#8 of 2010 – MLB 10: The Show

by
Posted December 20th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Perhaps due to reaction garnered by MLB 10: The Show the series is making some significant changes going into next year in an attempt to provide a feeling of advancement. Though The Show has remained amongst the best in sports gaming in terms of quality it has seemed to settle in and avoid taking any risks. Doing so made some sense…consumers were happy and sales numbers were rising. Despite that it has become more heavily scrutinized especially as The Show acts as a quasi-exclusive title.

The ranking of games in the best of 2010 list is based on the personal amount of enjoyment had with a particular title, whether advertised features were fully delivered on, post-release support, community interaction and communication, overall gameplay experience, feature set, and online play performance. Again this is largely a personal take on the games and not a recap of those with the highest scores on Metacritic. The analysis is weighted heavily towards those which I had the most fun with while considering them as a whole and compared relatively to the field.

(Related: Alarming Dissatisfaction NumbersOnline ImpressionsNo Prerelease Demo)

There was probably nothing more fitting as it relates to perception of MLB 10: The Show than the way the demo was handled. SCEA made a deal with Best Buy to have the game at kiosks exclusively and not put out a pre-release demo on PSN. Even worse is that company representatives suggested a demo was coming and then got completely silent on the topic choosing to ignore it and hope people would stop asking.

It seemed pretty clear at the time that outside of making a deal with Best Buy, Sony likely saw a demo as possibly hurting sales more than helping. There wasn’t much of anything different in terms of gameplay and in playing a demo the thought may have been that people would determine it wasn’t a necessary purchase. Despite a hefty feature list the basic gameplay felt familiar to 09 with only subtle upgrades.

The game had some serious issues that needed to be patched. Those included a lock-up experienced when playing at Tropicana Stadium, lots of bugs relating to Franchise mode, and intentional walks online resulting in disconnections. Even one of the patches had to be fixed itself when it introduced a new bug that counted runs that crossed the plate on third outs.

The dissatisfaction poll results showed how the tide was turning on The Show based on issues and a perceived lack of improvement and changes from the previous year. There was even a statement by an official rep that a patch wasn’t being worked on because everyone had gone on vacation…presumably just to mess with people who had been asking when the patch was coming. That is pretty poor tact when dealing with fans of the series and those that have helped it get to where it is today.

Online play continues to languish with the same excuses repeated and the same claims that improvement is being made having not materialized. No matter how good the game is there is no reason in 2010 to have such a poor online experience in basic one vs one games. Even simple fixes like stopping opponents from “quick pitching”, the pitch meter being visible while batting, and turning off “guess pitch” have not been addressed.

Despite all these things MLB 10: The Show offered a consistent and highly detailed gameplay experience. SCEA continues to nail the small details that make the sport what it is. Its modes, though relatively untouched or with additions that weren’t terribly compelling, continued to offer a deep experience and variety. Roster updates were once again handled well and delivered on a weekly basis.

While still a very good game there were some missteps made with MLB 10 that likely humbled the PR/marketing side and hopefully will lead to more considerate handling of situations going forward. The development team remains incredibly dedicated and detail oriented producing a very organic experience. Online play though still is the achilles’ heel of the series. MLB 10: The Show just wasn’t a big enough advancement over the prior year to elicit much excitement.

#8: MLB 10 The Show
#9: NHL 11
#10: NBA Jam
The Worst of 2010
Community Awards Voting

  • Ace

    thanks for calling it what it was
    MLB 09.5 The Show.

    • TheOne

      Which is still better than 2K(any number) ten fold.

      • Ace

        i stopped playing 2k years ago. like most people. doesnt change how the show should be looked at.

        • Anonymous

          Thannks for keeping it real bro. Just because they make a game better than the competition, doesn’t mean they didn’t bring it weak

  • coltsfan444

    Lets put dominic rhodes back in madden…

  • HossG

    Hopefully they actually do more for MLB 11.

    • Anonymous

      done and that is only about 30% of details for 11 so far

      • Anonymous

        Hustlin man stop being a homer dude. While I share your love for The Show MLB 10 was a weak upgrade to ’09 and changing the controls is not really that big of a deal. Nothing they have shown so far is a game changer

        • Anonymous

          really? improved models, weather enhancements, analog controls which lead to errors based on the user rather than randomness and online season with AI control teams, sounds like quite a bit to me. Not to mention first baseball to implement balks, I guess I have more faith in this team than you.

          • Anonymous

            Good response.

            I actually had one of my own but the post monster ate the shit. Long story short, I think those new “updated player models” look just like the old ones with better lighting around the face. NEw controls to me are over-rated esp[ecially if the rest of the game plays the same. Now the Online SEason and weather is a nice new addition that I was totally looking over.

            I’m still waiting for imporved AI though. 30 team control is cool, but it is also being used as a crutch to keep passing off this wack ass AI

          • Anonymous

            I always understand the reasoning behind the complaints about AI logic, but also look at it as what logic would you like say 10-15 years in your franchise and the game is full of fictional players? People were complaining about the relief pitchers being signed to outrageous contracts and you look this past week in the MLB and some of these signing were right on par with MLB The Show. Is the game perfect, no not by any means, but of all the sports games out there it represents the game better than the others.

