MLB ’08: The Show for Playstation 2: Review
Playing an old console is always tough when PS3 and XBox 360 video clips flood the internet and televisions, but games like MLB ’08: The Show will help kill your time as you await the new system. The graphics are not as good as the PS3’s, but the gameplay is nearly on par. Plus, if you use component cables, you’ll be little displeased with the visuals on your PS2. MLB has some noticable flaws, but overall it makes for a great experience for baseball fans and video game fans alike.
Perhaps best known for its “Road to the Show” feature, MLB possesses one of the most entertaining features in sports video games. ROTS allows you to create a player and play an entire career behind his perspective. You negotiate your contract, have interactions with the managers, and only play your at-bats and plays in the field. MLB does a great job of fast forwarding to the events that only affect you so that you won’t be kept bored watching others. This is also key because it allows a gamer to play about 10 seasons in the time it would take to play only one season if he/she was to be controlling the whole team.
There are definitely flaws in ROTS, though, and it is clear that it’s a growing feature. It’s better than last year, but you’ll still notice problems like a rather “hit or miss” event system and awfully strange system of being sent down and being called up from the minors. To put it in example. I hit .360 in one season and in the offseason I was released by the MLB club and offered a AA contract — things like that don’t happen in real baseball. Regardless, it’s a gameplay mode in the works, and it’s fun to give a try and imagine what will be in store for next year.
The gameplay itself is a ton of fun, but there are plenty of errors. For one, the computer controlled fielders can be complete idiots (for lack of a better word). They’ll hold the ball while a runner rounds third and goes for home instead of throwing to the catcher. I saw more inside-the-park home runs in one season than I’ve seen in my entire of life of real MLB while playing this game. Also, instead of tags needing to be put down, there’s an awfully generous “as long as you’re within the area of the baserunner he’s out” rule. So despite that you can perform hook slide and the like, they rarely matter like they used to in EA’s MVP series.
The graphics and sounds are both solid for the PS2. There are no major glitches or anything, and MLB has never been known for its graphics on the PS2. Like I said earlier, if you get component cables you’ll be rather pleased. Probably the worst difference between this and the PS3 version graphically is the stadium quality. Some of these stadiums don’t look anything like their real life counterparts.
I am not sure if Sony is planning to release MLB for PS2 next year, but if they are, this game does a great job of keeping the series going. If not, this is an excellent ending to MLB’s tenure on the PS2 and does an excellent job of keeping fans entertained for another year who cannot yet afford a PS3.