Monday, April 03, 2017

MLB The Show 17: Impressions (5+ hours)

He's back.

5'5", 220 lb. Enormous Bottoms has resumed his quixotic effort to dominate major league baseball.

He hits 485 foot bombs and strikes out with equal aplomb. His swing has no regrets.

His arm is a cannon, but so are his hands. Big throws and frequent drops.

No regrets.

Even though he was leading the AA Southern League in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, and strikeouts, he wasn't an every day player, due to some bullshit "attitude" problems.

If you have a problem with E.B.'s attitude, then you have an attitude problem.

In the AA All-Star Game, he hit a 475 foot rocket to outer space. In the Championship Series, in three games, he hit 5 HR and had 15 RBIs.

Over 150 strikeouts. 2 bases on balls. Go big or go home.

I never thought I'd say this, but here we are: The Show is starting to show its age.

Compared to Horizon: Zero Dawn or Zelda (I know--different genres, etc.), The show looks positively dated. It's still very slick, and there have been some important improvements for Road to the Show players (playing multiple games without returning to the clubhouse, which cuts loading times significantly), but it's losing ground.

Plus, the game has at least one significant problem that is driving me crazy: the lighting.

This is a good example of developers falling in love with a feature that turns into a detriment because of how it's used. The Show loves to change the lighting as the game progresses, and that's fine.

What's not fine is that some ballparks, in the early innings, are practically dark.

This must be a bug, because when the announcers cut to a replay, or to any other view than the hitting view, the light is fine. Also, when the lights come on, the light is also fine, so something is going very wrong early on in a game.

Almost as bad is that while the lighting effect is cool, many of the lighting conditions that get used don't favor how the game looks. They make it look worse. Why would you do that? The game sparkles in bright sunlight, and at night (in certain lighting conditions), so why wouldn't you use that lighting, or come as close to it, as often as possible?


My screen is well-calibrated, in case you're wondering, and like I said, the cutaways from the main batting view all look fine in terms of lighting.

One other baffling note. Now there's a red circle around the ball, and it can't be turned off. Looks like ass. A developer over at Operation Sports said they took out the option to turn it off because no one used it.

Sorry, man, pretty sure that isn't true. I'd like to have it my way, not your way. No offense.

Still, though, I'm playing it, and quite a bit, so it's still an excellent package, and there's one huge bonus this year: an announcer narrating the personal scenes in RTTS mode (like the career in 2K) with all the presence of a BBC nature documentary. It's outstandingly funny, even unintentionally, and totally entertaining.

So, to sum: a few cracks at the seams, some lighting oddities, but still a full-featured game that is the best of its kind.

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