MLB: The Show 17 Review

America’s past time gets its next installment from Sony San Diego with the release of MLB: The Show 17 and the Show just keeps getting better with age. I played last years iteration of the game extensively so I was looking forward to getting my hands on this years installment of the game.

This year’s game had a serious focus on adding more depth the each of the game modes that the Show offers, which are a ton. As always I started my playing experience with Road to the Show. If you guys did not get a chance to check out our previous post about the changes to Road to the Show, there was an awesome addition to the game mode that turns the experience into a documentary style of game with a narrator and all. Players now have interactions with coaches, scouts, and advisors where they will choose dialogue options that branch conversations into different directions. This was a really cool addition to make the experience of Road to the Show feel a bit more meaningful, however the only thing holding it back is it’s repetition in the encounters. For example, in my playthrough as a pitcher the pitching coach approaches me after nearly every game to have the same conversation about how well I have been doing at striking guys out. If it was not as frequent I wouldn’t be a bother but because it has been so frequent, it begins to get old. Other than that the Road to the Show experience is loads of fun as always and I will be grinding to get to the Hall of Fame with a pitcher and center fielder as I normally do.

As for the Franchise Mode, they made some nice additions as well. The coolest addition is the player lock feature, which allows players to choose a player on their team and play the games exclusively as that player. Want Kris Bryant to win back-to-back MVPs? Lock as him then you play every game of Franchise Mode as the Cubs star. Another new way to play franchise mode is through the quick manage mode. This allows players to choose how they want to approach each at bat defensively and offensively. Is it a tie game and your team is about to face Miguel Cabrera in the ninth? Then simply pitch around him and just hope he doesn’t end the game in one swing. What is awesome about the quick manage mode is that if you take that same scenario you can choose to jump into the game and play that scenario like a regular game. Then once you feel you are safe to continue quick managing you can go back to doing so without hassle. What is also really cool about this years Franchise Mode is that you are able to choose which aspects of running the organization you want to do and what you want done by CPU. Say you hate going through the scouting process and dealing with lineup management, with the new feature you can simply switch those to being automatically completely by hovering over that option in the main menu and hitting square. All of these features make Franchise Mode a great customizable experience that can be adjusted to what the player decides to do. The ease of being able to use all of these features is what truly makes it an overall better experience than last year.

Now for Diamond Dynasty. The competitive team-building game mode is back and better than ever this year. This year they added a couple new ways to play and earn cards for those who want to play against CPU and make their team better before diving into the online scene. Extra Innings is a game mode that allows you to pick another users team and play against it while AI is controlling the team you choose. You then adjust the difficulty and dive into the game. If you win, you will get rewarded with a random card that can be any rarity; however, if you up the difficulty of the AI, you get a high percentage of getting better cards. Another new way to play Diamond Dynasty is with events. Now, the first event does not begin until April 4th, but the way they work is that players will be given parameters as to how their team is to be structured and they then compete to be at the top of the leaderboard. They have yet to release the reward structure for competing in these events but they are sure to really help you build your team. Battle Royale, Conquest, and traditional online head-to-head matchups are all back this year and will give people another way to scratch that competitive itch.

These three game modes along with the addition of Retro Mode, where you play a nine inning game with simplified controls, MLB: The Show really does give you so many ways to play and have fun. Challenge of the Week gives players a fun way to earn some awesome physical prizes (the first week prize is a signed Louisville Slugger bat by none other than Ken Griffey Jr. himself), and modes like Postseason and Home Run Derby offer quick, simple game modes for those that like the exciting parts of the game.

Technically is where The Show has gone the extra mile this year. First off, the game plays at 60fps with little to no framerate drop that I have noticed and it makes the experience feel so much smoother. The amount of animations they have added to the game vastly improves the variation in the way people field as well which keeps the gameplay feeling fresh. Also with the smart AI added to the defensive players, people will no longer have to be worried about their shortstops taking too long to throw the ball as players adapt to the situations. If Billy Hamilton hits a ball to the shorstop, the shortstop will throw quickly because of the speed of the hitter, whereas, if a pitcher is running, the shortstop will take his time. The final piece to the gameplay was that there are now millions of possibilities of hit patterns now. Before you would see similar hit patterns within the same game, but now you will find new hit animations weeks after the games release.

