MLB 14: The Show on PS4
Great news, baseball fans. The MLB (major league baseball) series is making a return on the PlayStation platform, and it'll be better than ever. If you've been waiting anxiously for your next fix of the series, then don't worry. You won't be waiting that much longer.
The MLB: The Show series has been running for quite a while now - starting in 2006 with MLB 06: The Show. It has been critically acclaimed, and gamers love it for the signature commentary, the excellent gameplay mechanics and even the music associated with the game. It has close tie ins with Major League Baseball (naturally) and so players use their real names, real team names, etc. Something which a lot of sports games of this generation don't have the privilege of.
Primarily, the target audience are baseball fans. But me and a few of my friends have became hooked on the game - despite not knowing a single thing about baseball. Why? For the same reason people who know nothing about football (soccer) Fifa... It's an excellent game. It's well made, well produced and more or less flawless. We've came to expect not much innovation from sports games in the past, but fans are hoping that MLB: 14 will break this trend - adding lots of new features and mechanics to the series.
Some fans in particular have been asking for features like Custom Playlists, Custom Commentary and Custom sponsorships. This might not seem innovative, but with the game of baseball there's not really much you can innovate with. It's not like other, fictional games. They can't add zombie DLC and satisfy everyone. Part of the appeal of sports games is that they're constantly, constantly refined and improved. You can hop on, play a simple but enjoyable game without any worries of glitches or confusion or anything like that.
Another common request was "authentic advertisement in stadiums". You know the adverts that you see scrolling across the sides of sports stadiums? People were asking for those - but with real or at least parodies of real products. It's interesting that this request came up a lot, as it really doesn't affect gameplay much. The only thing is has an impact on is the realism factor... and even then it's not something you're likely to notice.
Part of the appeal of baseball is the statistics side, and baseball fans who play the MLB series are always looking for more on that end. Whether it be player statistics, facts or even authenticity features. And baseball has always been that way. A prime example of it is the collectible phenomenon of baseball cards. They're small cards with a bunch of facts on them about a certain player - and they sell like hotcakes. Taking the fact/statistics aspect from baseball and bringing it to the MLB series is something that the game developers should seriously consider.
We haven't been given much information on the game as of yet, but needless to say if you're a baseball fanatic who owns a PS4 this is definitely one you should pick up. With full multiplayer enabled, there also looks to be a great replay-ability factor. Who knows, it might even last you to MLB 15: The Show the year after!
Maybe you're a fan of the MLB series - in which case, what would you like to see in the next game? Would you like to see developers change things up... Or should they focus on refinement?
Several new features for MLB 14: The Show have been announced in a recent Playstation Blog. This includes year-to-year save importing, community challenges, a universal currency, stubs from general gameplay and a brand new UI for the PS4.
The most interesting out of all of these is probably the year-to-year save importing. In the announcement, Ramone Russell (the community manager at SCEA San Diego) said:
"Year-to-year saves will solve one of sports gaming’s biggest dilemmas, making it easy for hours of time invested in MLB 14 to be carried over into next year’s game and beyond. This is further complemented by the return of cross-platform saves across all three SKUs."
This is something brand new to the MLB series, and sports gaming in general - and definitely something that fans of the series can appreciate. Instead of feeling like they're being submitted to the same experience every year, starting over doing the same things with a new game, gamers can carry on from where they left off with the latest MLB game (whatever that may be).
The return of cross-platform saves across all three SKUs is something that people with Playstation consoles will appreciate. It wasn't explained in the article for some reason, but SKU stands for 'Stock Keeping Unit'. In this case it means the different types of Playstation consoles you can get. Whether it be 60GB, 40GB, Slim, etc. This feature comes at a welcome time, as several people are making (or considering making) the transition from PS3 to PS4. If you own MLB14 on PS3 but don't have a PS4 yet, then you'll be able to transfer your save data from the PS3 to the PS4 when you do.
The part of the announcement that people seem to be most infatuated with though is the graphical display that SCEA shown in the game. The game looks great on PS3, but the PS4 (naturally) is where the game shines. I mentioned before how graphics are important in this type of game, as it refinement often replaces creativity in sports games. MLB14: The Show seems to have realized this and they've put a lot of effort into making the game look good. The picture of Mike Napoli on the PS4 ushers in a whole new era of superior beard technology that rivals that of even TES V: Skyrim.
Game Category: Sports
Article by - Ben Corroon
Insert Date: 10/9/2013
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