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MLB The Show 22 Review – Shottime shines in step forward for series

MLB The Show 22 delivers an excellent rendition of America’s favorite pastime, with crisp gameplay and beautiful graphics, but there aren’t enough improvements here to revolutionize the franchise.

Since 2006, MLB The Show has been San Diego Studio’s annual baseball title, each year featuring a new cover athlete and a handful of upgrades.

With MLB The Show 22, SDS delivers a stylish new addition to the franchise that will please its annual customers and delight newcomers with great graphics and gameplay.


MLB The Show 22 key details

  • Price: PS5/Xbox Series X $69.99, PS4/Xbox One/Switch $59.99
  • Developer: San Diego Studio
  • Release date: April 5, 2022
  • Platforms: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch

MLB The Show 22 Trailer


Baseball is back and it’s beautiful

MLB The Show 22 was almost the only real baseball we got in 2022. An owner-led lockdown delayed most of the league’s off-season, leading many fans to worry about whether there would be an abbreviated season or no season at all. Luckily, an agreement was reached on March 20 and Opening Day was only to be postponed by a week, with no games allowed to be missed at all.

What stands out as MLB The Show 22’s greatest strength is what would have been missed the most had there been a full lockout: the presentation of baseball. Replicas of new and old stadiums are treated with care. Modern baseball stars and retro baseball stars merge seamlessly as their batting stances and pitch deliveries are redesigned with laser accuracy, bringing their personalities to life. Everything that makes baseball a time-honored tradition is what San Diego Studio has refined, and it shows.

Annual sports titles are always defined by their gameplay, and The Show 22 absolutely delivers. There aren’t complete system overhauls here, however, as SDS delivers its signature pitching and hitting systems as in years past, adding only minor upgrades. As far as gameplay goes, the fielding is fantastic as defending feels more important than ever.

New field animations make a noticeable difference and create incredible game moments. In years past, fielding felt like a bit of a dull commitment, but this year throwing in a flashy doubles game or tagging someone at home after a cannon throw from outfield is a great thing. Another point of appreciation comes from the difficulty settings, as two new settings have been added in Amateur and Minors to help new players adapt.

That being said, by far the best difficulty feature The Show offers is the dynamic difficulty. This adjusts game difficulty based on player performance, freeing you from the rigidity of certain difficulty settings.

mlb the show 22 ohtani
San Diego Studio

Shohei Ohtani shines in MLB The Show 22.

Offline, The Show 22 really shines as online hiccups continue to be a problem for the franchise. Detaching from an opponent is a regular event. Considering baseball is a problem, it’s all about timing your pitches and swings for perfect accuracy. The introduction of crossplay is a fantastic addition, but the overall online experience is just hope lag doesn’t drag your game down or completely disrupt it.

This year’s The Show starts with Matt Vasgersian, the game’s announcer for the past 16 years, who has been replaced by Jon “Boog” Sciambi and Chris Singleton. The pair might not have the audio catalog of 15+ soundbites, but they provide great play-by-play commentary and absolutely get the job done.

Along with the new pair of commentators are smaller features that give the game an edge: New York radio legend Chris “Mad Dog” Russo pops in after your player was drafted on Road To The Show to yell that you’re an overrated are interested. MLB legend and former The Show cover athlete Ken Griffey Jr. hops onto the RTTS show to talk about what it takes to not only make it to the majors but also have long-term success. Small additions like this are small additions that added character to the game.

It’s shot time

Shohei Ohtani is this year’s title athlete, and the game offers a determined attempt to make him the star of the show. The Japanese superstar’s unique skills, who is both a hitter and a pitcher, were the focus of The Show 22 as tons of additions were made to emphasize 2-way players, something MLB hasn’t seen in generations .

In recent years, Ohtani has been a massive headache for the San Diego studio. The show wasn’t designed to deal with a player who was both a hitter and pitcher, as stamina bars didn’t properly recover on days off. Now they’ve finally fixed the stamina issue, allowing two-way players like Ohtani to play correctly in all game modes.

