Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
MLB 06: The Show Reviewed by Dan Clarke on . Many years, fans of baseball games ask companies to just fix what was broken last year and keep the rest as is. MLB 06 The Show for the PS2 does just that, but adds a more robust online mode and a King of the Diamond mode that is also enjoyable. Rivalry isn't a bad idea, but feels more like a gimmick this year. Rating: 78%
MLB 06: The Show
MLB 06: The Show MLB 06: The Show MLB 06: The Show MLB 06: The Show
  • Review Score:

  • B+
MLB 06 The Show is the latest baseball game from Sony. As most of the gaming audience knows, last year 2K Games purchased the 'exclusive third party' license for baseball videogames. What that means is that EA won't be making a game this year, but first parties (ie console makers like Sony) can continue to make baseball games. As someone who is a proponent of choice, this is definitely a good thing. Sony is first out of the gate this year with an MLB game, and you could easily not even bother with the other baseball game if you so choose.

For the PS2 version, you'll notice the menus have been graphically enhanced. There's also a new King of the Diamond mode, and we'll talk about that later.

Of course, exhibition is a quick one off game. Approximately three years ago, Sony added a 'career mode' to the baseball game, a novel idea at the time. This mode continues to be one of my favorite modes because if you have an Eye Toy camera, you can literally put yourself in the game and work your way to "The Show" (get it?). Of course, there aren't many fat 34 year old rookies in baseball that can throw 97mph, but it sure is fun to dream. Instead of managing a team through a season, you become a player. You create the player's name, age, height, weight, jersey number and primary playing position. Using a variety of attribute points you define your player. For a starting pitcher, do you boost up on stamina, or try to give up less home runs per 9 innings? You decide, but you only have a finite amount of points.

MLB 06: The Show (PlayStation 2)

Once you've set up the player, you then choose the team you wish to play for and the in-game options. You are then given a list of achievements you need to accomplish in Spring Training. Obviously the better you perform, the better your contract. The worse you perform, you'll probably not even get a contract.

If you do get a contract, the fun really begins - aside from the regular gameplay, you can also give feedback. Request a trade, let the press in on a club house secret, demand a call up from the minors if you're in AAA - anything you do of course can affect you and the team in different ways.

Yes, that's right, I said minor leagues. They are here in the game and you can play them out in the detailed franchise mode. Don't expect deep or accurate rosters however - in my time with the Orioles there were quite a few MLB level players in Ottawa (the AAA team)…and these were players with the Orioles the whole year last year, so it seemed a little odd. In fact the only players I could recognize were Major Leaguers. Apparently getting the minor league players license wasn't in the cards.

MLB 06: The Show (PlayStation 2)

Season mode and Franchise modes are here in full effect. New this year is also a Rivalry mode. It will actually sort out stats between your most hated, um, rivals. Neat idea - nothing earth shattering here, but definitely a nice touch.

Gameplay hasn't changed much from last year. Fans of High Heat will be pleased to learn that you can guess the pitch and the hitting area, just like last year. An extra difficulty level has been added for an extra challenge. You can use a standard swing or a power swing. The batter animations are very good and if you are swinging high and inside at a low and outside pitch, it looks very awkward - as it should. The pitcher/batter interface is one of the better ones I've used. Reading breaking pitches can be easy - or difficult depending on the pitcher.
comments powered by Disqus