affair. Instead, the mode has returned largely unchanged from what it was in MLB The Show 20. This is a huge letdown for me, especially given the fact that this couldn’t possibly be some sort of next-gen-only feature. Considering how deep the online franchises are now in NBA 2K and even Madden at this point, there’s really no excuse to not have this be a feature in such a marquee sports franchise. Its absence is now a thing holding the series back from offering everything you would want in a baseball game.

Commentary

This is more of a minor quibble than anything else, but the commentary is bland and repetitive enough that I don’t want to listen to it much anymore after playing this past week or so. Fortunately, you can always just turn it off in the options menu and listen to the sounds of the ballpark instead (or add your own commentary at home if you’re feeling saucy). Still, it would be nice to hear more insights and variety in what the commentary team has to say over the course of a game.

Bottom Line

Every year it seems like MLB The Show flirts with consideration for being the best sports game of the year, and I still think that will end up being the case this year. At the very least, it continues to be the most accessible and realistic experience you can find, at least in part because you rarely have to worry about the AI of other players like you do in other team games. In other words, you generally have to accept the responsibility for your success or failure.

That being said, MLB The Show 21 has not made as big a leap as I hoped from a next-gen perspective. Road to the Show has become a bit of a mess in its current state. And there’s still the missing online franchise mode that needs to be here. However, these things still vanish from my mind when I’m in actual game and completely immersed in all of the tiny ways that The Show re-creates and celebrates the intricacies and atmosphere of baseball both on the field and surrounding it.

MLB The Show 21 is still sure to satisfy most baseball fans in at least one way, and I still believe it’s enjoyable enough to to win over some new fans at a time when baseball could definitely use them. But when you’re the “can’t miss” prospect, expectations are always high, and The Show does not always live up to those expectations this year.

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Discussion
  1. Fair. Though you have to also look at it from the perspective of an xbox owner who has never played the series before. They came into it without the same expectations and the game is a vast improvement over any other baseball option. Probably the other thing they care about it is working servers.
    dalger21

    Haha, is that a shot at meeeee? I did side with you all, that analogy was more just to say I thought there was some "missing the forest for the trees" going on by honing in on all the new stuff as being inherently bad, while a good portion of the issue is more just how buggy it all is.
    Ronoko
    Fair. Though you have to also look at it from the perspective of an xbox owner who has never played the series before. They came into it without the same expectations and the game is a vast improvement over any other baseball option. Probably the other thing they care about it is working servers.

    Yes, and Kevin does say as much that newcomers are probably going to enjoy the hell out of the game. (And that even vets can probably find something here to enjoy if they want a baseball fix.)
    ChaseB
    Haha, is that a shot at meeeee? I did side with you all, that analogy was more just to say I thought there was some "missing the forest for the trees" going on by honing in on all the new stuff as being inherently bad, while a good portion of the issue is more just how buggy it all is.

    Anyone know if there's dynamic crowds this year? I miss the Triple Play days when the Expos and Marlins played in nearly empty stadiums.
    bapgap
    Anyone know if there's dynamic crowds this year? I miss the Triple Play days when the Expos and Marlins played in nearly empty stadiums.

