MLB The Show 22 has long heralded the arrival of baseball on next-generation consoles. Spectacular animations, improved graphics, and the repair of the traditionally neglected major single-player component Road to the Show are just some of the many changes players have been eagerly awaiting. One has to be honest and admit that the last offshoot of the franchise has indeed brought some novelties. But the question is, are these innovations important enough to justify a whole new game?
MLB has dedicated much of its marketing to innovation in the commentary booth. After 16 long years, Matt Vasgersian gave the microphone to Chris Singleton and Jon “Boog” Sciambi. The duo was supposed to bring a revolution to virtual match monitoring. San Diego Studios talked a lot about how the duo, in almost 300 hours of filming, made over 45,000 different replicas.
Unfortunately, the soundtrack in the game was the biggest complaint in this
year's version. The lines of text that commentators utter, though well-acted,
very quickly become repetitive. You will often listen to the same lines, and
this is especially true during longer fights, where you will hear some phrases
several times in one match. In addition to destroying your authenticity,
repeatedly arguing with identical phrases will quickly become tiring for
Furthermore, there are certain moments in which commentators of the legend of this sport will call out only by the number on their backs. This practice is understandable for some less important names, but it must not be the case that a player like Babe Ruth is addressed as "Number 3".
It should be mentioned that every sound element except the commentator was
done with quality. From the roaring of the audience, the applause and the
cheering shouts of a full stadium after hitting a home run, all the way to the
dull echo that signals to you that you hit the ball with the wrong part of the
stick. Each sound represents a faithful and authentic experience of a baseball
game, but it is a fact that fans of the series are used to anyway.
Regarding the visual presentation, MLB 22 remains vague, but it immediately becomes obvious that we did not get the expected graphic shift with this title. Several new animations have been added to the game, resulting in more natural and realistic player behavior. In addition to the animations, the appearance of the athletes themselves has been improved, so now you can easily recognize popular stars like Shohei Ohtani, better known to commentators as number 17.
Along with the improvements on the field, it is worth mentioning that the
option of playing night games in the created stadiums has finally been added
to the game. Of course, the number of introductory animations before the start
of the game has also increased, but this item is still negligible and does not
make a concrete difference compared to last year's MLB.
On the other hand, it remains unclear why the grass is done so poorly - in a sport where you are constantly watching variations of mowed lawns. Seriously, the turf in the game is closer to those from the PlayStation 3 era than to some next-gen experience. Equally poorly made is dust that looks very artificial and unnatural. Overall, due to the inconsistency of individual segments, the visual presentation failed more than it progressed. If I had to describe this year's graphics in one word, I would say - meh!
It should be noted here that MLB The Show 2022 is not the same on all
platforms. The game differs significantly depending on whether you play it on
old or new generation consoles. Certain animations are exclusive only to the
version of the game on the new consoles. More importantly, the popular Stadium
Creator mode is also available only to newer generation console owners.
The MLB 2022 is the first sequel to the franchise available for the Nintendo Switch console. The experiences of the players who played on the Switch are not overly positive. In addition to a lower level of detail, there are reportedly some glitches on the Switch that do not appear in versions for other consoles, so consider yourself warned.
MLB The Show 22 - Strike One
After a disappointing audiovisual presentation, all the burden of anticipation fell on the back of the gameplay. Fans of this wonderful sport can relax because without much hesitation I claim that The Show 22 provides the most fun and complex feeling of baseball. Every mechanic that worked well in last year’s edition here has been improved and further improved. This year so we have as many as three different ways to hit the ball; in addition to the classic swing, we now have a strong and contact way of swinging.
Of course, each of them is ideal for certain types of balls thrown by opposing
throwers. For example, the PCI (Plate Coverage Indicator) provides much more
information. More precisely, it now simulates much more plausibly how the
height and position of your swing will affect the final blow.
Pitchers or those throwers, on the other hand, are not doomed to helplessness because they also have an improved way of timing and directing the ball. PAR (Perfect Accuracy Region) mechanics have also improved. It is now further deepened so that, when throwing, you see shadows on the screen that outline the best possible trajectory of the ball. In addition, hand precision statistics now have a greater impact on the pitcher’s animations themselves. That is, the top pitchers will perform a faster and more special animation of the swing, which will of course make the striker's job even more difficult.
