Friday, April 18, 2008

MLB 08 The Show

A few weeks ago, I received a complimentary review copy of the PS2 video game, MLB 08 The Show. Below you'll find my honest review of the game. I am not getting paid for the review (other than agreeing to review the game here in exchange for a review copy of the game), and with a few exceptions--which I'll get to in a minute-- all thoughts are my own.

Here are the talking points of the game (which are not mine):

  • MLB 08 The Show is the long running officially licensed baseball title available exclusively on all PlayStation platforms: PLAYSTATION 3, PlayStation 2 and the portable PSP.
  • MLB 08 The Show is available exclusively for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable consoles.
  • MLB 08 The Show is the best-selling and most realistic baseball simulation available.
  • MLB 08 The Show for PlayStation delivers the closest experience possible next to actually playing in the Majors.
  • MLB 08 The Show is available right now wherever video games are available.

From here on out, you'll hear only my opinion.

I set up a franchise, staking my claim to the Royals of course, and I've played 15 games. I'm 11-4 at this point, which is slightly better than the real Royals are doing, but that's because I put the game on an easy level so I could get used to it. I've since changed the game play sliders and find that I'm often in a dogfight--which makes for a fun experience.

Early in the season, while I was playing in Minnesota, Joakim Soria hung a breaking pitch that Justin Morneau obliterated for a home run in the bottom of the ninth for a walk off win for the Twins. The Twins' dugout emptied and they met Morneau at home plate, bouncing up and down, just like you see in real life.

Last night, Ross Gload came up late in the game with the Royals trailing 5-3 in Los Angeles and he ripped a two-run double down the line to tie the score. Gload pumped his fist at second base while the crowd booed. The Royals went on to win in the tenth inning.

Now that I've adjusted the game play sliders, most of the averages and ERAs are looking more realistic than when I first started. I love the fact that players can get tired and not perform as well, and they can get injured and have to miss time. I love being able to run the entire franchise, from setting prices to maintaining the budget if I so choose (which I don't). Players can argue and be ejected. Hitters can charge the mound if they are hit. The 08 version also allows for "forced" trades, which is necessary if you want to try to keep the rosters realistic (since my game counsel doesn't have online capabilities--if yours does, then I believe you can download the latest rosters).

The game definitely has some problems though. Sometimes, on infield pop ups, the catcher will be the only fielder who makes an attempt at the ball (in auto-fielding mode), even if the pop up is out near second base. That doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's irritating. Ground balls that are hit down either line are ruled doubles if they hit the foul pole. That's not good. The commentary from the booth is pretty much the same as the 07 version. And sometimes the game is a little too much station-to-station base running. I think it has more to do with the trajectory of the ball off the bat than anything. You don't see a lot of flares dropping in.

Is it the best baseball video game I've ever played? It might be. I've tried many over the years and usually come away disappointed. That's not the case with this game, in spite of its flaws. And it might just be the most realistic baseball game I've ever played. If "feels" like a baseball game, if you know what I mean.

As part of my willingness to review the game, I also received five free copies of the PS3 version to give away to Royal Reflections' readers. If you would like to be eligible to receive a free PS3 version of the game, go to the top right hand corner of the page and subscribe to this blog. By doing so, you'll begin receiving Royal Reflections posts in your email inbox once a day and you'll never have to remember to come back to the blog.

I'll give away free copies of the game to the 1st, the 5th, the 10th, the 15th, and the 20th new confirmed subscriber. (It's a double opt-in process, so by "confirmed subscriber" I mean, you've not only put your email address in the subscription box, but you've also clicked on the link in the confirmation email you will receive.) To be eligible to win, you must be willing to provide me with a mailing address that I can send the game to. I will not ask for your mailing address unless you win a free copy of the game. And rest assured, I will not sell your email or mailing address.

Update @ 10:50 PM: Still have several games available. Subscribe now and you might be a winner.


Anonymous said...

will winners be announced?

Lee Warren said...

Yes I will announce all of them once I have notified all five winners.

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