    They are in 20 last time I checked. MLB won’t allow nearly empty parks on their licensed games anymore.
    But you will see half capacity plenty and fans empty out on blow outs.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I can appreciate the fact that I no longer have to buy a ps5 now that this is on the Xbox. This game is filled with missed opportunities. The fact they could have tied stadium builder to your budget and actually allowed you to profit off of building a bigger stadium. The constant lack of post play options make it extremely boring to me. At least give me 5-10 seconds of post play to throw around the ball would go a long way. I like the create a team option in franchise mode. The fact you can rebrand your team with audible names is excellent. I am hit or miss with rtts mode. To be honest, I don’t see that significant jump that causes me to not go back to my ps4 pro if I need to play rtts. I actually enjoy playing franchise though. I just think they could have done more by simply incorporating what they have in the game already and merging them together. You have a stadium creator, you have a new budgeting system, now combine them! MVP style. You have great gameplay along with all of the little nuances of baseball, now, take off your handcuffs and let us control what happens before, during and after the play. If I caught a foul ball and had the option to keep the ball or give to a fan. If I made a great play and now I can throw the ball to the infield and maybe round the horn then hit a button to throw to the pitcher to end the play. All would make a complete, immersive package. As of now, it’s pitch the ball, run to the marker and that’s it. You can literally put the controller down after your fielder gets to the marker and the cpu takes over. It gets boring quick.
    Well written fair review. Nice job.
    If I weren't a long time show player I'd be annoyed at the lack of graphical improvement, but I knew better the 3rd time around on a next gen console not much would change until the 2nd year in the cycle lol I remember MLB 08 finally had reflective helmets it was so awesome haha
    Sent from my LM-G900 using Operation Sports mobile app
    As a Cubs fan, the review title freakin' slays me...lol
    Very fair review. Really hoping for a PC version next year as my RTX 3080 is my next gen beast of choice, so I'll keep playing 20 on PS4 Pro until we see what next year brings. Might pick up 21 when it gets really cheap and all the bugs are worked out.
    With the stadium creator you can really start to see how restrictive consoles can be.
    If this were on pc it would be everything you could ever ask for
    jeffy777
    As a Cubs fan, the review title freakin' slays me...lol
    Very fair review. Really hoping for a PC version next year as my RTX 3080 is my next gen beast of choice, so I'll keep playing 20 on PS4 Pro until we see what next year brings. Might pick up 21 when it gets really cheap and all the bugs are worked out.

    Sent from my LM-G900 using Operation Sports mobile app
    Good and fair review.
    The Show has been my favorite of the sports games I play and the only one who's card collection mode sucked me in.
    However it definitely has stagnated a bit, but so have NBA2k, Madden, and NHL.
    It feels like the games largely are what they are at this point.
    I do have to say that as I mainly play Franchise when not doing DD...The Show's Franchise is really lacking.
    It might be the worst one of the four major sports and the one most in need of overhaul and new ideas.
    But gameplay is the most important and The Show is basically perfect.
    I've also come to appreciate that they add new ways to play like pinpoint pitching, they keep the older options too.
    It's pretty impressive how many different ways to hit and pitch are in the game.
    I'm hoping next year brings some graphically upgrades because it's not much different on next gen.
    jrp1918
    I do have to say that as I mainly play Franchise when not doing DD...The Show's Franchise is really lacking.
    It might be the worst one of the four major sports and the one most in need of overhaul and new ideas.

    I think there are only two ways to go with the mode;
    Dive deep, REALLY deep, OOTP deep.... or simply nail the basics.
    I'd prefer that it cover every base, but none of the Devs have any desire to to put in that kind of effort. So I'd rather see a fully functional Chevy than a Ferrari that is constantly in the shop beacuse of minor tweaks under the hood.
    Incredibly unfortunate though. I think they are grossly underestimating the passion of this audience, and what it could do for the long-term success of the titles.
    Love how smooth this game is on Ps5. It is really nice.
    Disappointed about RTTS, but hopefully it can be fixed. Probably won’t start until it’s addressed. When I watched the rtts deep dive and heard about the “loadouts” I couldn’t help but think.. how can your ball player be a totally different player based on the day? It just doesn’t make sense.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    hunterdawgs10
    Love how smooth this game is on Ps5. It is really nice.
    Disappointed about RTTS, but hopefully it can be fixed. Probably won’t start until it’s addressed. When I watched the rtts deep dive and heard about the “loadouts” I couldn’t help but think.. how can your ball player be a totally different player based on the day? It just doesn’t make sense.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    hahahahaha I had the exact same thought. It really doesn't make any sense lol.
    I actually do like the "idea" of loadouts though. You can get better in bigger chunks than the slow grind and it makes gear matter more and does make me actually give a crap about card packs or the marketplace which I understand was exactly the point of why they did it. If they can get an old dude like me to even entertain the idea of spending real money on a virtual pack of cards hoping to get a pair of shoes that help me hit more dingers, then I think they're accomplishing their goals of monetizing everything. Wow its just so ridiculous even typing that. I'm 47..........47.......
    The unfortunate thing about losing carry over saves is the developers won't say whether the feature return.   Apparently this happened because the feature didn't mesh with the next gen consoles but the ps5 is not available unless you want to pay twice the price to a scalper.  
    I'm guessing sales numbers will be okay with the move to xbox but this is very disappointing.  
    I heard it once said that with Star Trek movies, every other one was good. It seems this year MLB the Show is in an in between year.
    It was surely a lot of work creating Xbox versions as well as versions for the new consoles. However, it sounds like the opening day roster, RTTS, and Franchise (particularly in respect of historic rosters) have all suffered. No year to year carry overs and no transfer of MLB 21 the show rosters from PS4 to PS5 are also additional negative limitations. Hopefully MLB 22 the Show will be better in all these respects.
    Sent from my SM-G950U using Operation Sports mobile app
    I dislike the graphics (basically unchanged from ps4), the franchise mode still hasn't changed and is becoming so stale I can hardly play it. What I do like is stadium creator and the actual game play. Otherwise I can't believe I wasted my money on a ps5 version of this game
    That being said, MLB The Show 21 has not made as big a leap as I hoped from a next-gen perspective.

