Less than a month from release of the premiere baseball game every year, SCEA has released the full list of features and improvements for MLB 12: The Show. There were many complaints about last year’s game with the majority of them being how little the game had changed from ’10 to ’11. To an extent, those who complained were correct.
However, the game is already one of, if not, the best sports simulation available anywhere. It laughably crushes the game play of 2k Baseball and rivals what many consider the greatest baseball game ever made, EA’s MVP 2005.
You can full the complete list of features from those sites, but I’ve broken down what I believe are the most significant. I’ll skip the PS3/Vita combination functionality because everyone knows about that. I’m also specifically talking about the PS3 version of the game.
TRUE BALL PHYSICS: Essentially the ball itself will bounce realistically. We’ve seen how “true physics” works in other games and I have not been impressed. Let’s see if SCEA does this right.
TruBroadcast Presentations: It’s already one of the best around, and they claim to be making the biggest stride forward in the history of the series. I can’t wait.
Diamond Dynasty: It’s not a direct copy of Fifa, Madden, and NHL’s ultimate team…but it’s very similar.
Full Move Support: Now you can play the game in a different and MUCH LESS accurate way. Hooray!
Zone Analog Batting: A very welcome addition and something that I know the community was clamoring for last year.
Pulse Pitching: The video was released last week. Just another way to pitch…I believe this makes 3.
Franchise Improvements: These improvements are all pretty minimal. I expect to be disappointed when it comes to the final result.
Road to the Show Improvements: Last year was quite the RTTS makeover. This year, like franchise improvements, I expect to be disappointed.
Situational Collision Awareness: Hopefully this isn’t over done. These are exactly the kind of features that sports games add, only to see them exaggerated or used way more frequently than would happen in real life.
Challenge of the Week is now free: I was fortunate to have won a COTW in last year’s game. I won a Buster Posey autographed World Series jersey. I also had to pay a pretty penny to get it. It really didn’t allow for everyone to have a true chance at a prize. For me, it took several tries to get the hang of each week’s challenge and you were only given one free chance. This levels the playing field, but don’t expect the prizes to be as nice.
New Tag Animation System: This feature is LONG overdue. I cringed nearly every time I saw a play at the plate and the catcher doing that exact same tagging animation. I expect to see much more realistic tag action this year.
SimulView™ Functionality with PlayStation®3D Display: Now THIS is interesting. I don’t have a 3D TV, nor will it ever be a reason I buy a certain television. However, for those who do play 2 players on the same screen, you can understand the frustration of seeing where the other will be pitching the ball. This eliminates that problem completely. In fact, each player sees something completely different on screen.
New Pick off logic: This needs overhauled as well…I hope it is done properly. In fact, I’d like to see base running as a whole be changed as I believe that is the weakest part of The Show.
14 New umpires: More tendencies is always a good thing. There are over 100 MLB umpires and they are all somewhat different. The Show is trying to replicate that.
Co-op available in Season and Franchise modes: This 1000%. You have no idea how easy this should have been to implement last year. It’s such as welcome addition. Now make it so you can have an online franchise with a friend. How is this not a standard option in all sports games?
I am disappointed to not hear of the bunting system being fixed. Perhaps it is, but I wouldn’t count on it.
I’d also like assurances that online play will be lag free. This is the down side to only being available on the slow and choppy
Playstation Network Sony Entertainment Network.
Overall, I like the new features and hope they make for an even better product than MLB 11 offered us.