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MLB 17: The Show

MLB 17: The Show

With the baseball season just starting over in the US, the annual version of MLB 17: The Show has arrived. Is it a home run?

Developer Sony San Diego has been delivering The Show for more than a decade on PlayStation platforms. Even though the series has evolved since its beginnings, they find themselves way behind their competitors in the sports genre in many areas. With MLB 17: The Show they've put some effort into bridging the gap between themselves and other sports simulations.

Given the name of the game, it's pretty obvious that Road to the Show is the main mode here. This is Sony's take on EA Sports' Be a Pro and 2K Sports' My Career. You control one single player through his career and follow his progress through the minors, aiming for a shot with the big boys in the Major League. Being the first developer to introduce us to this game mode back in 2006, many of us expected that they would lead the way. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Even if this year's edition is massively improved with a bit of narrative, it is far less than what we should expect from a game having this mode as its main focus.

MLB 17: The Show

There is a narrator telling you what is going on at any given time. With the lack of voice from the coach, agent or even the player itself, it just feels a bit underwhelming. The response you get from said staff and player is strictly in writing and retold in a boring way by the narrator. The choices you make in these conversations do have an effect on the game in some way, but several of the situations are fictitious and consist of events that would never happen in the real world.

One example of this was when we got drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays after putting on a good show ahead of the draft. To start with, we chose to play as second baseman. After some time in the Double-A league, my coach asks for a meeting to check we might want to change our main position to third baseman instead. He tells us the team is lacking a star player in that position in the majors, and that the move will give us a better shot at making it to the big league. This seems fine, and we would probably appreciate this if we didn't have any knowledge of the Rays. You see, the only position the Rays actually have a well-known star, is third base with two-time Golden Glove award-winner, Evan Longoria.

Even with all these annoyance, Road to the show will most likely be the most played mode in this game. Not because it is all that great, but because it's the best mode in the game.

MLB 17: The ShowMLB 17: The Show

Over the year's we've gotten to know EA Sports' various Ultimate Team modes (FUT, MUT and HUT). This year, Sony San Diego has made their own version of this too, without succeeding all that well. It's a messy setup with way too many difficult terms, even for a hardcore baseball fan, turning Diamond Dynasty into an underwhelming experience.

MLB 17: The ShowMLB 17: The ShowMLB 17: The Show
MLB 17: The Show
MLB 17: The ShowMLB 17: The ShowMLB 17: The Show