  • Pasta_FTL

    Wow! Really?

    Another typical Pasta hates SCEA article.

    • TheOne

      Agreed! He clearly has an agenda!

      How MLB2K will be above this is as full of shit as it gets!

      • Anonymous

        You are assuming MLB 2K will even make the list. FIFA, NCAA Football, NBA 2K11, and a host of others have yet to be named….

      • HaloUnion

        mlb 2k wont make the list. dont always assume the worst.

      • HaloUnion

        mlb 2k wont make the list. dont always assume the worst.

    • Ace

      haha dumbass mlb 09 was #3 last year. what hating!

      nothing said in this article is wrong.

  • Keith.

    How you could put EA’s garbage games (specifically, Madden) ahead of one of the best sports games of all time, I’ll never know — but hey, it’s your list.

    • HaloUnion

      his list? The order was decided by a poll in other words it was the people’s choice. Of course it is still biased because people won’t vote for the show, FIFA, NHL or other great titles if they didn’t play them. Most ppl here play Madden so it will probably be higher than it should be.

    • HaloUnion

      actually i may be wrong on that. idunno

    • HaloUnion

      actually i may be wrong on that. idunno

  • http://twitter.com/vlnj13 vlnj13

    I don’t know – even with the release issues, I felt the improvements were more noticeable than you feel they were. I would at least put this in my top 5 of the year, as even with many other good game releases, this ended up being the most played game of the year for me. Just personally, anyhow.

  • Cool_guyf

    I agree with this article. MLB 10 was a solid game but it was getting old. Basically the same game year after year. I am a huge baseball fan but I could not overlook the glaring issues with this game. It looks as though the developers have taken bigger strides with MLB 11. Once again, I am excited to play this game.

  • Anonymous

    Votto………… MVP, interesting to see the games that rank higher than this one.

  • Keith.

    Ok, now I get it. At first, I couldn’t understand how Pasta could rank Madden — which has been panned by just about everybody — above the Show. But then, I was reminded from following Twitter today that Pasta has been asked to participate in the Madden devs’ next podcast, and I’m sure Pasta doesn’t want to blow such opportunities by leaving Madden at the bottom of his top 10 list (or off the list completely).

    SELL OUT!!!

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      LOL!

      • Keith.

        The fact that the geniuses at Tiburon still can’t figure out how to add in-game saves, or more than one playable camera angle, seven years into the “next gen” of consoles would be enough to keep that sorry excuse for a game off my Top 10 list. That, and the fact that 90% of their development time seems to be spent on coming up with new ways to milk what’s left of their once loyal fanbase. (MUT, Madden Arcade, purchaseable boosts, etc.).

        I don’t know what you hope to gain with your invite to participate in the podcasts — I’m sure if nothing else it helps with your name recognition in the industry. But from where I’m sitting, there really is no other explanation for keeping a universally panned game like Madden on your list ahead of an AAA title like The Show.

        • Lake Allen

          Madden is “universally panned”? A metacritic of 85 says otherwise.

          • Keith.

            Madden’s sales have dropped from a high of 8 million to barely 3.5 million this year, despite the millions more who have bought a PS3/360. Of course Madden does okay with Metacritic, since EA has the critics in the bag. The lagging sales numbers tell the true story.

          • Keith.

            Madden’s sales have dropped from a high of 8 million to barely 3.5 million this year, despite the millions more who have bought a PS3/360. Of course Madden does okay with Metacritic, since EA has the critics in the bag. The lagging sales numbers tell the true story.

        • Anonymous

          While I understand your frustartion, this is Pasta’s ranking on what games HE PREFERRED/ENJOYED PLAYING not which game he thinks is better. EVERYONE that is in to sports gaming will tell you The Show is a top 3 game but does not mean it is the more enjoyable game.

          For example: I like NCAA ’10 more than the Show, but I know The Show is the better game.

          Once you realize the criteria you shouldn’t be doing all this bitching

          • Keith.

            I seriously doubt that Madden has been in Pasta’s console since August.

            It’s nothing but politics, man.

          • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

            There’s really only been three games heavily played past that initial release period…that brought that staying power. I’d look at my list more as a top five or even top three, but I use the list to recap the developments around the game for the whole year as well as their outlook going forward.

          • Vlpmonty

            Did you put this in the review. Maybe if you list all the criteria that you use to determine rankings in an easy to understand chart (after each post), you’d receive least hate responses…maybe not, but at least you can say “look at the chart”

          • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

            I have a giant paragraph, blockquoted, explaining the criteria for the rankings.

          • Keith.

            This is especially true since a game like Backbreaker — which plays an incredible, realistic game of football online — gets panned by Pasta, even though the online experience with that game is where its at. Just seems like a double-standard to me.

