#3 of 2008: MLB 08 The Show

Posted December 22nd, 2008 at 9:41 am

There was probably no sports title out this year that replicated the authenticity and nuances associated with its respective sport to the extent that MLB 08: The Show did. The overall gameplay experience is excellent. What The Show really achieves is the true feel of baseball. Not only in the gameplay, but the presentation, pacing, commentary, and lots of other small elements of the sport. This is a game that is considered by some to be the best baseball game ever made, and by many others to be in the same league as MVP Baseball 2005.

Road to the Show is another great secondary mode in the realm of Be a Pro. The quick pace of completion is a stark contrast to playing the standard way and is refreshing in that regard. They also made some of the goals more reasonable this year. However there were some aspects that kept it from being completely enjoyable. I soon realized that a relief pitcher was the only position I wanted to play. Forcing you to wait on the bases during the at bats is a real waste of time. After realizing I would attempt to steal every time I was on (I’d rather get thrown out than wait around) I relegated myself to pitching. Also the loading times for The Show are on the slow side, and with RTTS moving quickly through your games that was another area of slight frustration. Still the mode adds a ton of value and variety to the game.

The main area of weakness for The Show was its online play. It was very inconsistent in performance, with some games being unplayable due to lag. The league system was also flawed because of some puzzling restrictions. However The Show did have a great website in SportsConnect that displayed lots of info about the completed online games as well as a tracker to monitor those that were ongoing.

MLB 08: The Show was first game to provide frequent and consistent roster updates. It could be seen as having started the trend that led to many other major sports titles improving themselves in this area. The Show had weekly updates that were more accurate and detailed than had ever been provided before.

Looking forward there are few sports titles that will be more highly anticipated than MLB 09: The Show and for good reason. MLB 08 did most things right. The potential of improved online play and Road to the Show along with the regular enhancements to gameplay and franchise could result in of the best sports games of all time.

#3 MLB 08: The Show
#4 FIFA 09
#5 NBA Live 09
#6 NBA 2K9
#7 Madden 09
#8 Blitz: The League II
#9 NFL Tour
#10 Tiger Woods 09