You know...I try to remain optimistic withsports games when it comes to a new edition of a franchise. Sure, 99% of the time they make incremental changes with very little difference from the previous year except for roster changes, but I still look forward to some gems, since sports games have the great capibility to be the most technically sound and addictive games on the market.
And with that, we go to the recent release of MLB 11: The Show. The Show, in its core, is a technically sound game of baseball with very little wrong with the overall product. That being said, nothing really has changed with the game since MLB 08 and since then it's grown a tad stale in my eyes.
MLB 11 comes with a few refinements and changes to the overall control scheme. MLB 11 introduces to the series Analog Pitching, Hitting and Fielding. MLB 2K has toyed with this type of control for the past few iterations, with mixed results, but The Show seems to relatively get it right on its first try.
Basically, in order to pitch, you have to pull the right stick back to set the power, while pushing it forward in a specific direction to dictate placement. With hitting, simply swing the stick back and forth in a fluid motion to swing the bat. Last, with fielding, simply move the stick to the direction you want to throw it in, hold it in for power and accuracy then let go at the right time.
Now, again, all of these controls work very well. The only problem, which is a big one: It still feels like the same game. When FIFA introduced new controls and features, it changed the way the game is played. As did NBA 2K and the NHL series from EA. The Show, however, doesn't feel like a new game at all. In fact, you can revert it back to the old controls and it plays and feels exactly the same.
The only new feature that deserves minor props is the Home Run Derby, which features Playstation Move support. Unfortunately, there is very little feedback to how you are actually swinging, so it's a party novelty at best.
All in all, if you really like The Show, get it and you'll enjoy it all the same. It's just that...the same.
Coming up in reviews will be Homefront, Full House Poker and Torchlight. Sorry for the short blog!