    Outside of "better graphics" and "updated player models" (that's what we all expect from sports titles when there's a new console release so that's just a lazy response) and "updating franchise" (this isn't a good response either since we've been asking for that for 5 years so that's a quality of life upgrade and not a next-gen upgrade), I'd love to hear what exactly people expected from a fist-go at a next-gen version of MLBtS21.
    I'm genuinely asking because most of the time the comment "this isn't a big leap for next-gen" stops there and doesn't ever elaborate on what exactly is wanted or expected.
    So, outside of "better graphics/player models" and "updated franchise", what were some of you expecting with the PS5/XSX versions?
    Personally, the lowering of the loading times by about 2.5 times and the almost locked 60fps gameplay is a great start at a next-gen baseball game. I'm also keeping in mind they're creating this game for 8 consoles over 2.5 generations, so unless they completely ditch the PS4/X1 and turn those new games into just roster updates then we have to make some concessions for the first few years of a console generation leap.
    So does everybody just hate this game? I'm an Xbox guy, so I'm just happy to have a baseball game outside of OOTP, but just looking around It seems like people have not liked the show in some time. Is it really that bad?
    GOBLUE_08
    So does everybody just hate this game? I'm an Xbox guy, so I'm just happy to have a baseball game outside of OOTP, but just looking around It seems like people have not liked the show in some time. Is it really that bad?

    Nah. I’ve been a fan for years now and this is the most bugged version I’ve seen. The RTTS is basically trash this year. That was my favorite mode. You started in a geographic all star series to impress talent scouts and went from there. Also you could power your player up to Atleast 65-70 before even hoping for a jump. Now that’s all gone.
    BA2929
    Outside of "better graphics" and "updated player models" (that's what we all expect from sports titles when there's a new console release so that's just a lazy response) and "updating franchise" (this isn't a good response either since we've been asking for that for 5 years so that's a quality of life upgrade and not a next-gen upgrade), I'd love to hear what exactly people expected from a fist-go at a next-gen version of MLBtS21.
    I'm genuinely asking because most of the time the comment "this isn't a big leap for next-gen" stops there and doesn't ever elaborate on what exactly is wanted or expected.
    So, outside of "better graphics/player models" and "updated franchise", what were some of you expecting with the PS5/XSX versions?
    Personally, the lowering of the loading times by about 2.5 times and the almost locked 60fps gameplay is a great start at a next-gen baseball game. I'm also keeping in mind they're creating this game for 8 consoles over 2.5 generations, so unless they completely ditch the PS4/X1 and turn those new games into just roster updates then we have to make some concessions for the first few years of a console generation leap.

