MLB The Show franchise has consistently produced video game greatness throughout the course of its run, but in 2012, SCEA and San Diego Studio have taken the game to a whole new level. The overwhelming amount of additions to gameplay include True Ball Physics, Diamond Dynasty, Pulse Pitching, and other improvements.
The game has always had great presentation and that continues in this year's rendition, but the most appealing addition for the casual gamer is probably going to be the True Ball Physics. This year The Show incorporates realistic ball physics which became quickly apparent in the first game I played. Watching the ball look like it had weight to it off the bat and affect the way it moved based on how it hit the grass brought the game home and played to the young baseball fan in me.
However, the arrival of Zone Analog batting seems like a rare miscue from SCEA and San Diego Studio as it is entirely too complicated and takes too long to figure out. If you have problems with it early and just want to get going, they have the regular analog controls, classic, and zone classic options.
Unlike the batting scheme, the new Pulse Pitching is much simpler than the analog controls from last year's edition. Taking classic pitching and adding a timing aspect, The Show creates a new interface that makes what used to be complicated and turns it into something everyone can use.
Those that are looking to fully experience everything The Show has to offer won't be disappointed, with the arrival of Diamond Dynasty and the updates to the Road to the Show and Franchise modes. Much like the Ultimate Team mode offered by EA Sports' FIFA and Madden, Diamond Dynasty is a card based game that you play online. However, the customization ability is incredible, the players you receive that are Dynasty players rather than MLB players can be customized however you want. For example, my Dynasty players are named after my friends and are mixed in with some MLB players.
The Franchise mode has a revamped trade market that values prospects and franchise players far more accurately. Also fixed from last year's installment is the salary issues, teams that have big money, spend it (Yankees, Red Sox) and teams that are smaller markets will look for more cost effective options (Orioles, Mariners). When it is brought all together, franchise mode has been brought back from the dead and allows true baseball fans the experience they seek.
Finally, the improvements to Road to the Show do not go unnoticed. This year RTTS has been tuned up and your player will begin as a Double-A starter and a highly touted prospect. Adding new training modes for base running and fielding that are very easy to understand, bring the customization to a higher standard. RTTS feels like the solid mode that The Show is known for.
MLB The Show 12 takes the baseball experience and pulls it in towards the gamer, creating a solid balance that anyone can pick up and enjoy. The game is a must buy for avid baseball fans and despite some of the confusing control schemes, it is even a good pickup for people who just want to play a good game.