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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed By: SCE San Diego Studio
Genre: Sports
Players: 1-8
Rated: E for Everyone
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

April 2, 2012 – Baseball, just like mother’s sweet apple pie, is one of America’s greatest pastimes. Despite your view of the sport, you can’t help but tune into a game or two to see what the entire craze is about and why you chose the wrong profession. Whether you are a season ticket holder, a “bandwagon rider” or simply love the game of stick ball, millions of people the world over simply can’t get enough of the sport. This is why Sony’s MLB: The Show series has garnered great acceptance and is the premier baseball simulation out there. From the little things like player mannerisms and batting stances to exact replicas of baseball stadiums and club rosters; MLB: The Show packs a serious punch no one has matched.

MLB 12: The Show is the latest installment within the long running series developed by Sony’s San Diego Studio. With new and enhanced modes and gameplay mechanics; the biggest addition for the series and game in question is the support of Sony’s newly released PlayStation Vita handheld. MLB 12: The Show makes its debut on both the PS3 console and Vita handheld in an attempt to enjoy the experience no matter if you are at home or our and about with your Vita. Parity is the name of the game and it’s clear that Sony’s San Diego Studio gave equal billing to both the console and handheld versions, which has worked out to be a deep and rewarding experience no matter which version you choose.

MLB 12: The Show features a myriad of ways to experience the greatest simulation baseball game. Just like last year’s iteration, PlayStation Move support returns for the PS3 version. Being use to playing with a controller, the inclusion of the PlayStation Move controls is a welcome alternative. Also along for the ride is the inclusion of SimulView technology, which works hand-in-hand with Sony’s official 24” PlayStation monitor and experiencing all that The Show has to offer in glorious 3D resolution. While this is all great, the biggest addition to the title and the series is the inclusion of Cross Platform saves between the PS3 and Vita versions of the game. For the first time you are able upload your Franchise, Season, Homerun Derby and Road to the Show save files to the cloud and access them; whether on the PS3 or the PlayStation Vita. For those who pick up both versions, you would love the ability to progress your player and/or team while out an about, instead of waiting to get home to get your hands on the game.

Outside of sitting in the stands eating a big tub of popcorn and downing a large coke, and heckling a player you despise, everything you experience within MLB 12: The Show holds true to the sport, which is a big boon to the sport and to the talented individuals over at Sony San Diego Studio. You will often find yourself in the traditional bottom of the 9th situation with two outs and a man on the corners with everything riding on this turn at bat. A well placed shot can win you the game, while a swing and miss means the end of a hard-fought battle. Just like in real life, the situations you are placed in and how the game plays out is different each and every time your team steps out on the diamond. And that’s what’s refreshing about a game that stays true to the sport.

Road to the Show mode is back and better than ever. Within this mode you create a player and progress them through the minor leagues in order to get them to the big show; the majors. The type of player you create is up to you as you could create a player who specializes in pitch hitting, who is a slugger by nature or a power DH. As the weeks go by, your player will be tasked with meeting certain criteria in order to increase specific stats surrounding the players’ game. Training exercise will also be at your disposal, which also will help your all-around game. With each and every game your player plays in, you will earn experience points that will be used to increase certain aspects of your player. Getting the jist of the mode will take some time, however once you get the ball rolling you will be more than happy to get down and dirty with your potential hall-of-fame player.

Like I said before, a myriad of enhancements have been brought to the table with MLB 12: The Show, which helps solidify the series as the premier baseball simulation ever. Just like with MLB 11: The Show, MLB 12 features refinements to the pitching system, which can and does cater to all types of gamers. The new kid on the block is the pulse pitching system, which utilizes a pulsing wheel around your chosen location of the pitch. The ring will pulse from small to large and back to small, and it’s your job to time to pulsing just right to where the wheel is at its smallest in order to pitch the perfect pitch. This pitching method is simplistic and easy to get into and enjoy however for those who are more purists of the series, you have the Analog, Classic and Meter pitching options at your disposal.

Two additional features/enhancements brought to MLB 12: The Show is Zone Batting and Diamond Dynasty. Touching of zone pitching first; it revolves around allowing you to predict where the next pitch will be placed within the strike zone. This is done via a yellow looking cloud within the strike zone. Before the pitcher pitches the ball, you have the ability to move the cloud around within the strike zone. Predicting the location of the next pitch correction and you can have a potential homerun on your hands. The inclusion of the Diamond Dynasty mode; exclusive to the PS3 version, beefs up both the game’s overall content and its multiplayer aspects. Within this mode, you are able to put together your dream team via in-game collectable cards and battle other squads online. Within this mode you will be able to control various aspects of team management, player progression and online competition. For those looking for something similar to Road to the Show, but with online gameplay elements, this mode will suit you nicely.

Whether you are gaming on the PlayStation Vita or the PlayStation 3, MLB 12: The Show is one of the most breathtaking sports titles to ever cross your eyes. Sony San Diego Studio included more than 1,000 new character animations – presentation, fielding, batting stances, pitching - which makes the action on the field more realistic than ever. The inclusion of Situational Collision Awareness and the new Tag Animation systems adds more depth to the realism of this sports simulation, which is definitely welcomed. Each batter has their own distinct mannerisms, which are showcased front and center, making each and player unique instead of a carbon copy of one another. The baseball fields and stadiums are exact digital replicas of their realistic counterparts, which is a surprise to me. Through the TruBroadcast Presentation system, players now have more control over how the game plays and feels. There is a revamped camera system, which brings home the various broadcast presentations seen in actual baseball games to you videogame counterpart.

All the sound effects within MLB 12: The Show is what you expect from a baseball game. From the bat making contact with high-flying baseball, to sounds you head when a player sides home for the winning goal. The commentary is solid, through there are moments where the known baseball players’ names are used when they are being talked about, which is rather odd. There are also times where you are given random dialog which doesn’t match up with the onscreen action. This happens far and few, but can be distracting at times.

MLB 12: The Show is surprisingly a great time whether you on the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita. However, when you blend the experience of the two through transferring, you have an experience that goes wherever you go. From enriched visuals and a myriad of gameplay modes, MLB 12: The Show is still the reigning champing of sport simulations. For season veterans of the series or newcomers alike, you can find enjoyment despite the slight learning curve. If you haven’t gotten a chance to pick up this title, regardless of the console version, you owe it to yourself and all of America to experience one of the grandest sports on earth.


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