SUMMARY

Sony San Diego, continues to show why MLB: The Show is the best sports game out there by continuing to grow the game technically and with more game modes. The gameplay is the smoothest it has ever been, and has more variation to make the game feel as realistic as it has ever been. The new ways to play in franchise mode and Diamond Dynasty enrich the game with seemingly endless ways to play. The only thing that I can say that is negative about the game is that the repetition in the narration in Road to the Show interactions gets a bit tiresome. Other than that, this game is a masterpiece and has set the bar incredibly high for other sports franchises to try and reach.

9.5/10

What do you guys think of this years iteration of America’s past time? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @TheNerdChambers!

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The San Juan Sharks (Pre-Pack Opening)

Hey guys MLB: The Show is finally here! I am so excited to dive into the game and I will be sure to have a review out in the near future as I get my hands on all the different game modes and additions to the game. What I thought I would also do is sort of chronicle my Diamond Dynasty experience. This is a way for me to think through roster decisions and in-game decisions as well, so my hope is that you all benefit from seeing how my thought process works. To start we are going to work through our first five picks and overview the rest of the team as it gets auto-picked for us.

So with that it’s time to pick our first five players. My options for middle infield or catcher are Alex Avila (75), Tony Kemp (71), Jordy Mercer (71) and Nick Ahmed (72). The 2015 me would have instantly locked Avila because he has the best overall of the bunch, but I know better than to just judge off of overall now. Out of these four I actually end up going with Tony Kemp because he has the best contact rate against right-handers and is the only speed threat.

Next up is the corner infielders, my options are: Marwin Gonzalez (71), Adam Rosales (73), Joe Mauer (73), and Sean Rodriguez (73). So again I would be making the old me crazy, but I go with Marwin Gonzalez who has the worst overall again, however, he also has the best contact rate, solid homerun rate, and best speed of the bunch. Plus sacrificing a little bit of defense is worth the superior hitting.

Next up we have outfielders: Hyun Soo Kim (75), Danny Santana (70), Jorge Soler (75), and Byron Buxton (75). Who did I pick? You guessed it, Danny Santana. It was tough between him and Soler but Santana has better contact rate, vision, and speed. Soler only has better better power and a better arm defensively. Santana can also play five different positions so that kind of versatility is great for a guy that can get good contact and steal. The other two are specialists and that is not the sort of thing I care for in my fielders/hitters.

Now for the starting pitchers: Chris Capuano (72), Adam Conley (75), Christian Friedrich (72), and Aaron Blair (70). So this time I do go with the highest overall in Adam Conley. He is a lefty pitcher with the best combination of velocity, control, and break. He also had the best H/9 and K/9 so despite losing out on a few points in BB/9, I feel it will definitely be worth it. I was also considering Aaron Blair because he had the best velocity and break, but I would have been sacrificing too much control.

Then we have the relievers: Keone Kela (79), Cam Bedrosian (79), Joe Smith (79), and Jake Diekman (78). All pretty solid choices for a start up reliever. For my relievers, I love fireballers that can just get people out by blowing a fastball by them, so I decide to go with Jake Diekman here. Maxed out velocity, 93 break, and 92 K/9 pretty much tell the story with this pick.

The rest of the team was then auto-picked for me and I have to say I like the team. My rotation is Trevor Bauer (high stamina, velocity and break), Robbie Ray (lefty with high K/9), Conley, Kyle Gibson (high stamina, velocity, break, and 62 BB/9 is best in the rotation), and Colin Rea (one of the best H/9 rates in rotation and a 5 pitch mix).

My bullpen is definitely where I will need the most help going into my pack openings as the next best reliever I have after Diekman is Bobby Parnell (73) and my last reliever is a 58.

My starting lineup looks pretty solid so far:

1. Danny Santana (SS) (good contact rate, baserunning, and little cold zones)
2. Marwin Gonzalez (1B) (good contact rate, decent power, and good speed for 1B)
3. Lorenzo Cain (CF) (great contact, clutch, fielding, and speed) (got him from a loyalty pack once I got the servers to work for me)
4. Joc Pederson (RF) (great power, maxed discipline, solid fielding and good speed, but bad contact and stealing)
5. Mike Napoli (LF) (good power and contact vs lefties, near maxed discipline)
6. Asdrubal Cabrera (2B) (Good contact and power vs righties, good bunting)
7. Geovany Soto (C) (good power and discipline)
8. Kike Hernandez (3B) (does everything except bunt solid and steal (everything else is 50+) and is very versatile (6 positions))

My team right as it stands right now is a 74 overall with my best squad attribute being pitching then defense.

Let me know what you guys think of all this. Am I just wasting everyones time with this or is this something that interests you? Comment below or tweet us @TheNerdChambers. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram as well!