Thanks to the “miracles” of modern chemistry, Major League Baseball has been getting beaten up pretty badly in the halls of Congress and the press these days - enough to make any fan of America’s Pastime more than a little bummed. Happily, fans have reason to cheer again, as MLB 08 The Show has lit up our PS3s and reminded us why we love the game so much.
It’s no hyperbole to call The Show the best baseball game of its generation. Between the beautiful visuals, buttery-smooth gameplay, tight controls, and obnoxiously full plate of statistics to help you navigate the notoriously punishing rigors of a 162-game season, there are virtually no chinks in 08’s armor. And don’t even get us started about the utterly awesome Road To The Show mode.
Too bad - we can’t help ourselves. Baseball’s best RPG returns, tweaked and tuned to be better than ever with more realistic rewards for “bigger picture” successes. Say you’re a pitcher who’s tasked with inducing a ground ball but instead you manage to force the batter to pop out. Last year, that would’ve been viewed as an abject failure; this go-round, you’ll still get some critical points out of the deal.
The deliciously intense competition to claw your way to the big leagues is unparalleled, and agonizing over which player attributes to improve during your career is wonderfully stressful. While we do still find some aspects of Road slightly annoying (especially the virtually inhuman spring training you’ll need to catch on with a major league club), it’s an all-consuming addiction that can quickly take over your life. And we mean that in the best way possible.