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MLB 08: The Show

MLB 08: The Show

MLB 08: The Show

MLB 08: The Show is a baseball simulation video game developed by SCE San Diego Studio published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable systems. It the longest-running officially licensed Major League Baseball game series on the PlayStation systems. MLB 08: The Show is the third edition of the MLB: The Show series of video games. The game was announced for all three PlayStation consoles on December 11, 2007, and released on March 4, 2008 in North America. Ryan Howard, all-star first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, is featured as the game's cover athlete.

The game is a baseball simulation in which, depending on the gameplay mode, the player controls one or all of the players on a Major League Baseball team or some select Minor League Baseball teams. Depending on the gameplay mode, the player may control a team for a single game, season, or franchise, and can also create a player and control his career.

MLB 08: The Show Gameplay

Gameplay is similar to the other versions of MLB: The Show, as well as most baseball simulation video games. Some new features were introduced in various gameplay modes. The player may take control of one of 30 Major League Baseball teams in any game mode (excluding Road to the Show) and use that team in gameplay. The game has variable game modes in which a player takes control of a team for a single game, one season, or a franchise (multiple seasons). The player may control the team's batting, pitching, and fielding while playing the game. Many new general features have been introduced to the game as improvements to the previous edition, MLB 07: The Show. One of the major updates to the game is the "Batter/Pitcher Analysis" feature. This feature allows players to check the "match up" between the current batter and pitcher. Information such as strike/ball ratio, pitch types, pitch frequency, pitch location and the last 25 pitches thrown by the current pitcher. For pitchers, stats such as batters "hot zones", balls taken, strikeout pitch location, and stats when facing that particular pitcher.

Another main update to the game is the "Progressive Batting Performance". This feature tracks the batting stats of all players in season and franchise modes, and for your created player in Road to the Show mode. Progressive Batting Performance tracks trends in the player's batting statistics, and then gives a rating compared to the average performance of that player each month. If the player is doing better, the player will perform stats will increase, while if the player's stats are getting worse, they will fall into a "hitting slump", a prolonged period of time in which the player has trouble batting.

Fielding was also improved from previous versions, with better AI making less mistakes in the field, AI calculations on whether the runner will reach base before a throw gets there, and improved fielding mechanics. A "Rob Home Run Indicator" was also added. This feature indicated if a ball traveling over the wall was close enough to jump and catch to save a home run. A marker of where to jump, as well as timing, was also added.

The game was well received by critics, earning 85% ratings on aggregate score site GameRankings. The game's main competitor, MLB 2K8 scored lower: 72%. PGNx Media, amongst others, reported that the game "easily wins the "most improved" award. Conversely, X-Play rated the game a mediocre 3 stars out of 5, while saying that "the game delivers a ultra realistic sim experience", only saw slight improvements in batting and major issues with fielding controls. So far, it has been the only review site listed on Metacritic that has awarded the game a lower score than MLB 2K8 (which they gave a 4/5).

Jeff Haynes of IGN said that "Visually, MLB '08 is a gigantic leap forward over that of last year. Camera sweeps of the parks have a new television-styled presentation, making the game feel much more realistic...The on-field play is excellently done, the stat tracking is immense, and Road to the Show is one of the best career modes around. Visually striking, this is the baseball game that baseball fans have been waiting for on the PS3."

A review from Games Radar pointed out the game's fielding and baserunning issue, saying "Small, nagging issues do pop up now and again - players will magically teleport through each other on the base paths, the menus are abysmal, and a dearth of minor league stadiums might have you believe Akron is located in the middle of the desert - but they do little to take away from The Show’s overall awesomeness."

Game Informer's review stated that the game's realism and graphics were the best of any baseball sim, stating "The visuals accompanying the tried-and-true play showcase a high level of realism; fans lunge for foul balls and knock a beach ball around, while star players have their signature swings. The most impressive aspect, however, is the fluid player movement. Fielders don’t always make the correct decisions, but they move with the grace of Ozzie Smith and rarely make boneheaded decisions like they did last year. The game also transitions nicely between batting and fielding, which allows players to get a good read on the ball right off of the bat. The CPU AI shows some smarts while pitching, and the ratio of home run balls seems right on."

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