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First Impression: MLB The Show 18

MLB The Show 18 was released on Friday March 23rd for those that pre-ordered as part of what Sony Diego Studios dubbed “First-Pitch Weekend”.

The Show is a game that purchase each and every year. As a huge baseball fan The Show is the game that occupies my PlayStation about 95% of the time. So when it comes to noticing subtle differences in the game I can notice.

Every year the graphical improvements are scary, as they are becoming more and more realistic. Just take a look at this in game picture of LA Angels superstar center fielder Mike Trout.

And now a real life photo of Mike Trout

Scary and crazy how lifelike the players have become.

Every year the team at San Diego Studios get new merchandising brands and the equipment looks amazing. New additions to the equipment this year even include “Stance Socks”.

And face guard that many players around the league are wearing.

Another change in The Show 18 that may seem like a little thing is the full speed replays. It adds a different element that makes it stand out from last year’s game.

Franchise Updates

Franchise mode also got and overhaul in its presentation which the inclusion of “Phases”. Phases gives the user (whether novice or veteran) an easy breakdown to keep track of what’s going on throughout the season. Franchise mode has always been my favorite mode as I enjoy playing the role of General Manager as much as I love playing the games themselves.

Franchise mode has all the same elements as in years past just in a much more easy to use format. Studying baseball the way I do, I knew all the aspects of the franchise mode. I knew that I wanted good scouts to search out those diamonds in the rough in the draft. I knew how to prepare my team for the trade deadline in both July (non-waiver) and the August (waiver). I knew that in the off-season the players that needed addressing. But even knowing all of this information with the pre-formatted breakdown of Phases it’s so much easier to handle all aspects of Franchise Mode. Oh and I nearly forgot for all those people that miss the old style “Ken Griffey Jr Baseball” type games retro mode has been included as a playable method in Franchise Mode this year.

Road to the Show Updates

My second favorite mode is Road to the Show. In Road to the Show (RTTS) you create and take hold of your own player and you control his career and destiny. This year the RTTS progression system received a massive change. No more will stubs (in-game virtual currency) be the method in with you increase your players attributes. Now a more lifelike progression system has been put into place.

Doing things successfully and making the right decisions help to raise not just your players attributes but his standing within the organization. Initially I doubted that i would enjoy this lifelike progression system when I first heard about it. However, after playing for a brief time I think it is absolutely the way the game should continue.

The other change in regards to RTTS is the Player Archetypes that you must choose for your player. These archetypes will determine the player that you will become, they determine what the max potentials that you can achieve in certain attributes are. They determine who you are as a potential Major League ball player.

Speaking of Major League ball player, while the story, “your story” is told in a similar fashion to last year in terms of presentation. This year you are not the highly touted number one overall potential blue chip prospect, the way let’s say a Bryce Harper or a Stephen Strasburg was. You are a mid to lower round prospect just hoping to get “The Call”.

RTTS is a very fun mode that you can spend hours upon hours on, and to get your player to the top pinnacle of the sport you will have to invest that time.

Diamond Dynasty Updates

Now I’ll be honest in not a big fan of online play so I don’t play Diamond Dynasty all that often. But that system got a complete overhaul as well. The game play is said to be more balanced and realistic so that players can not take advantage of in game exploits in gameplay.

The other new feature was the inclusion of the “Legends Cards”. These cards only available through the Diamond Dynasty Legends Programs are card that were reengineered to blow the “Diamond Cards” (previously highest rated cards) out of the water. These cards include the greatest player in the history of Major League Baseball.

Recapping

MLB The Show 18 is an incredible game and the team at San Diego Studios does an absolutely phenomenal job each and every year with creating the most realistic baseball game ever. If you are a die hard baseball fan or even just a causal one I strongly recommend that you purchase MLB The Show 18 exclusively for PlayStation. The nation wide release is this coming Tuesday March 27th make sure you pick up your copy. And I’ll see you on the field.

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