Some of these elements will seem confusing to older players at first, but
that's why MLB 22 introduces the fielding option in the familiar Custom
Practice mode. At the training ground, you can set different scenarios that
can happen in the match, and finally, the option of quickly repeating certain
segments is available.
This year’s MLB The Show has decided to take a step toward players unfamiliar with this series. At first launch, the game gradually introduces you to the ways of hitting, throwing, running, and catching through a finely designed tutorial. Moreover, MLB allows you to determine for yourself which things you will do yourself and which you will leave to artificial intelligence. The fact that two additional weight options have been added to the game also supports accessibility.
Furthermore, the Dynamic Difficulty system has been improved, so the game now
monitors your progress even better and changes the weight in such a way that
playing is always challenging. Admittedly, some old ailments are still present
on the toughest setup, such as the opponent’s too frequent perfectly done
throws or catches, which is why I often had the impression that I was playing
every game against the legendary ’98 Yankees lineup. The only drawback of this
approach is the lack of tutorials that would explain the rules of the game.
All in all, if there’s a part that San Diego Studios knows and can do right, then it’s faithfully transmitted and addictive gameplay. When it comes to playing on the field, the MLB series has once again managed to deliver us the best of the sport.
MLB The Show 22 - Strike Two
One of the main things the fans of the series advocated was the single-player
experience. Road to The Show has been unfairly neglected for many years, and
we have not experienced a significant change in the last part. The biggest
novelty is the ability to create multiple players. Also, compared to last
year, the progress of your pollen has accelerated. Apart from that, a small
number of polished animations, along with some new segments of the podcast in
which you follow the reflections of Ken Griffey Jr. and Joe Mauer, can hardly
be called an innovation.
It's a bit confusing that the March to October mode is surprisingly deep.
Instead of a one-year march to the throne, the players were allowed to enter
new seasons and continue to lead the selected team. This change, while
welcome, actually only further outlines Franchise's neglect. The franchise is
still a major part of the single-player campaign. Numerous complaints from
players have not borne fruit this year either, so we can once again make the
most of artificial intelligence, which is ready to give us its best players
for pits and peanuts.
With standard management of every aspect of your team, you can change the foundations of the club, which of course includes the stadium. The construction of the stadium is now much simpler and smoother. With a large number of details that you can adjust and easier movement of the camera during the construction, Create a Stadium this year did not disappoint. Honestly, it is impossible not to praise the element of the sports game that allows you to have a real tyrannosaurus as the club's mascot. As we have already mentioned, the only "problem" is that building your stadium is only possible in the version for the next-gen console.
Diamond Dynasty is again the mode to which the most attention is paid. Unlike similar mods in other sports series, Dynasty has been known for several years as the most generous, and honest concept of collecting player thumbnails. The already rapid progress has been further facilitated by the insertion of so-called small seasons.
Mini Seasons is a single-player competition in which you fight with your
chosen ones with teams of other players managed by artificial intelligence. In
this way, players will gather experience, unlock and solve various missions
and strengthen the statistics of their cards. In addition to the season,
Dynasty has added co-op mechanics in which up to three players can participate
at the same time. Playing with friends is further aided by the cross-play
Finally, Moments should be highlighted, the part of the game where you have to rewrite history. In particular, the game puts you in key parts of some of the most important matches, and you take control of famous players who must ensure the victory of their team, in a historically authentic way. Nothing spectacular, but if you’re a mega-fan of baseball, count on spending a few hours in Moments.
To conclude - MLB The Show 22 is not a game for everyone. Baseball is a
special sport that requires the spectator to closely monitor and great
concentration that allows him to understand its beauty.
- the best, but also the only virtual baseball experience
- cross-play and co-op are welcome innovations that unite the community
- affordable for beginners and new players
- there is no expected next-gen shift
- single-player modes remained unchanged
- the commentary duo too often repeats the same lines of text