MLB 08: The Show

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MLB 08: The Show
MLB 08 - The Show Coverart.png
Cover art featuring Ryan Howard
Developer(s) SCE San Diego Studio
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Series MLB: The Show series
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP
Release date(s)
  • NA March 4, 2008
[1]
Genre(s) Sports
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer, Online: Ethernet Broadband required
Distribution Blu-ray Disc, DVD, UMD

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.[1] 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,[2] and released on March 4, 2008 in North America.[1] Ryan Howard, all-star first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, is featured as the game's cover athlete.[3]

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.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

Pitcher-Batter analysis mode, in which the player is able to access information in game about the current hitter and pitcher.

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.[4] 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).[5] The player may control the team's batting, pitching, and fielding while playing the game.[4] 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.[5] This feature allows players to check the "match up" between the current batter and pitcher.[5] Information such as strike/ball ratio, pitch types, pitch frequency, pitch location and the last 25 pitches thrown by the current pitcher.[5] For pitchers, stats such as batters "hot zones", balls taken, strikeout pitch location, and stats when facing that particular pitcher.[5]

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.[5] 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.[5] 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.[5]

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.[5] 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.[5]

Game modes[edit]

MLB 08: The Show contains most game modes found in nearly every baseball simulation game, which include quick game (or exhibition), season, and franchise modes.[6] In exhibition mode, players play a single game not related to a season or series of games, choosing from 30 major league teams, or one of 60 minor league teams, which include teams from the International League, Pacific Coast League, Texas League, Southern League, and Eastern League.[6] This is a normal game where players can choose lineups, pitchers, game settings, and then either play against another player or the CPU. A variation of this mode is "quick game" mode, in which you choose teams, and default lineups, pitchers, and game settings are used.[6]

Road to the Show mode, showing the player's goals to advance in their career.

One of the games main gameplay modes is "Road to the Show" mode. In Road to the Show, the player creates a player to be part of an organization. The player controls only that player through their career, and attempts to make them better by earning skill points from achieving goals such as getting hits, stealing bases, or turning double plays.[5] The career player begins playing in the minor leagues at AA class, and progresses through AAA class until they are called up to the Major Leagues.[5] The player must accomplish goals that are given to them by their team manager, which in turn give then skill points if they are completed, and deduct skill points if they are failed or not attempted.[5] There are also "advancement goals" that the player must accomplish over a certain period of time that will help the player's career player advance to higher levels of play. Advancement goals include developing abilities, getting higher stats, and getting on base more often.[5]

Also included in the game are season and franchise modes. Franchise mode allows the player to take control of a Major League Baseball team (as well as its minor league teams) as the general manager. The player plays games, makes roster moves, signs free agents, manages the budget, and attempts to accomplish the goals set by the owner by the end of the contract. Unlike Road to the Show, these are organizational goals, such as winning two World Series championships or hosting the MLB All-Star Game.[6] Season mode is the same as franchise mode, but there are no goals and the player only takes control of the team for a single season.[6]

"Manager mode" and "Rivalry mode" are the two final gameplay modes featured in MLB 08: The Show. In Manager mode, the player acts as the team's manager, calling plays, making in-game roster changes, or adjusting your team to certain batters and pitchers.[6] Rivalry mode is where two teams continuously play each other for a set number of games, such as 16 or 24, although it is possible to play as many as 83.[6]

Development[edit]

MLB 08: The Show was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment America's SCEA San Diego Studios development team, and is part of the MLB The Show series of video games.[7] The predecessor to this game was MLB 07: The Show. SCEA San Diego Studios wanted to improve on the realism of MLB 07: The Show, and added new animations, realistic animations for specific players, and better gameplay physics to improve on MLB 07: The Show.[7] In an interview, Scott Rohde, a member SCEA San Diego Studios, said "Baseball fans know that the MLB franchise has been met with critical acclaim and has a long-standing winning tradition.MLB 08: The Show continues to display our commitment to delivering highly-innovative and improved features in order to provide an unrivaled simulation with a broadcast quality presentation"[7]

The game was run on the same game engine as the last two games in the series, so no updating was made to the game's actual physics, and no overhaul was made on the game's graphics system.[7] While creating the game, the developers added many minor features to the graphics, however. Over 3,000 player animations were added to the game, which include player's personal batting stances, pitcher's wind up motions, animations for specific players (such as Nomar Garciaparra's ritual of adjusting his batting gloves), and normal game animations.[7] Rex Hudler, Matt Vasgersian and Dave Campbell returned for the third straight season, acting as the in-game broadcasters. Mike Carlucci does the P.A. Announcing.

Also other famous stadiums and arenas are added in the background. At Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Quicken Loans Arena home of the Cleveland Cavaliers can be seen. At Safeco Field in Seattle, CenturyLink Field home of the Seattle Seahawks can be seen. At Comerica Park in Detroit, Ford Field home of the Detroit Lions can be seen. And at Shea Stadium in New York City, Citi Field can be seen under construction which is now the home of the New York Mets [7]

Soundtrack[edit]

MLB 08: The Show Soundtrack
Artist Song
A Tribe Called Quest "Award Tour"
The Blood Arm "Suspicious Character"
Franz Ferdinand "The Fallen (Ruined by Justice)"
Hot Hot Heat "My Best Fiend"
Kenna "Out of Control (State of Emotion) - XXXChange Remix"
No More Kings "Sweep the Leg (Remix)"
Queens of the Stone Age "In the Fade"
The Ramones "Blitzkrieg Bop"
Thin Lizzy "Jailbreak"
War "Low Rider"
ZZ Top "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide"

Reception[edit]

 MLB 08: The Show Reviews
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Informer 8.5/10[13]
GamesRadar 9/10[8]
GameSpot 8.5/10[9]
GameZone 8/10[12]
IGN 8.7/10[5]
X-Play 3/5[10]

The game was well received by critics, earning 85% ratings on aggregate score site GameRankings.[14] The game's main competitor, MLB 2K8 scored lower: 72%.[15] 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.[10] 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).[16]

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."[5]

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."[8]

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."[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "MLB 08: The Show". PlayStation.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  2. ^ Haynes, Jeff (2007-12-11). "MLB 08: The Show Announced". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  3. ^ "Phillies 1B Howard goes digital for new baseball video game". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-08-25. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c Srinivasan, Shanker (2008-01-29). "MLB 08: The Show - Gameplay Breakdown". SportsGamer. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Haynes, Jeff (February 29, 2008). "MLB 08: The Show Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Ekberg, Brian (January 29, 2008). "MLB 08: The Show Hands-On". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Popular Baseball Franchise Looks to Retain Title as The Most Realistic Baseball Game". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  8. ^ a b "MLB 08: The Show". Games Radar. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  9. ^ "MLB 08: The Show Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  10. ^ a b "MLB 08: The Show Review". X-Play. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  11. ^ "MLB 08: The Show Review". Game Spy. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  12. ^ "MLB 08:The Show". GameZone. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  13. ^ a b "MLB 08:The Show". Game Informer. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  14. ^ "MLB 08: The Show - PSP". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  15. ^ "Major League Baseball 2K8 - X360". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  16. ^ "Major League Baseball 2K8". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
MLB 07: The Show
Major League Baseball Officially Licensed Videogame
2008
Succeeded by
MLB 09: The Show