Today is the day! MLB 12: The Show for PS3 comes out today, and I’m very excited. As of right now, my package is in Sturtevant, Wisconsin and is scheduled to arrive by 10:30am Central. I’ll do a complete playthrough of every mode, team, etc today and give my thoughts as they happen right here on this blog post. For fun, I’ve avoided a lot of research before today so I can experience everything firsthand. Keep checking back and wish me luck. If you have any questions or suggestions for my playthrough, feel free to Tweet me @baseblogjj or leave a comment here. Thanks, let’s begin!
I’ve been live-blogging about this game for over 12 hours now. I think that’s enough. I’ll do a full write-up of my entire experience soon, but the play-by-play ends here. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and if you have a PS3 and love baseball, definitely get this game. From what I’ve seen so far, it’s worth all the money.
I leave you with the best worst song on MLB 12: The Show’s playlist. Enjoy.
If she want it
I’m gonna give it up
if she running low
I’m gonna fill her cup
if it spill, chill, Imma clean it up
I’ll be right here cause she’s enough
if she needed the money
I would stick you up
if she’s getting bored
I do some different stuff
don’t need anything just keep it up
I’ll be right here cause she’s enough
For fun, I entered Franchise mode and started to simulate the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals’ journey back to the playoffs. These results can go either way with each playthrough, but it’s interesting to see what the game predicts would happen …
- First off, Roy Oswalt finally signs. The New York Mets win his services.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Colorado Rockies are the only teams to start out in “rebuilding mode.” Not even the Cubs.
- As of June 1st, the “rebuilding” Pirates are 29-21, leading the division. The Cardinals are tied for second with the Cincinnati Reds at 1.5 game back. The Brewers (2.5 back) hang around, but the Cubs and Astros both have 30 losses by the calendar’s turn.
- Matt Holiday is on the DL from the start of the season until early June.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks ship off new acquisition Trevor Cahill and Takashi Saito for three players I don’t immediately recognize.
- WHAT, okay, NO no no. Probably one of the worst trades I’ve seen these games do: Kevin Gregg for Carlos Gonzalez, straight up. The game is supposed to feature more realistic trades, and I don’t think this is realistic in the slightest.
- It’s All-Star Game time. Stephen Strasburg starts for the National League. Starters from the NL Central include Lance Berkman, Brandon Phillips, Ryan Braun, Jay Bruce. Jeff Samardzija surprises with an appearance after a first half of 41 K’s and a 1.45 ERA.
- Strasburg leads the NL to the All-Star victory. Reds lead the division at the break. Other division leaders include Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals, and (surprising!) Kansas City Royals.
- No other crazy deadline deals to report.
- Whaddaya know, the Brewers hold out and win the division while the Reds win the wild card. 101 W’s for the Brew Crew. The Cardinals are 22 games back at 79-83, and the Cubs (oh, Cubs) are 64-98, 37 games back. In the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox ruined the Royals’ fantasy and won the division.
- You’ll notice that the brand new two wildcard playoff format is not in this game. Poor timing.
- An NL Central NLCS: Reds vs Brewers.
- Oh gosh, Brewers win in 6.
- The Texas Rangers win. Third time’s the charm.
- Mariano Rivera, Chipper Jones, Omar Vizquel all retire. Ted Lilly as well.
I accidentally advanced to the offseason before I could view stats for the season. Adam Wainwright, Ichiro, Kerry Wood and David Ortiz are some of the biggest names of the 2013 offseason. Interesting stuff.
Ouch, this liveblog got lost somewhere in a few hours of Diamond Dynasty customization. Making the logos is a bit sketchy; there’s a limited number of pictures you can mesh together and I haven’t figured out how to keep using the same logo over and over. So you have to keep copying and pasting. But the jersey customization is incredible. Pinstripes, colors, logos, the works. The player customization is the same as last time, and still quality. This mode makes me wish that you could create your own custom teams for franchise or rivalry mode.