    That's all I was expecting, better graphics and player models which we did not receive. The ps4 version shouldn't look the same as the ps5 version...period. This is the most disappointing console jump ever. Few seconds on the loading times and fps isn't worth a $500 console and $80 game price tag....sorry.
    Question.... Is the edit player feature as deep as, say, NBA 2K??? I havent played a Show is about 4 years (xbox owner) but i love to create and edit players to make all time teams, all decade teams, etc....
    BA2929
    Outside of "better graphics" and "updated player models" (that's what we all expect from sports titles when there's a new console release so that's just a lazy response) and "updating franchise" (this isn't a good response either since we've been asking for that for 5 years so that's a quality of life upgrade and not a next-gen upgrade), I'd love to hear what exactly people expected from a fist-go at a next-gen version of MLBtS21.
    I'm genuinely asking because most of the time the comment "this isn't a big leap for next-gen" stops there and doesn't ever elaborate on what exactly is wanted or expected.
    So, outside of "better graphics/player models" and "updated franchise", what were some of you expecting with the PS5/XSX versions?
    Personally, the lowering of the loading times by about 2.5 times and the almost locked 60fps gameplay is a great start at a next-gen baseball game. I'm also keeping in mind they're creating this game for 8 consoles over 2.5 generations, so unless they completely ditch the PS4/X1 and turn those new games into just roster updates then we have to make some concessions for the first few years of a console generation leap.

    Virtually nothing has been added, redone, or recaptured.
    Grass/dirt textures (really just redoing all of it), lighting system, crowd diversity/animations/liveliness, broadcast elements (including commentary), pitching animations, gameplay camera angles, bat/ball/air/ground physics, and spatial outfield adjustments (especially regarding positioning). A lot of this has been untouched for a long, long time, or put in once and left alone to grow stale over the last several years.
    Personally, I was hoping they were going to scrap the old game and start anew. Make a new engine, build new code, etc. I'm sure in the eyes of a realist this simply is neither possible nor cost-effective, but we're on what I believe is our fourth generation of really kind of the same foundation. As long as they stay on this, I always know what this game will just 'be' and what its limitations will be. The only way I'll ever see that mold broken, I suppose, is hoping a new baseball video game franchise comes along again soon. Perhaps it's been one of the reasons I've been playing more Super Mega Baseball than The Show lately, I'm not entirely sure.
    I've suggested things for years to help breathe new life into the game. I'm not saying they didn't take them into consideration or that they are the best things for the game, but what I am saying is the possibilities for innovative change/additions are plentiful, and some perhaps only possible on next-gen... but that time is here and now. Maybe, just maybe this first year was working on the transition to the new consoles (particularly adding Xbox as well), and with COVID not being as much of a hindrance and them being on the new consoles we'll see some of those new strides.
    However, maybe not. When the stadium creator could've had concourses, lawns, distance markers, OF bullpens, and night games... we have UFO's and dinosaurs. And don't get me wrong, people apparently love them since that's all I see in any created stadium. But I'm also seeing who their bigger target audience is they have to play towards, and I don't think my suggestions play to them, so they will always be addressed first.
    But hey, anything that is a next-gen experience I am down for. Currently, outside of framerate and resolution (which are no doubt big for me) and the stadium creator, there would be no justification for me to try and run out to buy a PS5 or XSX for this game. Unfortunately, those two alone are not enough, especially in their current forms.
    GOBLUE_08
    So does everybody just hate this game? I'm an Xbox guy, so I'm just happy to have a baseball game outside of OOTP, but just looking around It seems like people have not liked the show in some time. Is it really that bad?

    No, it’s not a bad game at all. It actually plays really well. I would guess that 80% of the negativity on here all stems from the fact that franchise has been largely untouched for almost a decade.
    Fans of RTTS are justified to be upset by the changes to that mode. Also, stadium creator not being able to handle night games basically makes their signature next-gen feature worthless for me.
    Otherwise, I’m really happy with this release. I’ve been playing the show since 2006 and I’ve seen the highs (2008-12) and the lows (2015-17) and I can say I am enjoying 21 as much as I have in a long time.
    Circle the Wagons
    No, it’s not a bad game at all. It actually plays really well. I would guess that 80% of the negativity on here all stems from the fact that franchise has been largely untouched for almost a decade.
    Fans of RTTS are justified to be upset by the changes to that mode. Also, stadium creator not being able to handle night games basically makes their signature next-gen feature worthless for me.
    Otherwise, I’m really happy with this release. I’ve been playing the show since 2006 and I’ve seen the highs (2008-12) and the lows (2015-17) and I can say I am enjoying 21 as much as I have in a long time.

