Reviewed: April 9, 2011
Released: March 8, 2011
Bases are loaded, two outs andÖthe A.I hits the 4th homerun of the game. First impression of MLB 11 The Show is that the A.I is way too smart for my own good. I had an incredibly difficult time trying to strike out the A.I batters no matter what I threw that I almost started to just walk all of them whereas the pitcher was sometimes too easy to get a hit on. The newest installment of Sony's MLB franchise doesnít stray far from earlier titles in that the same gameplay basics are still in effect - if it ainít broke donít fix it. All the fan favorite teams are around with an updated roster to reflect new signings.|
Along with the standard Home Run Derby and Exhibition mode you have access to season mode and the Road to the show, which is where you get to put the creation system into play, Manager Mode and quickplay. Road to the show puts you in your created players role like in previous years attempting to achieve goals that give you training points to better enhance your player, fail in your goal and you may get docked points. Your player will only have something to do when it involves him so you might be batting one second and then sitting in left field the next just waiting to see if the ball will land your way and if you can get the out so if you are looking to play a whole game and not just parts and pieces Iíd recommend a different game mode.
The character creation system was in-depth with all the things you could change on your career player. Customization starts with the basics of age, weight and height and goes as far as your bat color, whether you want short sleeves and shin guards when batting. While you are able to choose hair style and color you arenít really able to see much of it because you canít take off your created characters cap to really see the choices youíve made. Skin coloring was blotchy and the tone didnít seem to match once you change your nose, which isnít really necessary to do just an option, but I shouldnít have a dark brown nose when my player is Caucasian.
Along with the image of your player you are able to add points to different aspects to improve his pitching and running speed along with batting power and accuracy using the system. The point distribution system really helps to make each created player unique to their creator such as increasing the speed and accuracy of certain pitches to running speed and catching ability. You could make an amazing batter but sacrifice your ability on the outfield or shortstop positions, itís all what you want to be.
Manager mode is for those who want to control every aspect of the game such as whether you want to intentionally walk that batter or changing your formation on the outfield. If you want to call all the shots without really having to do anything except watch the game this is the mode for you. Exhibition on the other hand is exactly what it sounds like; you pick two teams and watch them play a game without having any control except your view point. Season mode is for those with enough time and focus to complete a full season in one sitting or spread over a few days, personally I didnít feel like playing 162 games so I opted for the shortened version.
The default camera angles seemed to be a bit too far out and caused a bit of issue when I dealt with fly balls and was unable to judge their location. The stadiums themselves were nicely reproduced with the night and day option adding to the game day atmosphere. Throughout my game I encountered a few graphical issues that were quite bothersome. Randomly through the game the ball would get stuck near the wall of the stadium and my outfielder would be unable to pick it up. People in the stands behind my batter would look pixelated to almost look like squares heads jumping up and down. The music and sound effects are impressive and most of the music was imported straight from the PS3 version along with the commentary from Dave Campbell, Matt Vasgersian and Rex Hudler to keep you informed on whatís happening on the game and give you informative info on the players themselves.
If you havenít gotten your hands on a decent baseball game for your PSP, MLB 11 The Show is the way to go. If you happen to have last yearís game I would recommend holding out on MLB 11 unless you really want that updated roster to show your new favorite player. The lack of an online mode makes it so you are left playing this on long car rides and the Ad-hoc mode gives you the ability to play versus a friend, but you must be in the same room to accomplish this. At the end of the day MLB 11 The Show lets you play your favorite teams and players with decent visuals and stunning music and effects but ultimately strikes out due to the fact its last yearís game with new models.