MLB The Show 19 Review


– [Ryan] Sony’s MLB The Show series has been coasting on its past
success for a few years now, but the 2019 version has
finally broken that slump by introducing some
substantially improved modes on top of the usual
fine-tuning and polish. (cheering) One of the areas that sees
the most improvement in 2019 is defensive play. How capable a player is at
fielding in his position has never been easier to spot, thanks to color-coded fielding icons. The effects of a skilled
fielder are more pronounced too. A top-ranked outfielder shows you the path the ball will travel, guiding you to exactly
where you need to be. Meanwhile, a subpar fielder
makes you do some guesswork. This visual aid is a good
way to bridge the gap between the athletes’
abilities and your own skill. At the same time, some
smooth new infield animations chip away at the longstanding problem of clunky fielder control. There are now more instances where infielders botch
a ground ball attempt, only to organically
recover and get the out. One of The Show 19’s standout new modes is March to October, which is designed quickly get
you through a single season by blending simulated games
with key playable moments. After a nice 2018 recap video,
you and your chosen team are immediately dropped
into the late innings of 2019’s opening day. You gain or lose momentum
depending on your performance, which impacts how your team
performs in the simulated games that tick by until the
next key moment pops up. An adequate variety of situations,
from salvaging a series to having a productive game
with a specific player, make March to October a
fast-paced and fun addition, though it’s currently a little shallow and not as dynamic as other season modes. (mid-tempo music) Meanwhile, Road to the Show
sees several new upgrades and continues to be the best
way to play MLB The Show. It’s slowly turning into a
true RPG sports experience. Archetypes return, along
with a new personality system that intertwines with the
existing dialogue choices, player relationships, and a perk system. While it verges on being
needlessly complicated, personality does a nice job of connecting these various abstract
aspects of a player’s career. Additionally, dynamic
challenges make things a little more interesting. At various points in a career, you’re provided with a set of
increasingly difficult tasks to choose from, and if
you’re successful at it, you gain a boost to a related ability. Coupled with a new set
of simple mini-games for improving your athletes’ skills, aspects like dynamic challenges,
personalities, and perks have moved this mode away from
a pure baseball simulation, but not from a fun experience. Disappointingly, Franchise Mode sees only a few minor upgrades. Contracts now more
closely mirror real life, both in years and money. Also you can now resign players
in the middle of a contract. That’s nice, but not
exactly game-changing. Moments is a new mode
that’s closely connected to the excellent Diamond
Dynasty card-collecting game and is among the most attractive additions to MLB The Show 19. It’s a set of challenges
themed after various moments throughout baseball history. We start out big, offering
challenges based on Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and the 2016
Cubs World Series run. Some nice historical video
footage sets the stage for each individual challenge. It’s a pleasant surprise to
see the Babe Ruth chapters are appropriately rendered
in black and white, and these objectives aren’t always easy. Hitting a home run in one
at-bat, even with Babe Ruth, will likely have you hitting
the Replay button over and over but it’s satisfying when you connect. Across the entirety of MLB The Show 19, new graphical elements
look and sound great. Improved score widgets offer
more relevant information than before, such as the
current batter’s hitting line for the day, and dynamic
camera angles kick in when you select your pitch. Every so often, new sideline
reporter Heidi Watney chimes in with interesting and timely commentary. She’s a breath of fresh air next to the three-man
play-by-play announcer team that’s carried over from last year, who have a tendency to repeat themselves. – [Announcement] And opposite field as he lines this down the line and right. – [Reviewer] This year,
online head-to-head games have been very smooth in
the days after launch, which hasn’t always been
the case with this series. There are occasional
delays, but it’s a relief that they don’t impact the
ability to hit or make plays. MLB The Show 19 continues the
series’ slow march of progress with a bigger step this year than last. Fast new modes, refined defensive gameplay that distinguishes between
top-ranked players and weak ones, and a deeper Career Mode make this the most compelling version since MLB The Show 12 added
the original Diamond Dynasty. For more, check out a ton
of March to October gameplay and our rundowns of new
features and changes to Road to the Show. And for everything else, stick with IGN. – [Announcer] Now a big swing, and this ball is crunched
out to deep center field. And good-bye, this one ain’t coming back!

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