I’m still getting the hang of gameplay. Pitching and defense are working smoothly, but I keep getting no-hit. The 2012 version of the Show has added ‘zone’ hitting to the normal analog mode. Analog is great because you get to step and swing with your controller instead of just pressing a button. The zone makes things a bit more complex, because now you have to follow the ball to make contact.
I’m starting to see the “TruBroadcast” that was advertised. When I’m typing up these posts, I’ve got the computers playing against each other and it looks like a real game. If you stop smashing the X button to get to the next pitch and just sit back and watch, it feels like a real game. And it’s not repetitive or anything either. I love it.
Going back to the rosters, Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes aren’t included either. It’s probably because they aren’t yet apart of the MLB Players Association, like when Barry Bonds wasn’t in video games back in the day.
Wow, I’ve spent like an hour and a half on Diamond Dynasty mode, and I have not yet even touched any gameplay. I’ve just been customizing and playing around with the logo and uniform editors. Now I’m renaming the guys on my roster. This is quite fun. More information soon.
As I said this morning, one of the things I was looking forward to in the new game was seeing how the Move controls were handled. After my first experiment, I think that it mostly works, but is not something I would use.
The controls make use of a single PlayStation Move controller and are fairly easy to learn. Batting is just like swinging a real bat, with the speed of the controller gauging your power. Pitching involves selecting the pitch on screen, pulling your controller back, and releasing at the release point. Running is making first/third base coach motions with the controller, and fielding is just catching and throwing the ball to a base – not actually running or diving for the ball.
One of my favorite parts of defense is running down the ball (or, more excitingly, diving for a gapper). The move controls make that part of fielding automatic. In reality, there’s no good way to include those types of controls without also requiring this second joystick-type controller pictured here. When I originally got Move, I thought it was going to be like the Wii, using both controllers. That is not the case, I have not used the joystick yet.
When a player is about to catch a batted ball, circles around then change from red to yellow to green telling you when to hold the trigger to catch the ball. Upon catching, you must flick your wrist up, down, to the left or the right to throw to second, home, third or first, respectively. If you’re off in catching or throwing the ball, it could result in an error. These controls are fine, but the lack of running is a bit disappointing.
Pitching works nice. I did end up walking and hitting a few guys in my Move game (Max Scherzer against the Toronto Blue Jays), and Jose Bautista took me deep for a three-run home run. The biggest problem I see with these games is the place where you stand is pretty sensitive. The EyeToy seeks out the glowing ball at the end of your controller, and if you move too much, you have to recalibrate. This is fine for easy-to-control pick up and play sessions with friends or family, but with hardcore extended seatings, the Move is not for me.
That being said, I’m pleased with the pick-up-and-play nature of the Move controls. This will help me enjoy the game with more people, and it’s a plus to have these available for all game modes instead of just home run derby like last year.
The rosters in the Show look decent. A few players are missing, and there’s not nearly the amount of depth that I thought there would be. Now that I think about it, the depth I experienced last year was from the effort of a third party that went through, created and uploaded all the players that were missing. How long until he or she does the same thing for this version? One can only hope. Personally, I’ll be waiting to start any long term franchise or Road to the Show modes until the roster sharing can begin. I want to play alongside Casey Weathers, dammit.
Some players I noticed are missing so far. First, from the Chicago Cubs: a few up-and-coming players in Josh Vitters, Matthew Szczur, and Adrian Cardenas. Some bullpen candidates are also missing in Andy Sonnanstine, Weathers, Lendy Castillo, Alberto Cabrera, Trey McNutt and Jeff Beliveau. Brett Jackson is missing out of the outfield. Out of all of those, I only expect Jackson, Sonnanstine or maybe Cardenas to be missed on this year’s rosters. But Szczur and Vitters are pretty big omissions going forward.
- Norichika Aoki, who is bound to get some playing time now that Corey Hart is out for three to four weeks, is not included in the Milwaukee Brewers outfield.
- St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina’s new six year deal is included, however, to money listed is .7M, not M.
- Brett Myers is properly switched to the closer’s role for the Houston Astros. However, his stamina has been significantly decreased. I still think he has more than a 1/3 of a bar left in his tank.
