All week long, we’re covering different aspects of MLB 15: The Show, Sony's newest chapter in its ongoing baseball series. So far, we offered tips on hitting and base-stealing, as well as pitching and base-running in general. Now we're diving head first into the modes, starting with one of the finer staples in the series, Road to the Show.
You begin with the basics, eventually creating a superstar and working your way through a Hall of Famer career. It’s a rough journey, but one you'll appreciate as you achieve special milestones and secure World Series trophies.
When you first create a player, there are a few things you'll need to do. You can either choose which team you want to play for, or select what type of player you prefer to become (pitcher, third baseman, etc.). Now look for a team that needs a player with your talents. Taking the position route is a better way to go, simply because trying to play for your favorite team could put you in an undesired role. For instance, if you want to be a power hitter, you won't get anywhere as a pitcher.
From there, choose attributes that best suit your player across a number of categories. Pitchers, for example, should focus on vision and power, so they have the means to get the ball over the plate. Meanwhile, those who dream of hitting grand slams should go for contact and power.
You earn points in any given position, but sometimes there are more points to collect depending on specific actions. These can be used to bump up attributes based on success rate. From practice, though, you're likely to get the most points from hitting. Even if you prefer a different position, it never hurts to have some batting skills.
Finally, customize this player to fit the style. For instance, choosing a shorter player gives you not only a slight advantage on speed over taller opponents, but also a smaller strike zone to successfully hit the ball. Just don't make themtoo short. Six feet should do it.
Skip college and go pro
College may teach you a thing or two, but baseball is the name of the game in MLB 15, so don't bother with school. Instead, jump right into the action and make sure you assign points properly, again depending on your player. Building up contact and power makes a difference, and you want to make sure you bulk up control and stamina. These are universally accepted traits that will help you out despite the position.
When you get into minor league games, remember that you're not a pro. Pitchers aren't as seasoned in the minors, and despite improving your skills, sometimes you’ll strike out. The key here is focus, and making sure you continue to perform.
As you get through the minor leagues, you'll be able to see which areas need improvement. Focus on these in-between games, either by using points to bulk up your stats or taking part in mini-games that focus on these attributes. It can take a little while to get through, but eventually your player will get better, and when the scouts call for big league employment, they'll see the changes you made.
Welcome to the big leagues
When you make it to the MLB, that doesn't necessarily mean your player will remain top-notch. Again, there's a lot of building to be done, so continue to improve key attributes to avoid putting your team into a losing position, or worse yet, ending up on the trading block. Remember to take advantage of mini-games and work the areas that need improvement. Even if you think you're hot stuff after a win, practice, practice, practice. We can't say it enough.
Don't forget the smaller factors, either. While contact and power are big attributes, smaller things like plate vision and drag bunting should be filled in as well, even if they're not as full as your other categories. This will make a difference in your overall play, especially as you increase your skills and become more of a well-rounded player.
It'll take time, and you probably won't become good until at least a few gaming years, but the progress will pay off on your run towards Cooperstown. Don't be hesitate to practice mini games outside of your comfort zone. You may find a new skill that'll prove useful.