Legendary Japanese illustrator Takashi Okazaki was tapped to create the cover art for the game’s Collector’s Edition, as well as the card art for five Legendary Diamond Dynasty cards, all of which are incredible. Players can choose one of the five cards upon opening the pack, and then collect the other four in the marketplace. Each player wears an 88 jumpsuit and is a great and stylish way to get your Diamond Dynasty team rolling. Unfortunately, the price of completing the Okazaki card collection in Diamond Dynasty is a paltry single deck.

For newcomers to the series, Diamond Dynasty serves as the Ultimate Team version of The Show. It allows players to build a roster of current and legacy player cards and collect players either by grinding for stubs and XP for free rewards – or by purchasing them in the shop with real money.

mlb the shipment 22
San Diego Studio

Takashi Okazaki’s iconic card artwork for MLB The Show 22.

Diamond Dynasty returns

Diamond Dynasty has built a solid reputation over the years because, compared to its contemporaries like EA SPORTS’ Ultimate Team, it doesn’t require players to spend massive amounts of money to level up their team. And while there are ways to build a great team without losing a dime, doing so this year feels harder.

The Show 22 has moved away from Team Affinity and now utilizes the new Faces of the Franchise program, the primary way for players to earn rewards simply by playing and earning XP within a limited time frame. While it is a consolidated way for players to earn rewards, specific rewards are not guaranteed: Each MLB team has an overall Face of the Franchise 90 card that can be obtained through progression in the program.

However, you cannot choose which card you receive when completing milestones. So if you’re a Red Sox fan and you get a Yankee card, you’re out of luck.

The randomness of the rewards coupled with the high amount of XP required for each milestone makes it harder to be a fully free to play Diamond Dynasty player. All hope is not lost, however, as the Faces of the Franchise program won’t be the same program when it launches in a month’s time, and hopefully San Diego Studio will listen to players and give players some sort of choice for future rewards.

My favorite mode in all sports game titles is Franchise mode. I love taking on a team and managing their roster moves to see if I can turn bad teams into title contenders. MLB The Show 22 had a handful of additions announced ahead of launch that got me excited to dive in, like improving trading logic systems to deliver more realistic outcomes and more player contract options. It was also noted that rebuild teams should not issue players on long-term, cheap contracts or accept inflated salaries.

mlb the show 22 blue jays
San Diego Studio

Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits a home run.

While the improvements are somewhat noticeable, I did have hiccups along the way. Teams traded franchise players for low-quality prospects seemingly on the fly, and high-profile free agents like Aaron Judge, who signed with the Oakland Athletics. We’re more likely to discover an entire alien race than Judge signing with the A, a team whose entire player payroll was less than a single year of his salary. Franchise mode is still fun for the fantasy of taking on your favorite team, but it stays light years away from that of its contemporaries like Out of the Park Baseball.

March through October, the alternate franchise mode where players only take on big moments during the MLB season, has a handful of changes to make it more appealing. Show 22 allows for multi-season play from March to October, which not only makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Along with the addition of free agency, March through October is now a much more impressive choice for players who don’t want to cycle through the entire MLB calendar like it does in easy Franchise mode.

Road To The Show, the game’s single-player experience, feels much the same as it has in years past. New player archetypes allow you to more precisely create the type of player you want, which is a solid addition. Aside from serving as a solid way to earn XP for The Show’s Face of the Franchise rewards program, Road To The Show doesn’t particularly stand out and has mostly been forgotten. If there’s a game mode, San Diego Studio should consider a complete overhaul for future titles, that’s easy.

Rating: 8/10

MLB The Show 22 is a solid entry into the long-running baseball franchise. This year’s approach addresses its fan base by honing its strengths while helping new players discover the magic of baseball.

While players are encouraged to spend more than they have in years past, Diamond Dynasty is still an excellent game mode that is a real highlight for baseball sim and offers an incredible amount of replayability.

Checked on PlayStation 5.

https://www.dexerto.com/reviews/mlb-the-show-22-review-shotime-shines-in-step-forward-for-series-1799200/ MLB The Show 22 Review – Shottime shines in step forward for series

Emma Bowman

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