- A.J. Burnett and Alfonso Soriano have had their salaries significantly decreased as well. Soriano is apparently making .4M a year instead of M, and Burnett is at .4M when it should be much larger.
It took a little bit to actually get to playing. Not that it’s a bad thing. I opted to download and install a larger game data to decrease load times, which took awhile. The game loaded with a nice video about Game 162 last year – highlights from the wonderful day in Wild Card baseball we had in 2011.
The game prompted a roster update and we were ready to play. My brother chose the NL All-Stars for our five inning exhibition, I opted to go as the home team with the Miami Marlins. I wanted to see just how vibrant the colors of their alternate uniforms look on the PS3.
The game went quick, dominated by pitching mostly because we weren’t sure exactly how to play. When I played the 2011 version of the Show, I slowed down the pitch speed considerably, and that hurt when playing through today. I’m sure I could have changed it, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to experience the new game in full first before monkeying around with the sliders.
The game was tied at 0-0 until Clayton Kershaw stole home in the fifth. My brother was trying for a suicide squeeze but forgot to lay down the bunt, sending Kershaw home with no one there but the catcher to greet him. I screwed up, though, sending the ball to third before the tag was applied. It seemed like a glitch at first, but upon further review, when my catcher and Kershaw collided, there was no tag applied before the ball was thrown. Matt Kemp came through with his suicide squeeze attempt to make the game 2-0.
Kershaw handed his no-hitter over to Brian Wilson to close it out. Scott Cousins, with one out left in the game, broke up the no-no with a single up the middle. Jason eventually won, 2 to 0. Kershaw had nine strikeouts in five innings pitched.
The game looks absolutely wonderful. Matt Vasgersian reprises his role as the lead commentator and most of the dialogue seems new. Although we didn’t get to see the new home run celebration machine, the Marlins’ new stadium looks beautiful in the game.
The first addition (besides the controls, which I’ll go over later) that I noticed was the way that the game handled the bullpen. Instead of simply warming up pitchers and sending them in, there are now different degrees in which you can warm up relievers:
Warm Up – Pitcher warms up quickly with the intent to go in the game at any time.
Stretch and Toss – Pitcher stretches and plays catch, but doesn’t get warm enough to enter the game.
Later, this option becomes available:
Ready and Waiting – Pitch in pen throws a pitch for every game pitch thrown to maintain readiness.
I’m not too sure what effect these new options have just yet, but the added realism of managing the bullpen is a nice addition, especially with the importance put on bullpens in last year’s playoffs. Next, I’m going to dive into some of the rosters and see how accurate everything is.
It’s here! It’s here! The UPS lady dropped it off, I greeted her with a smile in my Cubs pajamas. I’m about to start a five inning exhibition with my brother, a good way to dive into the game. Then I’ll tweak around with the modes and settings and see what I like.
“SO REAL, IT’S UNREAL.” That’s the slogan for the 2012 edition, best embodied by this video that’s been floating around the internet this morning. Beneath the slogan on the back cover, some of the new features are listed: Use PlayStation Move to hit, pitch and field in all game modes. All-New TruBroadcast presentation. Build a fantasy team and compete against others in All-New Diamond Dynasty mode. Take your player from the Minors to the Majors in an improved Road to the Show mode.
Personally, I’m most excited to see how PlayStation Move has been incorporated into the other modes. One of my favorite features about playing baseball on the Wii was actually swinging the bat, although those motions soon became repetitive and easy to time. If this “TruBroadcast” presentation is what it sounds like, then I might be able to watch baseball games in the offseason … simulated. Kind of nerdy, but still a cool idea.
Enough talking, let’s get to playing! My brother, Jason, and I are about to embark on our first exhibition.
One more hour until my game is supposed to arrive. The PS3 is hooked up and my controller is charging. This controller, to be precise:
I bought it last year when I picked up MLB 11: The Show, and I’ve used it for baseball games ever since. Just one more hour and I can use it with the newest baseball game!