Daily Egyptian

‘The Show’ continues dominance on the diamond

By Austin Miller, @AMiller_DE

Opening Day is finally here, which means staying inside playing virtual baseball, instead of the real thing outside.

“MLB 15: The Show” is this year’s installment in the annual, PlayStation exclusive baseball game.

After years of playing terrible 2K baseball games on Xbox, I decided it was time to go to the dark side of Sony to get a game that does not strike out.

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And boy, am I glad I did.

Every PlayStation fanboy has talked about how good “The Show” is and they were right. Every stadium feels real enough for you to be actually sitting in the park. The crack of the bat and roar of the crowd sound like you are in attendance, although you will have to provide your own hot dogs, peanuts and beer.

Stepping up to the plate gives that feeling of actually being there. You almost feel the dirt at your feet and can see the detailed skylines of the home city.

Road to the Show mode lets players create their own characters with the hopes of getting called up to the majors. All of the minor league stadiums look different from one another, which the 2K series rarely did.

It may seem like a minor detail, but it shows just how much effort was put into the game.

Instead of putting myself into the game to relive my Little League glory days, I opted to clone Derek Jeter and re-start his career. As a lifelong Yankees fan, I still cannot come to terms with his retirement and want him on my team. I miss you Derek!

The newest feature of “The Show” is great, but there was no way for me to test it.

Now, players can carry over franchises and Road to the Show players into future games. This feature makes so much sense; I cannot believe it took so long to do. It means gamers should buy each new release, instead of sticking with one game for several years to get through a career.

“The Show” hits all of the big features out of the park, but does whiff on a few smaller ones.

Playing with a franchise means wheeling and dealing to put the best team on the field. But the trade intelligence has been fairly wonky.

Being the general manager for the Yankees brings a lot of pressure, so I wanted to make some big moves. I put Didi Gregorius, a young shortstop tasked with replacing Derek Jeter, on the trading block to bring in a better bat. The Cardinals, in their infinite wisdom, offered Matt Adams, who has tons of potential and power and at a low price. Of course I took that trade, eat your hearts out Cardinal fans.

Other times, teams would ask to overcompensate trades, which does not always happen in baseball. On Sunday, the Braves traded Craig Kimbrel, the best closer in baseball, for a few misfit toys and prospects. If I tried to acquire Kimbrel in the game, I would have to offer my entire team and a washing machine.

Aside from general managers holding players for ransom, some of the playing animations just seem odd.

Fielding a ground ball should make the player take a little hop to gain their composure before throwing to first. For some reason, the players start running if you motion them toward the base. It is not a game breaking error, just wonky. Baseball has a bit of leisure with it, so there is no need to rush the throw any more than normal.

The excess running has also popped up in the outfield.

My player was on his way to camp out under a fly ball, when it gained a little assistance from the wind and flew a bit farther. To adjust and make the Sportscenter-worthy catch, I had to move him a little farther. Instead, he ran way past the ball and it landed for a double. This case has more barring on a game than trades, so I take more issue with that.

After playing so many baseball games with warning track power, it is great to play one that goes yard.

I pray to the baseball gods that Xbox owners can get a baseball franchise of their own. Until then, they are stuck on the bench.

4 stars out of 5

Austin Miller can be reached at [email protected]

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