MLB The Show 18 Is America’s New Pastime

Anthony Baamonde

On March 27, the latest installment of The Show’s franchise, “MLB The Show 18” hit the shelves.

Starting with the basics, the game is pretty simple all things considered. You hit, pitch, run and throw. It’s baseball, can’t be anymore straight forward than that. However, this game has a realism and charm that no other sports game has.

Before the PS4 I was stuck playing “NHL 18” on Xbox One, which is sub-par at best. The Show is as real as it gets when it comes to video games, and I t’s actually mind blowing.

One of the most addicting modes is Diamond Dynasty. In Diamond Dynasty, the player starts off with two to three packs. Each pack contains players of different ratings. You build your team with these cards and play with them online, against the CPU or in events to get rare collectibles. It’s a fun experience leveling up and gaining stubs (the game’s currency) to buy new players. If any have played ultimate team for any of the other sports games, think that same type of mode. You will get lost in the depth of it and find hours ticking by before you know it.

The graphics are insane. It feels like you’re  watching a real game. To add to the experience, the announcing is never dull or boring, it’s perfect. They added new camera angles, which are pretty cool and really show how much care went into making this.

The game is constantly updating player card stats and the commentary, which heightens the gameplay. The card stat updates really add another layer to the game because it brings in their everyday performance. Every player’s overall card rating changes frequently depending on how the player is doing in real life. Like if you have an 86 overall Aaron Judge, and he’s doing well in real life, his card will go up in rating. If he’s in a slump, it goes back down.

The controls are pretty standard. Batting you have three button options: square is power, “X” is a normal swing and circle is contact. All of these options are extremely useful in tight situations like full-counts or if you need a sacrifice to score the runner. Pitching is mostly the same with each pitcher having a set of pitches they can throw. The better they do, the more their confidence goes up.

One issue is the fielding, however. Defense is essential to winning in any sport, and in this installment of The Show, it’s a bit delayed. I lost three games in a row because of issues with the fielding. This is the only thing holding the game back from being a perfect 10.

To be clear, this is my first time owning a PlayStation console since the PS2, so The Show is still new to me. I picked up “The Show 17” when I got my PS4 just to learn the basics, however, I didn’t even scratch the surface. Nothing about this series is boring, there’s always something you can do and something new to learn. The latest installment is no exception. I’ve never played such a detailed oriented game like this before. EA should really take notes on how to make a proper sports game.

After playing The Show for almost a week, I’m extremely happy with the product. It’s a fantastic game that’s only getting better. The future updates and online aspects of the game will keep people interested throughout this game’s life cycle.