REVIEW – The latest baseball simulator from Sony San Diego Studio not only showcases the sport’s greatest legends and a new generation of baseball, but also gives players a unique history lesson in Storylines mode. MLB The Show 23 doesn’t change much from the tried-and-true recipe, but it still manages to exceed expectations with a few innovations and tweaks.
Baseball is one of the most popular and oldest sports in the United States, with a history dating back over a hundred years. Many of the sport’s greats and unforgettable moments are on display in MLB The Show 23, the latest installment of Sony San Diego Studio’s annual baseball simulator. The game will be released for the first time this year on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC, allowing more fans to enjoy a realistic and spectacular baseball experience.
MLB The Show 23 doesn’t revolutionize the genre, but it does bring some important innovations and tweaks to gameplay, graphics, controls and atmosphere. The biggest new feature, however, is undoubtedly the Storylines mode, an interactive and educational gameplay mode that takes a closer look at eight iconic figures from baseball history.
Storylines: the heroes of baseball
The Storylines mode is the most prominent feature of MLB The Show 23, which not only entertains but also educates. The mode focuses on the Negro Leagues of the 1920s, which featured African-American players who were excluded from professional baseball. Storylines mode consists of eight episodes, each featuring a legendary Negro League player. Examples include Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and Buck O’Neil. The mode uses video and in-game moments to tell the story of these players’ lives, careers and impact on baseball. The mode is a very authentic depiction of the era, the stadiums, the uniforms, the player models and the crowds.
Storylines mode is narrated by Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Museum, whose passionate and engaging delivery adds to the atmosphere of the stories. Storylines mode is just the first season of an ongoing narrative in which new Negro Leagues players are introduced by the developers each year.
Diamond Dynasty: The test of decision-making
One of the most popular game modes in MLB The Show series, Diamond Dynasty mode lets you build your own team from a variety of cards that can be earned by completing challenges, participating in auctions, or purchased for real money. Diamond Dynasty mode has undergone a major change this year, a risky but welcome move from the developers. The mode now makes top 99 rated cards available from day one, so you don’t have to wait months for them.
And the Sets and Seasons system replaces cards on a cyclical basis, so you don’t get bored of the game and have to build new teams. And the Team Affinity feature finally lets you build thematic teams. For example, if you want to assemble a full Kansas City Royals team in MLB The Show 23, you’ll have the help of Tigers captain Miguel Cabrera, who will enhance the abilities of other Tigers players. The more Detroit players we use, the bigger the bonus.
Baby steps to perfection
The gameplay of MLB The Show 23 doesn’t differ significantly from previous installments, but it does include a few small changes and improvements that enhance the experience. For example, on defense, fielding attributes of outfielders are given a greater role, affecting their reaction time and accuracy of their throws. The Button Accuracy Meter has also been revamped, now dynamically changing according to difficulty. And on offense, the redefined Clutch attribute determines how well we can hit runners in scoring situations.
In terms of gameplay, there are three styles to choose from: Casual, Simulation and Competitive. The Casual style is for beginners and casual gamers, the Simulation style offers a realistic baseball experience, while the Competitive style is optimised for online competition. The gameplay is further enhanced by new animations, of which the developers have added more than 5,000. These include new batting stances, catches, dives and more.
MLB The Show 23 is a must for baseball fans
MLB The Show 23 showcases not only the stars and teams of today, but also the greats and stories of the past. The gameplay and graphics have been fine-tuned to make the experience even more beautiful and enjoyable. There are three different styles to choose from, depending on how realistic or competitive you want your game to be, and over 5,000 new animations to make the baseball action even more lifelike.
MLB The Show 23 doesn’t do much to change what made the series a success, but that’s no bad thing. Sets and Seasons is a bold but welcome change to Diamond Dynasty mode, and Storylines is a fantastic tribute to baseball’s past. And the gameplay tweaks and graphical improvements make the experience even more beautiful and enjoyable. MLB The Show 23 is a must-have for all baseball fans, offering a great simulator for fans of the sport.
+ Storylines mod introduces eight legendary figures in baseball history.
+ Diamond Dynasty mod innovations
+ Gameplay and graphics tweaks
– It doesn’t bring radical changes to the gameplay or modes, so it doesn’t offer much new to those who are already bored with the series.
– The game’s online servers can be unstable and slow at times, which can degrade your online experience.
– The price has become higher compared to the previous parts
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: San Diego Studio
Style: Sports, baseball
Release: March 28, 2023.
MLB The Show 23
Gameplay - 8.6
Graphics - 8.5
Campaign - 9.2
Music/Audio - 7.8
Ambience - 8.4
MLB The Show 23 is a great baseball simulator that showcases the past and present of the sport. Storylines mode teaches and entertains, Diamond Dynasty mode is fresh and diverse. The gameplay and graphics are refined and lifelike. MLB The Show 23 is recommended for all baseball fans.
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