About This Sports Courier Game Review: TSC Gaming editor Fred Richani presents our MLB The Show 20 review exclusively for PlayStation 4 featuring Diamond Dynasty, Road to The Show, Moments, Franchise Mode, Retro Mode, March to October, Postseason, minor league teams, and much more! Is MLB The Show 20 the World Series on video games on PS4? Find out!
Full Review Transcript – Full disclosure: This is the first MLB game I’ve played in years! I sampled MLB The Show 19 on PayStation Plus and thought I need to buy this year’s version. But is MLB The Show 20 worth buying? Let’s dive in.
The first thing I notice as an avid sports gamer is the options. So many options! When it comes to game modes and variety, MLB The Show is much closer to NBA 2K than Madden’s limited affair.
You’ve got Diamond Dynasty, which is similar to EA Sports Ultimate Team as you build the best squad you can by completing challenges — and oh yeah, with MICRO-TRANSACTIONS. Yuck. The good news is the free content is pretty decent and will keep you entertained, but build teams and collect card packs at your own risk.
Within Diamond Dynasty, you have ranked seasons to compete with other gamers, special events, tournaments, extended play with friends, a freakin’ realtime strategy mode called conquest, Battle Royale, Showdown, and one of my personal favorite modes — Moments. Moments lets you relive great moments in MLB history with historical objectives. Complete the historical objectives and you can unlock various items. Think of it like WWE 2K Showcase.
Beyond Dimaond Dynasty, there’s plenty to choose from. You can obviously just pickup and play with Play Now. Custom Leagues give you a multi-season experience with friends. March to October lets you play key games and moments of the season, usually in later innings as you attempt to make the playoffs. Franchise mode gives you a chance to manage your favorite team from top to bottom as they vie for a World Series Title. In fact, you can even enable legends to be signed as free agents if you really want chaos — in a fun way.
You have Road to The Show where you can create a player to rise up the ranks from the minors to majors, complete with attribute and personality trait upgrades, similarly to what you’d see in an RPG as opposed to a sports game. Although the dialogue system isn’t as robust as a top level RPG, it’s a welcome feature and the overall mode doesn’t wear out its welcome like other sports game story modes. Plus, you can have fancy, shmancy narrator for your journey!
You also have mini modes including the aforementioned Moments where you can play as anyone from Big Papi to Mickey Mantle in the heat of well, their biggest moments. Weekly online Arcade challenges with new prizes. Custom practice and Options Explorer to sharpen your skills and learn how to play. Postseason mode lets you relive the 2019 playoffs and shake things up. Retro mode gives you serious throwback vibes with its basic but fun retro gameplay. And Home Run Derby is all about the racking up home runs just like the All-Star Weekend. Definitely one of the most fun modes you’ll play.
Speaking of play.. How’s the gameplay?
What I love about MLB The Show 20 is that you can truly play it your way. You have a number of difficulty settings, hitting and pitching settings, and plenty of in-game realtime tutorials to walk you through it. With practice and testing out the different settings, especially as a newb, you’ll eventually settle into a play style that suits you best. But to be the best and I’m certainly not, it takes time. Patience. And a whole lot of gameplay.
Pitching is a sweet science in real life and in game, and it’s much easier than it looks. The same can be said for hitting, stealing bases, and playing the field. While you may not get the hang of everything all at once, when you do, it is a great feeling. Hitting a home run. Making a big catch. Getting those strikeouts. Even making a successful BUNT is oddly gratifying in MLB The Show 20.
To compare it to another sports games, I’d say it’s very similar to Pro Evolution Soccer or FIFA, in a sense that you may not always hit a home run or pitch a perfect game, but when you score that run or decisively win a game, the feeling is freakin’ awesome.
As for the presentation, you can alternate between MLB The Show’s TV Production, MLB Network, or a hybrid of both. Regardless of your preference, the presentation is top notch with informative, albeit occasionally repetitive commentary. For the most part, the players look like their real life counterparts. In fact, this year’s game even has licensed minor league clubs and players which is a nice touch.
The only funky think I’ve seen graphically is some awkward hair physics here and there, but definitely nothing to be up in arms about. So what’s the verdict?
Graphically, I give MLB The Show an 8. Really good looking game. Not a bad looking game at all minus some awkward hair physics. I’d prefer some more face customization when creating a player, but it sure beats Madden and a number of other sports games on the market. And I’d imagine this looks even better in HDR mode on PS4 Pro.
Gameplay I give MLB The Show a 9. I’m by no means an expert level player, but I love the different gameplay customizations and details, especially when it comes to pitching. Whether you’re playing casually or looking for a true baseball simulator, there’s a play style for everyone here.
Content, I give MLB The Show a 9. So many great options. This isn’t a complaint as much of a suggestion that perhaps they could add more cutscenes and sizzle to the story mode. That being said, very hard for me to hate on a game that lets you manage a franchise from top to bottom, create your own journey, and relive some of baseball’s unforgettable moments. I just wish they’d limit the micro-transactions, but that’s the nature of today’s industry and frankly, it doesn’t hamper most of the game all that much.
Overall, TSC Gives MLB The Show 20 an 8.7 out of 10. One of the best sports games you will ever play and probably the best sports game on the market. It’s also a damn good video game. Period. Massive thumbs up.
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