MLB 13 The Show

The Continuing Story Of Bartleby Cheezburger

The second baseman who never stops trying hustles onto MLB The Show 13.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: April 1, 2013
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Once again, the PS3 and Vita versions of The Show are very similar. While size limitations prevented Diamond Dynasty, enhanced postseason audio and Weekly Challenge from making it over to the Vita, they are otherwise feature identical. Thus this review will cover both versions with differences noted in the summaries.


Smell that in the air? Is that fresh roasted peanuts? Must be baseball season! And with another opening day comes another installment of the best console baseball simulator ever made, MLB The Show 13. Year after year the pretenders fall away to leave on game standing atop the mountain, and that game has consistently been The Show for the past half-decade.

As one might expect, baseball doesn’t change all that much from year to year, and this deep into the current console generation the games don’t change that much from year to year either. As I mentioned recently in my review of the new Tiger Woods game it can be hard to bring enough new content to the table outside of roster updates to make a yearly purchase a wise investment. Rosters shift more in baseball than they do in golf, but has enough been added to this year’s model to get owners of The Show 12 down to the store to check it out?

Those looking for new modes are going to be disappointed, but that doesn’t mean Sony hasn’t found a way to punch up some of the existing stuff. Commentary is bolstered in all modes by the addition of Steve Lyons in the booth replacing Dave Campbell. They’ve also punched up the commentary and gotten rid of a few of the stale lines we’ve heard for a lot if iterations. They’ve also added a more robust tutorial to help new players ease into some of the more complex systems including the revamped pitch-guessing system. Taking a cue from… well just about every game ever at this point, there is an XP system that’s tied to your profile and gives you so level of XP for pretty much everything you do in the game, from exhibition matches to franchise and Road to the Show and even homerun derbies and daily challenges. This XP doesn’t do much of anything other than give you a way of comparing yourself against every other The Show player in the world, but hey, who doesn’t want to compare?

The Show LIVE introduces a direct feed from MLB.com that lets you recreate every game, every day just as they happened. You’ll get up-to-the-minute lineups and pitching matchups that reflect the whims of your favorite manager. You can go back and play any game from earlier in the season using the exact lineups that were in that game and if there is a late scratch in today’s games, that will be reflected RIGHT IN THE GAME! It’s pretty neat. Franchise mode now includes an indicator letting you know which prospects in your farm system are rated in the Top 50 overall, and every team has a dynamic budgeting and trade system that reflects the attitudes of their real life counterparts.

The new postseason mode takes into account the updated wildcard format and REALLY punches up the presentation for these games (only on the PS3) to give every park a wild atmosphere that manages to give the impression that these game truly are more important than regular season and exhibition games. Diamond Dynasty makes a return on the PS3 as well. I’ve never quiet gotten into the weird hybrid of creating your own team mixed with a collectible card game, but it’s certainly something a bit different that you can explore when plain old baseball gets boring.
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