Columns & Blogs

‘MLB 10 The Show’ is a grand slam

I get the feeling that most sports gamers believe the “Madden NFL” series is the best sports gaming franchise.

I have no problem with the argument that “Madden” is the best-selling sports gaming franchise, or that it’s the most popular one. But the best sports gaming franchise out right now is Sony’s “MLB The Show” series.

The latest edition — “MLB 10 The Show” — was released March 2 exclusively to the PlayStation gaming platforms.

The series has been the best baseball game on the market since Electronic Arts lost its Major League Baseball license with “MVP Baseball 2005.” Some consider that game to be the best baseball simulation ever made, but Sony has gained on that game with every release in the “MLB The Show” series.

Not only has it become the best baseball game on the market, but the past two editions of “MLB The Show” have made the series the best in sports gaming.

The simulation aspects of the series match up with just about every other sports franchise. The game gives the user the control of a franchise and allows you to control it just like an owner or general manager would.

The game’s career mode —“The Road to the Show” — is the best career mode on any game, and I believe its success has caused it to be copied in other gaming franchises like “Madden.” “Road to the Show” allows a user to control a player coming up through the minor leagues. If you’re a pitcher, then you throw every pitch until you come out of a game. If you are a positional player, you only play your at bats and the moments where you must make a defensive play.

The high standards that users have come to expect from the series are here.

The biggest addition to the game is the ability to call the game as a catcher. With Minnesota Twins’ star Joe Mauer on the cover, this is a smart move.

The developers overhauled the pick-off system and added a ton of new presentation elements. They added classic stadiums to go along with the new ones and brought back the Home Run Derby. Rosters will be updated online on a weekly basis.

I get the feeling the developers working on this game really want to make the best baseball game on the market. They aren’t just trying to cash in on a franchise name. By doing so, they have created a truly great game.

Opening Day is a little more than a week away. There aren’t many better ways I can think of to get ready for the season than by hunkering down with “MLB 10 The Show.”