            To recap:

            Backbreaker online — incredible
            The Show online — terrible (according to Pasta)
            Madden online — who cares? Everybody knows EA uses online to charge for microtransactions, not to provide a great football playing experience. Yet, somehow, it ends up at or near the top of PP’s list year after year. While he goes on podcasts with the sorry excuse of a bunch of devs that make the lousy game. Go figure where my criticism comes from.

          • Anonymous

            Dude Backbreaker = ASS, you are losing credibility fast quoting that shit

          • Anonymous

            Look homey, anyone who posts here regularly knows how I get down. I try to keep it real at all times. I’m sure Pasta’s relationship with the Madden developers, EA, 2k, etc play some part in what he writes here on the site but I don’t see the shit being as bad you claim. Hell If you or I ran a game site and got money from these bloodsucking companies we might be somewhat influenced too (such is the nature of the beast), so don’t think I’m saying you are completely wrong in your assertions. I’m simply saying that in regards to his top 10, he has sufficiently explained what these rankings mean in terms of where he placed them so no one should really be tripping. I actually did the same as you last year and was thinking to myself wtf is this dude thinking, but I sat back and paid attention to what he was saying and so I couldn’t fault him.

            I’m not an apologist either playboy. I’m just giving the game how I see it.

          • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

            Yup. Especially though as The Show still fails to deliver a proper online experience. That’s why it hit #3 for me last year, great game, but actually pretty good ranking considering online was a mess and that weighs heavily with me.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah man, Franchise is first with me and then On line FRanchise because I don’t do ther whole play now thing. NCAA takes the cake because nothing can compare to an online dynasty in my eyes. I got like 5 super tight homeboys from college that I damn near lost contact with until NCAA and online dynasty came out. Shit we’ve had some epic dynasties. Some random dude from this site even joined ion and he has been wrecking shop. I know NCAA is not an award winning visual masterpiece but that shit alone makes it my favorite so I can understand your perspective.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah man, Franchise is first with me and then On line FRanchise because I don’t do ther whole play now thing. NCAA takes the cake because nothing can compare to an online dynasty in my eyes. I got like 5 super tight homeboys from college that I damn near lost contact with until NCAA and online dynasty came out. Shit we’ve had some epic dynasties. Some random dude from this site even joined ion and he has been wrecking shop. I know NCAA is not an award winning visual masterpiece but that shit alone makes it my favorite so I can understand your perspective.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah man, Franchise is first with me and then On line FRanchise because I don’t do ther whole play now thing. NCAA takes the cake because nothing can compare to an online dynasty in my eyes. I got like 5 super tight homeboys from college that I damn near lost contact with until NCAA and online dynasty came out. Shit we’ve had some epic dynasties. Some random dude from this site even joined ion and he has been wrecking shop. I know NCAA is not an award winning visual masterpiece but that shit alone makes it my favorite so I can understand your perspective.

        • Anonymous

          While I understand your frustartion, this is Pasta’s ranking on what games HE PREFERRED/ENJOYED PLAYING not which game he thinks is better. EVERYONE that is in to sports gaming will tell you The Show is a top 3 game but does not mean it is the more enjoyable game.

          For example: I like NCAA ’10 more than the Show, but I know The Show is the better game.

          Once you realize the criteria you shouldn’t be doing all this bitching

      • Def

        WOW !!! All that rain gives you a short fuse huh. Give’m hell Double P…………. Give’m hell.

  • Keith.

    Ok, now I get it. At first, I couldn’t understand how Pasta could rank Madden — which has been panned by just about everybody — above the Show. But then, I was reminded from following Twitter today that Pasta has been asked to participate in the Madden devs’ next podcast, and I’m sure Pasta doesn’t want to blow such opportunities by leaving Madden at the bottom of his top 10 list (or off the list completely).

    SELL OUT!!!

  • Oliver

    SCEA did seem to get a big head about things and they messed up a lot last year. It does seem they learned from that though with how they are doing a lot with the new features for MLB 11.

  • Skyflame21

    I agree, it was a solid effort for MLB ’10. However, I still don’t understand why the online leagues don’t run similar to the NCAA Football online. Most players would rather play in leagues with people they know. The idea of needing 30 human people to control all teams just to have them in the season is pointless. Make the online leagues the same experience as the off-line dynasty but let us incorporate CPU controlled teams if not all are selected. To make it simple: Just follow the NCAA Football version.

  • Po245

    I remember reading how the PR dept blackballed publications that gave the game (and other Sony games) bad reviews. Doubt they have learned if they still are doing dumb things.

    • Anonymous

      this is true, talked to a couple people from SCEA and they have said they are done with this site because pasta keeps it real

    • Anonymous

      this is true, talked to a couple people from SCEA and they have said they are done with this site because pasta keeps it real

    • Anonymous

      this is true, talked to a couple people from SCEA and they have said they are done with this site because pasta keeps it real

  • BP_Ill

    Typical Sony fanboys not content enough that they have the best baseball game are appalled at people who will say its not perfect! Get over it!

  • BP_Ill

    Typical Sony fanboys not content enough that they have the best baseball game are appalled at people who will say its not perfect! Get over it!

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