MLB 13: The Show Strategic Preview (PlayStation 3) - Prima Games

MLB 13: The Show Strategic Preview (PlayStation 3)

by Prima Games Staff

In just under a month’s time, we’ll be rounding the bases once more with Sony’s premiere baseball simulation series for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, MLB 13: The Show.  Like previous games, The Show will be loaded with a number of fundamental features for baseball enthusiasts aplenty, but will also offer something new for casual fans: a beginner mode.  You can read more about that in our Breaking Down MLB 13: The Show’s Beginner mode here (link: http://www.primagames.com/games/mlb-13/news/breaking-down-mlb-13-shows-beginner-mode-playstati) to get an idea how things are improving there.

But what more is there?  Plenty.  This year’s edition has a lot of technical additions that will have you hitting your stride across the plate, or maybe burning a few fastballs past would-be homerun fanatics to earn yourself some precious K’s.

First off, the Home Run Derby will open up with a new field of competitors, as, for the first time in the series, you’ll be able to take part in the event either on PS3 or Vita, playing against others.  There’s a versus degree to this, as you can swing for the fences using your batting tactics (either what you’ve naturally learned in the series thus far, or adapted from the Beginner Mode) to get the most balls out of the park.  And even if you’re not good enough to beat your friends, you can always come back for more – and eventually top them.

And it’s here you’ll start to learn about the new Push/Pull Hitting Trajectories Engine than Sony’s team has implemented into the game.  With this, some interesting new degrees enter the picture, as you’ll be able to see just what kind of batter you have at the plate, whether it’s Extreme Pull, Pull Hitter, Balanced, Opposite Field Hitter or Extreme Opposite Field Hitter.  While these sound technical, to a manager they could mean the difference between a run and an out – particularly during final innings of a game.  Just get into the batter’s practice mode and you’ll see where each one can work out for you.

Pitchers and hitters will also have an advantage with a button accuracy meter, so you won’t always end up overthrowing a ball to a base to pick a runner.  Here, you can decide just what degree of power you’ll hurl the ball at, with a “right” zone showing when you nail it – or overthrow it, if you don’t release it quick enough.  It’s almost on the same level as what Major League Baseball 2K has done with its power throws over the past couple of years.

There are two approaches when it comes to getting to the post season.  You can either go the traditional route and walk your team through Franchise Mode, earning it the old-fashioned way – or you can short-cut it and jump right into Post Season Mode, where your team is already in the playoffs, and the pressure is mounting.  There are advantages to both.

With Post Season, you can learn all about the tactics of managing a team into the World Series, without going through the boring summer months to get there.  However, if you do choose to take the Franchise route, you’ll have the advantage of both Scouting and Training to make your team better, feeling their performance differences when you reach the playoffs that way.  You’ll deal with following scouting directives on the new recruits, before eventually finding a position that fits them, training them to see how their skills hold up, and, if they’re lucky, signing them on to the team.  Some baseball fans live for this stuff, so if you’re out there, enjoy it.

Going even deeper than Franchise Mode is Diamond Dynasty 2.0, where you can juggle various degrees of team management, player management and online competition however you please.  On the management front, you can make decisions in terms of what’s going on with you team, and when to call in a Designated Hitter.  You can also collect Dynasty Cards to help expand your collection, and show others that you’re ready to win it all through the Show leaderboards.  Or maybe even on the mound yourself in a live PlayStation Network game.

Finally, if baseball is in your life’s blood, The Show Live is an ideal feature across the board for both PS3 and PS Vita.  Here, you’ll be able to get online and use data from the MLB.com website to populate your daily match-ups, check stats with line-ups and pitchers, and check out statistics to see who’s the primary team right now – and who’s sucking raw eggs.  You’ll also be able to hear recaps from previous games and keep track on what to do next, just as a real baseball manager would.

It all sounds like a complex machine, but, hey, no one ever said baseball was an easy sport.  However, if you’re a follower of the likes of the Boston Red Sox or San Francisco Giants (or any team in-between – I’m all about the Rockies here), then MLB 13: The Show is going to be a must when it crosses home plate for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita on March 5th.  Play ball!

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