Virtual baseball fans, we have a date, a cover athlete and a short list of new features for MLB The Show 16.
On Saturday at the PlayStation Experience in San Francisco, the game was officially announced with a release date of March 29 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. American League MVP and Toronto Blue Jays superstar third baseman Josh Donaldson is this year's cover athlete.
Here's a look at the cover for PS3 and PS4:
Donaldson tweeted his appreciation for being chosen as the game's cover athlete:
Josh Donaldson @BringerOfRain20
Bringing the rain to @mlbtheshow 16! Excited and honored to be on this year's cover. https://t.co/lqLxzhtyWx2015-12-6 02:01:14
There will be three versions available for fans. The most basic is a standard edition that will retail for $59.99. It essentially includes the game with no extra perks.
For gamers who are looking for commemorative pieces and extras for the Road to the Show and Diamond Dynasty modes, the MVP and Digital Deluxe editions may be right up their alley. The MVP edition will cost $69.99, per PlayStation.Blog, and it includes the following:
- Limited edition steel book and packaging (for physical version only)
- 5,000 stubs
- 1 sponsor pack
- 10 standard packs
- 31 PS4 MLB-themed avatars
- 1 Opening Day pack
The Digital Deluxe version has more stubs and DD packs, and it's also exclusive to fans who download the game rather than purchase a physical copy. It will retail for $99.99. Here are the components:
- 11,000 stubs
- 1 sponsor pack
- 20 standard packs
- 31 PS4 MLB-themed avatars
- 3 Opening Day packs
From a feature standpoint, there was some light shed on what fans can expect, but there weren't a ton of details. Here's a look at the teaser trailer and a breakdown and reaction to the announced features, per TheShow.com:
From the looks of the trailer and based on the description at the aforementioned PlayStation.Blog link, this sounds like baseball's version of Bullet Time from the old Max Payne series. Essentially, gamers can put the action into slow motion during key moments of the game.
It is likely designed to look cool and also to give gamers a better chance to succeed in those moments. Most times, features like this can be turned on or off. Hopefully that's the case with ShowTime.
Immersive Road to the Show
It seems Sony seeks to streamline the RTTS experience by eliminating some of the unnecessary delays when moving from game to game in your player's career.
There's now a new training system that will include new game perks and more personalization to the milestones your player accomplishes. That's pretty cool. When a player gets his first major league hit, home run, multiple-homer game, etc., there should be some sort of dramatization.
While it would be great to hear that The Show was adding a storyline feature to RTTS similar to what NBA 2K does with MyCareer, this still feels like a step in the right direction.
Per PlayStation.Blog, gamers can also play through an entire series in RTTS without ever navigating back to the main menu. That might sound like a small improvement, but if you've ever played RTTS, you know that's one of the small things fans will appreciate.
New Game Modes
According to TheShow.com, there are two new game modes on the way, but they haven't been announced yet.
Graphic Improvements (PS4)
When it comes to gameplay, The Show series has long been atop or near the pinnacle of all sports game series. That said, the franchise has fallen slightly behind in the area of player models over the last two to three years. Thankfully, TheShow.com also announced new visual improvements.
We don't know exactly what that means as of now, but we should learn more about that as the release date approaches.
More Stadiums...Create-A-Ballpark, Please
In the trailer, you may have noticed a shot of the old Polo Grounds stadium. That would seemingly imply that classic stadiums may be returning to the game after being removed from last year's version. We obviously don't know how many of the old ballparks will be included, or in what modes they might be available, but this is at least cause for some optimism on that front.
A feature that many fans have been longing for doesn't appear to have a great chance to make it into this year's game. Create-A-Ballpark would be amazing in MLB The Show, but with no hint of an announcement, it would seem 2016 won't be the year the feature is added.
I've discussed this feature with Game Designer and Senior Community Specialist Ramone Russell of the Sony San Diego team, and he has confirmed that they have had discussions about implementing the feature, but hasn't said when or if it would be added.
Hopefully we're in for one big surprise and we're allowed to create our own field of dreams. If not, MLB The Show 16 still has enough intrigue to keep us waiting with bated breath for the next bit of news.
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