MLB 2009: The Show Review: Get a Dose of Realistic Baseball!
by: Anurag Ghosh
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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There have been several PS2 Baseball Games titles, but few have touched realism. MLB 2009: The Show is one such game that has bought real baseball elements to life. With its unparalleled gameplay and attention to detail, MLB: The Show is THE most realistic baseball game ever to grace the PS2 console
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When you come across sports video games, all you see is an Electronics Arts or a 2K Games created title, be it a football, basketball or a baseball series. EA’s Triple Play Baseball series was one great title which gained good recognition in the Baseball video game arena. This tempted Sony to create an even better title to touch all the aspects of a Major League Baseball game, initiating MLB: The Show series. While the previous MLB titles did pretty well, MLB 2009: The Show breaks all records in terms of gameplay, graphics and variety.
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The 2009 version of MLB: The Show has a variety of gameplay options. Just press the Start button and you will see loads of modes ranging from the usual Exhibition game to Season and Manager modes. You will love the Season mode, which allows gamers to play against their favorite baseball teams. But, if you would like to play against your friend or want to practice a bit, I would recommend you play the exhibition game. You can also play the role of a team Manager or play the Franchise mode to create your dream team. While the Franchise and Manager game modes are the best, the Road to the Show game lets you focus on your customized player to create a superstar out of his talents. The rest is similar to other PS2 baseball games, but the game promises to be more true-to-life.
The best part of MLB 2009: The Show is the assortment of online features. Yes, that’s right! You can enjoy online gaming via your PS2 console. There are loads of features including new list of baseball characters, option sets and online leagues. What’s more, you can use voice chat to communicate with your friends while playing games.
One crucial aspect in most PS2 baseball games is the controls. Well, MLB 2009: The Show ensures players don’t have fidget with the PS2 controller while playing an important game. You can easily pitch and bat with your controller. Baserunning is relatively easy. All you have to do is press the face button corresponding to the in-game base to run to that direction. While the controls are easy, the speed of baseball characters is determined by his stats. So, if a player has low stats, he might not be as agile to go for a catch as other player with more stats. This can make things difficult, but is quite challenging as compared to other PS2 Baseball games.
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The visuals in MLB 09: The Show is excellent. Even in the PS2 platform, the players look true to life. The animation is pretty impressive. You will love to watch a player diving to catch or players going from base to base. The movements are very similar to real-life baseball players.
The one thing I would like the developers to change is the facial features. While the player faces are rendered very nicely, the eyes seem lifeless. This needs to be changed somehow in later MLB: The Show versions. Other than that, all objects including the stadium, the surrounding scenery and the sky are rendered excellently well.
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With Dolby Pro Logic 2, the sound effects will certainly immerse you in the moment. The crisp sound of ball getting hit by the bat is very real. The commentary is awesome and flawless. Besides giving a good audio experience, the three-man commentator team will also teach you some basic and trivial stuff about baseball. The chants, heckles and the noise the crowd are equally impressive. Truly, the audio compliments with the graphics in the 2009 MLB: The Show.
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It seems that Sony has a commanding monopoly on the baseball games genre and MLB 2009: The Show is the perfect example of it. The diverse game modes, great multiplayer options and outstanding graphics are the USP of The Show. MLB does what it says and is a perfect tribute to the greatness of Major League Baseball.