A little over a month ago, history within the video game industry was made. For the first time since its initial release in 2006, MLB The Show was coming to Xbox. This made this game extremely exciting for many different groups of people, including myself, who have been waiting for a better baseball game to come to Xbox. There have been other baseball games on Xbox before, such as RBI Baseball, but they did not run well and were seen as jokes compared to The Show. Therefore, this review comes from the point of view of someone who has never played a game like this before.
On its initial release date, April 20, 2021, hundreds of thousands of people began downloading and playing the newly hyped game, again including myself. The excitement was real not only for Xbox players, but also Playstation players who had been waiting for the new game. Due to the immense number of players logging in for the first time, the servers crashed quickly. Most of the online game modes became unavailable and there were thousands of complaints going out every hour. Although the issue was eventually resolved, it took almost a month to completely fix the game’s bugs and the crashes. This definitely set the game back, but it did not take away the beauty of the experience itself.
The graphics of this game are incredible. You’d think that eventually the graphics will start to peak at some point for video games, but they just seem to keep getting more detailed. I think the graphics are amazing and I am not even on a next generation console. From the small little details on every individual player, to the sun shining through the stadium in a beautiful manner, they really nailed the graphics this year.
The mechanics of this game make it incredibly fun and set it apart from other baseball games. The announcers of the game also make it fun and interesting. Yes, some of their lines become repetitive and annoying, but it is still interesting. When a certain player strikes out multiple times a game, you can see their frustration in the ways they act and carry themselves. Little details and mechanics like this make some games so much better than others.
Now for the most important factor: the gameplay. I was definitely not expecting it to be as fun, and sometimes frustrating, as it is. Batting in the game is immensely rewarding, but only if you are patient. It is satisfying to hit a ball deep into the crowd for a homerun, but that does not mean it is easy. Batting is difficult because you have to have correct timing and bat-barrel accuracy when swinging at the ball. Also, you have to be wary of the different pitches and location of each pitch thrown at you, which force you to decide if you want to swing or not in just under a second. I will not lie, batting has made me extremely frustrated because of how hard it is, but that does not stop me from playing. Pitching, on the other hand, can be really fun. Depending on the difficulty, it can be just as hard as batting, but it is rewarding when you do well. The game allows you to pick what types of pitches you want to throw during each turn at bat, and you can choose the location. Sometimes, the location of the pitch you throw will not be accurate, which can result in issues like batters hitting home runs off you.
Overall, MLB The Show 21 is a very solid game that is fun if you are patient. The gameplay and mechanics make it a realistic baseball game, which sets it apart from the others. If you love baseball, I would definitely recommend you check this out sometime.