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MLB 14: The Show (Video Game Review)

MLB 14: The Show is the newest release for Sony's exclusive The Show franchise. Tigers outfielder Miguel Cabrera is featured on the cover of the game, and the cover athlete is ironically much like the new video game. Neither have really improved much over the last couple of years, nor have they seen any decline in performance, but both remain one of the best in their fields that fans will certainly be more than satisfied with. MLB 14: The Show does arrive for PlayStation 4 this year though, so the game's graphics have been greatly improved to offer the biggest reason to pick up the new release and to offer fans a definitive version of the game to choose.

MLB 14: The Show marks the return of many different game modes and features that made last year's release so special. Players can choose to create a player and head into Road to the Show mode to play out specific parts of the player's career on the field, go online and choose a team to run their own franchise online or simply play ball in the play now mode. Features like Pulse Pitching and some other realistic game mechanics return in the new release to offer PlayStation fans one of the best baseball simulations available on any platform.

Where MLB 14: The Show makes the biggest strides is in the player animations and overall graphics. Stadiums much more closely match their real life counterparts down to some very accurate details seen on the field and grass. Players also closely match the actual athletes from the league with the overall graphics presentation featured in MLB 14: The Show comparable with that of 2K Sports' NBA 2K14. With the fantastic graphics comes a large install for players launching the game for the first time, and even more troublesome is the game's extreme loading times that occur during certain instances. The wait time to get into games can be a hassle, but it's something that seems to plague a lot of the new games for next generation consoles, and the long loading times for games is starting to feel normal again unfortunately for gamers.

The most unique game mode for the MLB: The Show series is Road to the Show, and the career path returns in MLB 14: The Show. Not a lot has changed for the mode, as players will still create a baseball player and be placed on a team, either through the draft or by assigning the created athlete to a team. Players then play through shortened games that only require performing the at bats, pitches or fielding plays for that specific player. The mode is a lot of fun and just as entertaining as in previous releases.

There are a few new features for MLB 14: The Show, but none truly stand out as revolutionary for the series. Players can take their franchise saves online to play with friends and other players with a bevy of options to customize the experience this year. Cross-Play allows gamers to enjoy the title across their home console and then take the same game file on the go with PlayStation Vita. One other cool feature for MLB 14: The Show allows players to create custom scenarios and upload them to servers online to share with other MLB fans. These are known as Community Challenges, and though most players are likely to try out a few of these just for fun, it's hardly a game mode that will sell the game on its own.

The biggest draw of MLB 14: The Show is the sport itself though. The game presents some of the best looking players and stadiums to date, and the PlayStation 4 version runs at a full 1080p 60 frames per second compared to the 720p resolution on PlayStation 3. The game has other presentation perks including a great audio commentating crew and pre-game ceremonies, television broadcasts and other little goodies that puts MLB 14: The Show comfortably ahead of other baseball titles.

MLB 14: The Show doesn't offer many new features or a complete change in how the game plays, but it doesn't need to. The roster updates, improved graphics and few other tweaks are more than enough to make fans of the series pick up the new release without hesitation. MLB 14: The Show isn't likely to draw in too many more fans than it already had this year, but the jump to PlayStation 4 and the inclusion of Cross-Play with PlayStation Vita is definitely a big step in the right direction. Check out MLB 14: The Show on your favorite Sony console today!

MLB 14: The Show is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. MLB 14: The Show is rated E by the ESRB. For more information on the game, check out the official MLB 14: The Show website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer 1-2
  • Online Franchise Support
  • Road to the Show Mode Returns
  • Cross-Play Support
  • Trophy Support

Game Information:
Developer: SCE San Diego Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), PlayStation 3 & PlayStation Vita
Release Date: May 6, 2014

Score: 8 out of 10
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