MVP 05 move aside, a new king of baseball has arrived!!
Baseball games have really taken a turn for the worst in recent years. Ever since MVP 05 there really hasn't been a baseball game that revolutionizes America's pastime. This is roughly due to companies going around buying up exclusive licenses. Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword; publishers force gamers to buy their product if they desire <insert license here> games. The problem is this completely eliminates all forms of competition. Like in all industries, competition is a health commodity that inspires innovation and discipline. Certain games *cough* madden *cough* have gone untested for years now with little to no innovation to show forth. I understand that sport games are release every year and there is only so much a studio can do within that time frame. But, I like most gamers hold each iteration to a high standard since they all accompany a full price tag. Is MLB 08 the show more than just a roster update well....
Graphically, MLB has the whole 9: stadiums look unbelievably realistic, most character models mimic their real life counterparts perfectly, jerseys have physics but not crazy physics like Mlb 2k8. I mean even the umpires look just as plump as their real life caricatures. There really is no disappointing feature graphically; animations look quite realistic though can be buggy at times. Every big name baseball player has his face mapped perfectly, I mean you won't see Fukodome's pretty mug but Derek Jeter is still as ugly as ever.
Besides MLB Power Pros you won't find a meatier baseball game. Every type of mode (minus home run derby) has been accounted for in 08 the show. The meat and potatoes being road to the show and Franchise mode both having slight improvements but nothing major. The biggest feature added I think... (Didn't play 07) is online leagues. Unfortunately, online leagues have a high cost of admission since you really need to gather a solid group of individuals that will frequently participate in the action. Dropping sixty clams is definitely worth it if you enjoy diving knee deep into simulated baseball goodness.
Gameplay wise nothing has really changed since 06, pitching mechanics still used the tried and true button presses which is 40 times better than MLB 2k8's analog mechanics, unless you enjoy inaccurate, laggy responses. Batting still has the amazing Guess a pitch mechanic which grants the ability to sit on pitches like real baseball players. The biggest improvement comes in the elimination of annoying bugs. Namely, players running over ground balls when they can clearly reach down and snag them. There hasn't been any massive changes gameplay-wise which is definitely a good thing though the lack of innovation will probably turn off some gamers since most will see this as a glorified roster update!!
The soundtrack that currently exists within the game is one of variety and semi-tasteful, minus the horrid musical travesty Low Rider by War. Sound effects fall along the typical norm of baseballs being hit with large wooden objects. Everything is pretty standard within the sound department.
Playing Mlb online can be a mixed bag, unless you have a core group of individuals that will constantly provide some competition. You'll find yourself running into some pretty bad lag; apparently most haven't gotten the memo that Dial-up doesn't really work for online play. Unfortunately, there isn't any regulation on people's connection so most likely then not you'll run into a couple of unbelievably laggy games that depending on your love for the show may indeed..strike you out. Having online leagues takes the online experience from just alright to pretty sweet. Again, the price of admission is pretty high: cheaters, quitters and lag, but with a solid group of friends, a great time can occur.
This is a standard sport game, nothing much in overall improvements but still enough new meat to justify a purchase. Those that own a ps3 and favor a realistic version of America's favorite pastime won't go wrong with MLB 08 the show. I'd say that so far this is the best sport game this current gen, though based on the competition, it isn't really saying much.
Gameplay - 8.0 ~ Gameplay is extremely solid but nothing has changed since 06
Sound - 7.5 ~ Sound effects are solid, license soundtrack is decent but user create playlist are better
Graphics - 8.9 ~ Best looking sport game so far
Features - 7.0 ~ Typical array of features nothing new, no home run derby for some reason
Online - 7.0 ~ Online is fun but online leagues have a high cost to really be enjoyable
Overall - 7.68