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Early Thoughts on MLB The Show 21

As a longtime fan of MLB The Show, I have played the game for many years. And I’ve seen the game go through many transitions and phases. Every year the team at San Diego Studios tries to give the fans a better version of the yearly iteration. But the question now is, is MLB The Show 21 the best version of the game to date? In this article, we will try to answer that very question.

One Major Drawback to MLB The Show 21

Now, typically articles like this begin with the good. But there’s one negative aspect of MLB The Show 21 that stood out to me, and I wanted to discuss it. Now, for many players, this will likely not be an issue. Many players play with their favorite team and keep it moving. And with some of the new features, we will discuss in a moment maybe change up one aspect or two of their squad.

However, for myself, I enjoy creating an entire league of created characters. And again, with some of the creative additions, this would have been my year. The feature that was removed was the year-to-year transfer from the previous version of the game. Removing this feature means that there will be hundreds of painstaking hours crafting nearly 2800 players to fill out 30 rebranded teams in 30 new ballparks. I will engage in this endeavor for the love of the game, but it would have easier for me to carry over the roster I had in MLB The Show 20.

Subtle yet Powerful Control Changes

As someone who has played The Show for many years, subtle changes are made each year to better the product, and this year is no different. Subtle changes to the on-field presentations and gameplay are increíble with the dual sense controller of the PlayStation 5.

Feeling the haptic feedback each time the ball is hit or thrown or even caught by your player is the kind of technological advances that improves the gameplay. This feature in the game immerses the player into an experience unlike any other version of The Show. It may be a subtle thing added because of the technology’s advancements inside the controller, but it adds an element to the game that I never knew I needed.

Pinpoint Pitching

Ok, so the new pitching style entitled “Pinpoint Pitching” is incredibly challenging. As someone that has played the game for many years, I’ve developed a feel for my preferred pitching style, but I wanted to attempt to figure out the new system. And let me begin by saying it’s going to be an ongoing process to master pinpoint pitching. This new style makes the game feel even more real. The movement patterns must be made with the controller to deliver the pitch as intended push the player in a good way.

Pinpoint pitching is not a simple mode, and that may be intimidating for novice users. But according to the development team at San Diego Studios, figuring out the formula for mastering pinpoint pitching will give the user the greatest level of control for the pitcher.

Budget Changes are Minor but Helpful

One change made in MLB The Show 21 franchise mode was a small move, but I like the change. Previously, the budget information was delivered on a weekly basis. A format that could be confusing and overwhelming to novice franchise mode players. After some time with the mode, it was something that a player would figure out. However, now with using a yearly budget, it’s a much simpler format, making it easier to decipher the information in the franchise mode team budgets. 

Cross-Platform Play

One of the biggest and most ambitious features of MLB The Show 21 was the inclusion of cross-platform play. And SDS would take cross-play to another level because of having the ability to have PlayStation users can face off against Xbox users. Current gen users can play against next-gen users. This feature is an incredible inclusion and another reason to love MLB The Show 21. 

Closing Thoughts

There are several great additions to MLB The Show 21 that can bring hours of fun and enjoyment. This is one of the games that I get every year, and I have seen the progression over time to get to this point. The team at San Diego Studios has gone above and beyond with the inclusion of the stadium creator feature. And as someone that enjoys playing in a fully customized league, I now have that opportunity. 

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