Friday, March 14, 2008

MLB 08 The Show -- THAT'S What I'm Talkin' About!

I have played exactly one half of one game of The Show on my shiny new PS3. So this isn't a "Dude this game is awesome!" rant. I will say this:

A) IT'S FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. I played 2K8 on the PS3 and man...this is really, really pretty.

B) In the 2nd inning of my exhibition between the Erie SeaWolves and the Durham Bulls, I saw something that I haven't seen in a baseball game since I spent a week tweaking the High Heat 2002 tune file. I was pitching and Durham had a man on 1st with 1 out. The ball is tagged on a line into right center. I race over to grab it and it doesn't go near the wall; I was able to cut if off and I throw it to 2nd, and then I notice that no one is ON 2nd base. Wait...what? No way....

The runner is standing on 3rd.

Shocked, I check the replay. Was this a hit and run? This cannot be right. Nope. No hit and run, just a speedy lead off man racing to 3rd base, stretching a long single into a 1st to 3rd base running maneuver. In other words, baseball 101.

This is absolutely spectacular-- and something no game gets right. If that ball would have gotten past my center fielder he would have scored. In MLB 2K8, MVP 2005 or even the mighty High Heat--he would have stopped at 2nd -- guaranteed.

These things get overlooked by so many critics, but to me, it's crucial to making a baseball game with even a hint of realism. The scale of most games is all screwed up. Either the outfield is too small or the outfielder arms are too rocket-like or the base runners too slow. Something is usually screwy which leads to not just too few extra base hits but hardly NO instances where a runner goes from 1st to 3rd on a single or 2nd to home on a clear hit.

The rest of The Show might suck, I have no idea. But this made my cold heart warm up a bit. It was tingly.

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