PlayStation 2 is old, but it’s nowhere near its deathbed. Most sports games
would have you believe otherwise. That’s because no matter how great their
intentions may be, they’re not allocating the proper resources to the current
the deflated basketball games and slippery soccer updates is a game that loves
to show off – MLB 07: The Show. In development for both PlayStation 2
and 3, MLB 07: The Show is a special beast. The PS2 version is packed with
upgrades, refinements, and replay value. It’s also equipped with an excellent
commentary and replay system that brings the game to life with awesome
cinematic precision. All this and the game is not even finished.
comes out swinging with enhanced batting and pitching options. Last year’s
goodies are back – you swing by pressing one of the face buttons and can
influence that swing’s direction by moving the left analog stick. Pitching is
still based on a timing mechanism that involves two precise actions for the
best possible throw.
the field players will discover that, to pass the ball more effectively, they
can hold the throw button (X) to increase their power. The length of your hold
determines how hard the ball will be thrown. A circular meter appears around
the player and grows to show how much power has been created.
natural reaction might be to hold the button for a bit every time. But there’s
a risk that’ll keep you from going crazy – hard throws are unstable. You can’t
guarantee that a hard throw won’t fly off course, which would be far more
batting end, players can still predict the pitch and where it will land. The
combination is hard to master, but the intuitive controls and high-speed
gameplay will keep you hooked regardless.
newest addition to the huge list of game modes is Road to The Show. It’s
reminiscent of Madden’s NFL Superstar mode, having you control one homemade
player – offense or defense – at all times. As the pitcher, the camera does
some interesting things as the ball flies over head. There isn’t a whole lot
that can be done once the pitch has been made. You can attempt to catch the
ball, but only in the best circumstances will that even be an option. Batters
face the same kind of thing – you play to make that one athlete a star.
is based on your ability to keep the other team from performing certain
actions. For example, as pitcher you may be told to keep the batter from
running the bases. It’s easier said than done. While the other game modes let
you recover from mistakes by controlling other players, you don’t have any
backup plans here. You get one shot with every objective – a couple more if he
fouls or strikes out, but that will only happen if you’re playing at your
Show. The Presentation.
a big fan of commentary or instant replays, especially when they’re
repetitive, clunky, or have some other issue. Graphics play a huge role in how
well a replay is executed. If the players don’t look realistic and if their
actions aren’t believable, what’s the point of watching?
07’s graphics are looking great. Player models are detailed, accurate, and are
packed with fluid animations. The replays are some of the coolest you’ll ever
see in a sports game. There was a moment of question where it appeared I had
stopped my opponent from stealing second. The ball should’ve been a foul,
bouncing off the bat lightly as if it had hit a wall. But it managed to stay
behind the line. I grabbed it, tossed it to second base (by pressing the
circle button) and waited for my results.
replay showed that, as close as the play was, the ball landed in my player’s
hands just before my opponent touched the base. He was outta there faster than
Fox and Universal at a Halo movie meeting.
Stepping up to the plate this February, MLB 07 is sure to show up in
gamers’ homes all across the country. Whether you play it on the old or new
PlayStation console, this is a sports game that can’t be ignored.