Subtle Tweaks for the King of the Diamond
How do you improve the immaculate? That's the question at hand for the crew at San Diego Studios, creators of the wildly successful MLB: The Show franchise. The 2012 version is set to be released on March 6th for the PlayStation 3 and the brand new PlayStation Vita. With no massive changes to make to the core functionality of the game, subtle tweaks and a new play mode will be the only additions this season, but expectations are still sky high for the king of the virtual diamond. Let's take a look at what you can expect in early March from MLB 12: The Show.
Gameplay has always been paramount for MLB: The Show, and MLB 12: The Show will be no different. They've promised true ball physics, using a mathematical system to calculate proper spin, allowing for a wider variety of hit types and accurate bounces off of bases, the pitcher's mound and the playing surface. The general batting and pitching has also been tweaked. Zone Analog Batting allows the player to use both thumbsticks to time the swing and alter the position of the bat at the point of impact. Pulse Pitching will get the player to time their release by pressing the "X" button as a circle closes in on the desired location. Of course, if you don't like these new gameplay styles, you can easily switch back to a more classic approach. Other added gameplay features include 14 new umpires and enhanced A.I. logic. Full support for PlayStation Move has also been added in the PS3 version, as players can now control all aspects of The Show with the motion peripheral.
Much like the gameplay, the presentation of MLB 12: The Show is really only seeing subtle tweaks. The broadcast presentation is said to more accurately reflect a real game broadcast, with new camera angles and an expanded audio set for both the broadcasters and regular game sound. All told, players can expect to see over 500 new presentation animations for 2012.
The biggest new feature available for the PS3 version of MLB 12: The Show is the new Diamond Dynasty mode. Similar to EA Sports' Ultimate Team, Diamond Dynasty allows you to manage team and player progression. Your team is built using baseball cards of real players and generated ones. Progression is made through a series of games played against the A.I. or other users online. The better your team performs, the bigger your budget becomes, allowing you to purchase more players and upgrades to improve your virtual squad. Perhaps the best part of Diamond Dynasty is the customization options. You will have full control over the team name, colors, uniforms, and logos. The editor shown allows you to create any object for team logos, something rarely seen and often requested in sports games. For those not interested in Diamond Dynasty, your standard set of game types will remain, including Road to the Show and Franchise, which have both seen slight improvements as well.
For the first time in series' history, the PSP and PlayStation 2 will not be supported. However, the PS Vita will be receiving the game, and a potentially revolutionary feature will be ready from day one in the form of cross-platform saves. If you purchase both the PS3 and Vita versions of the game, you will have the ability to share save files between devices. This will include Franchise, Season, and Road to the Show, allowing you to start your game at home, and pick it up on the go via the Sony Entertainment Network.
MLB 12: The Show is one of the most anticipated sports games of 2012, and we're less than a month away from release. Be sure to check back here at GD for a full review in the coming weeks.
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A lifelong Nintendo fan and sports junkie, Adam is from Toronto and a proud Canadian. If he's not writing or playing games, you can probably find him on the golf course.
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