    Just started my RTTS, and yeah, I can see why people are pissed lol. I haven't played since '16, but this year it feels very bare bones by comparison. On the field its fine, but there's nothing else to it.
    Two things:
    Commentary is getting really old now. Time for a much needed revamp!
    Utterly redicolous we can not set the innings. Yes, only in exhibition games, but not in franchise or post season modes. It is like having to play 15 min quarters of nba2k or 45 minute halfs in fifa. Why for the love of all can't we set the amount of innings we would like to play. Implement it SSD, I know it was there in older games (me thinks The Show 16 was the last version we could set it during all game modes)!!
    GOBLUE_08
    So does everybody just hate this game? I'm an Xbox guy, so I'm just happy to have a baseball game outside of OOTP, but just looking around It seems like people have not liked the show in some time. Is it really that bad?

    I’ve been a huge fan for years, but this release has been very disappointing.
    ah. I’ve been a fan for years now and this is the most bugged version I’ve seen. The RTTS is basically trash this year. That was my favorite mode. You started in a geographic all star series to impress talent scouts and went from there. Also you could power your player up to Atleast 65-70 before even hoping for a jump. Now that’s all gone.

    If you are a first timer it is impressive, if you have played if to years there is really nothing new to the game.
    BA2929
    Outside of "better graphics" and "updated player models" (that's what we all expect from sports titles when there's a new console release so that's just a lazy response) and "updating franchise" (this isn't a good response either since we've been asking for that for 5 years so that's a quality of life upgrade and not a next-gen upgrade), I'd love to hear what exactly people expected from a fist-go at a next-gen version of MLBtS21.
    I'm genuinely asking because most of the time the comment "this isn't a big leap for next-gen" stops there and doesn't ever elaborate on what exactly is wanted or expected.
    So, outside of "better graphics/player models" and "updated franchise", what were some of you expecting with the PS5/XSX versions?
    Personally, the lowering of the loading times by about 2.5 times and the almost locked 60fps gameplay is a great start at a next-gen baseball game. I'm also keeping in mind they're creating this game for 8 consoles over 2.5 generations, so unless they completely ditch the PS4/X1 and turn those new games into just roster updates then we have to make some concessions for the first few years of a console generation leap.

    I honestly just expected the same great gameplay (which it has) and all my beloved features (Y2Y, Sounds of the Show, Roster Importing). And finally getting the much needed expanded rosters and the much needed franchise element improvements to scouting and player development that would naturally come with expanded rosters
    We got one thing in great gameplay.
    That is simply not good enough anymore when you axe beloved features for me personally, and fail to do anything truly impactful to make that sting easier to take and motivate long time hard core franchise players to leave it all behind on a game (20) which in all reality is as good on the diamond (did not say better but as good and as satisfying).
    A huge let down and a sign of the times.
    Anyway I was not asking for the world. Just a little more improvement off then Diamond and certainly not to lose features and have the game gutted....which is exactly what happened (loss of Y2Y, roster imports,SOTS and RTTS fiasco). Stadium creator was a great add for those that yearned for it (I could care less but I am sure it is cool to use).
    But we got a depth chart screen!!! We got a new budget screen showing what I already saw on then current one lol!!!
    Whoop!!!
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    If we were to review a brand new car and the car looked great, handled well, but had transmission problems, the suspension was terrible, the paint finish was easily chipped, the seats very uncomfortable, etc., BUT it looked great and handled well on the road, we certainly wouldn't give the car an 8/9/10 review, probably wouldn't even give it a 7.
    In all honesty, that's this years game. It's an overall mess. As much as I love the game play and love how beautiful it looks, there's so much more in this game that other consumers are given that's truly defective. There are some major problems. Will they get fixed? Seriously don't know when, or if, but the product as it stands right now.....it's a real mess. Should never have been put on the road as is.

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