Reviewed: June 1, 2007
Released: May 15, 2007
You have been called up to the show! The twist is that you are not only playing, you are the manager, and the owner. You call all the shots this time. MLB '07: The Show is the most detail sports game out there. You have to know every little detail not only as a player and calling what the other team is going to do but also as a manager. This is the first game that you have to know everything as a player and from the management field.
There are four different modes to choose from in this game; Exhibition, Career, Franchise, and Season. Exhibition Mode is you just picking any two teams to square off in one game. The teams you can choose from are endless. You can pick from any of that years MLB teams, the All-Star teams, and some bonus teams. Career Mode allows you to create a player and play from their perspective. The games go a lot faster in this mode do to the fact that it fast forwards to the time that you are up to interact.
Next is the franchise mode. Here you run a team from the clubhouse and deal with much much more than just playing the games, like managing rehab assignments or scouting and drafting. You do a lot more managing in this mode than playing. Finally there is just a season mode. Pick from playing 14, 29, 82, or the whole 162 games in your season. Here you can fight for a playoff spot and work your way all the way to being World Series Champs.
When pitching you must pay attention to every detail like you were the one throwing the pitch. You select the pitch you want by pressing the appropriate button. After you do that you must stop the pitch in the right area of power to make sure that your pitch moves the way you want it to. You canít go full power on a curve ball because it will not curve and will sit there for the batter to unload for a base hit. The best part about the pitching aspect is when you get waxed for a couple of hits you get a little rattled and your pitch gauge speeds up and you have to calm your pitcher down by getting out of the situation by striking guys out or just getting out of the inning.
When your opponent finally does get a hit off of you it isnít that hard to get them out. When a pop fly occurs you have a big circle that displays where the ball is going to land. As it gets closer to the ground the circle gets smaller. All you have to do to catch it is get somewhere in the circle and the computer will guide you to the exact spot to get the out. If there is a ball that is heading out of play or going for a home run and you need to jump, just press the right stick up and press the R1 button. When there is a ground ball you just move your player with the analog sticks to the ball and then hit the button that corresponds with the desired base. To dive for the ball you push the right stick down and the R2 button.
While batting you have multiple things to think about. You have to stay one pitch ahead of the pitcher to really be affective. You get the option of pick the pitch you think is going to be thrown and its location. If you guess the right pitch your strike zone flashes red. This lets you know on what the movement might be. If you guess the right location, there is a red circle that shows you where it will be. If you get both right you get both strike zone and ball flashes and then you have to choose if you want to just take a swipe at the ball or go for a power swing and try to get a double to the gap or home run. Now you will be guessing a lot. The computer changes it up more than you would think and really keeps you on your toes. I like how even though you get both the pitch and area you are not guaranteed a hit. It really keeps the gameplay realistic.
The only problem I have with gameplay is with base running. When you have multiple runners it gets really hard to make sure they do what you want them to do. Sometimes it gets hard to make sure only one runs and the other stays. Advancing all of your runners or returning them to the base is easy and only takes you hitting the L1 button or R1 button. Now when you have only one runner to deal with it isnít that bad. If you want to advance bases you have to make sure you use the directional button and the base button to give the right command. This gets a little annoying and I would much rather prefer only having to hit the base button. Sliding brings the Sixaxis into play and really gets you up and out of your set. Depending on what way you tilt your controller is the side of the bag you slide to. This does help you beat a throw that has beating you to the bag.
Wow! I was really impressed when my game first started. The stadiums are spot on and so are the cities in the background if you donít play with a team that plays in a dome. It didnít stop there though. The players are very detailed and for the most part perfectly accurate. The animations flow extremely well and mimic the playersí movements, on the mound or at the plate, dead on. Now there are some small minor minor things that do take some things away from the game, like if you throw a player out he seems to vanish into the air instead of trough off the field.
The sound really makes this game pop and adds a lot to the game. Every action sounds amazing! The crack of the bat sounds vary depending on how well you hit the ball, and help you identify on what you can do on the base path. The crowd is much more interactive. The really react to what is happening and if the moment calls for it, they stay in a roar until the moment ends. The booth announcers add to the game in the fact that they actually call out your name when you come up to bat or make a great play in the field. I have never stopped playing just to listen to what is happening with the music that all changed with this game.
Let me explain myself on why I am putting such a low ranking for this category when I think so highly of this game. When I get a baseball game the first thing I look forward to is playing in the home run derby. There is no home run derby on this game, not even during All-Star Weekend!! Now if you are a hard core baseball fan and gamer this game is for you.
The value is a perfect ten!! You have so many different ways to play your season, and you get to really play as the players. You have to call the next pitch that you think the pitch will throw, you have to make sure not to throw your next pitch too hard to get the right amount of movement, and you have to manage the DL and trades! This game is the perfect game for you if you are a true hard core fan of baseball!
This game blew away any expectations that I had. Every second something caught me off guard and really brought me into the game even more. Now I have not played a baseball game on any other system other than the Nintendo 64, so I am a little behind on how the games are actually playing. Other review will say that this game is just like its earlier version with a couple of twist, but I donít care. This game was the sickest sports game I have played in a long time. It is so hard core it isnít even funny. Sometimes it can get too detailed and frustrate you, but isnít that how the pros get when they hit rough spots in the year?!