MLB 14: The Show (PS Vita) Review

April 23, 2014

There are so many sports games out there now, it’s fair to say the genre is somewhat competitive. Okay, very competitive. FIFA, NBA 2K, WWE 2K, NHL, NFL and many more titles make up the genre. Sony, over the last few years, has entered the baseball scene with MLB: The Show with some very good results. Can MLB 14: The Show on the PS Vita carry on the good run and deliver a home run? Or does it strike out completely? Read on to find out.

Game: MLB 14: The Show
Developer: San Diego Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Reviewed on:

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GRAPHICS

The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 versions of MLB 14: The Show are without a doubt the best graphical showcases for the game, but the PS Vita version is no slouch by any means. It represents the game of baseball quite well on the PS Vita, without really exceeding expectations or truly amazing. The visuals are solid enough, it’s just a tad frustrating that the frame rate is somewhat inconsistent. I would’ve liked to see better presentation too, with more crowd involvement (celebrations etc.) during big moments such as a home run.

SOUND

The audio in MLB 14: The Show surprised me, especially the commentary. This is my first venture into the series, but I have got to say that the commentary here is very impressive, breaking down the action in a natural and fluid manner. I kind of wish games like FIFA and PES would incorporate a similar commentary system. MLB 14: The Show also features an impressive soundtrack, rounding off an already top notch audio offering.

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GAMEPLAY

MLB 14: The Show offers up a solid gameplay experience, in terms of batting and fielding. Batting feels really organic, giving you multiple options in regards to how you want to hit the ball. Want to hit it out of the park? Sure, go for it. Want to go for a soft hit? That’s possible too. It feels extremely satisfying when you hit a home run out of the park, especially when you take into account the good pitching system in the game.

As a pitcher, you also have multiple options at your disposal. Curve balls, fast balls, low and high, almost every way you can think of throwing the ball is present in MLB 14: The Show. The amount of times I was left frustrated getting three strikes against me was unreal, but it did showcase the realism despite the somewhat steep learning curve. Fielding is fun too. Believe it or not, I had a blast trying to run after the ball and catch it to get the batter out. The combination of all these three elements will genuinely keep me coming back to the MLB 14: The Show. That’s coming from someone who’s not exactly the biggest baseball fan, so that’s a pretty big compliment there on its own. Hooray for a nice balance of realism and fun!

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LONGEVITY

MLB 14: The Show doesn’t quite offer the amount of options as its more powerful home console cousins (online play being one), but it’s still good to see that the PS Vita offering has plenty of modes to keep you busy. Road to the Show is the main mode, which is kind of like Be a Pro mode from FIFA. Starting from scratch or taking control of a current player, the mode follows your journey from being scouted right up to being involved in the major tournaments. It is a mode that offers hours of fun if you get into it. Another mode that I quite enjoyed was Home Run Derby. It essentially does what it says on the tin, allowing you to score as many home runs as you can.

VERDICT

MLB 14: The Show doesn’t quite hit it out of the park on the PS Vita, but is still a good baseball title that should keep you busy on the go. The PS3 and Ps4 versions are the main attractions, sure, but the PS Vita outing still offers a solid gameplay experience that fans of the series, along with newcomers, will enjoy right up to the next installment. It does have a few issues here and there, but for the most part Sony has provided a realistic and fun baseball title. If anything, MLB 14: The Show on the PS Vita certainly heightened my interest in the series!

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