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MLB 11 The Show

MLB 11 Features A New Road To The Show

Sports titles are packed with different game modes, but given their short development cycles, sometimes it takes developers years before they make major changes to the structure of a particular mode. If you're a big fan of the Road to the Show, this is your year. Rather than make a few subtle tweaks to its popular MLB career mode, Sony is giving it a major overhaul. The first big change applies to the player creator.

In past creators you were given a blank slate and a bunch of experience points to add wherever you saw fit. This year, Sony is introducing dynamic interactive sliders to help you better tailor your slugger or pitcher. Before you're given attribute points to juice up your prospect, the game presents you with three adjustable sliders that help determine your playing style. For pitchers, the sliders are stamina vs. power, control vs. movement, and pitching repetoire vs. dominant pitch. By moving the sliders across the 100-point scales, you can create drastically different players. If you want to create an innings eater like Carl Pavano, you'd move the sliders toward stamina, control, and pitching repetiore. If you want a power thrower with one pitch to rule them all like Stephen Strasburg, you'd move the sliders toward power, movement, and dominant pitch. Position players have sliders for power vs. contact, glove vs. arm, and speed vs. strength.

Previous Road to the Show modes guided players with dynamic goals that changed every game. Some of the goals, like avoid striking out, seemed obvious. Others, like the coach telling you to take the first pitch, seemed arbitrary. Rather than tweak the logic, Sony decided to scrap the system altogether in favor of a new player performance evaluator. This new logic system tracks your every at-bat or pitching match-up and assigns you a grade for each one. At the end of the game, your overall grade determines the amount of skill points you receive. The evaluator understands the subtleties of the sport better than the dynamic goals ever did; if you foul off nine pitches before popping out, the game knows this is a good at-bat because you stressed the pitcher, and it rewards you appropriately. The same applies to pitching; you're not going to get as many points for striking out a batter on 10 pitches as you would for getting a batter to ground out in three pitches.

If you're struggling with a particular aspect of pitching or batting, the evaluator is smart enough to notice the trend and offer you a training session. Position players can jump into the batting cage to work on their contact, timing, pitch recognition, and plate discipline. Pitchers can receive training for ball location, learning when to throw specific pitches, and how to deal a knockout pitch to the batter.

Once you're on the diamond, your climb to the majors begins with a new advancement system. Now the your player is called up or sent down based on your performance and those of the prospects and pros above and below you on the organizational depth chart. If you're on a hot streak and the guy above you is struggling, the GM may decide to give you a shot at unseating him in the big leagues. If you're going though a rough patch and a youngster is tearing up AAA, you may find yourself on the bus back to minor league ball.

MLB 10 was one of the best looking sports games ever, but with improvements like a new lighting engine, dynamic cloud cover, better transitions from day to night, new stadium fireworks, authentic jumbotrons for each ballpark, and more natural looking player models, MLB 11 is poised to outshine its predecessor. Sony also also recorded several new post-pitch animations and new batter/pitcher walkups. Rounding out the changes to the presentation, former slugger Eric Karros replaces Rex Hudler as the color commentator.

The franchise mode is also receiving some attention. Sony has reworked the trade and waiver wire logic so teams analyze their rosters more realistically; don't expect teams to trade away surefire aces like David Price. To keep you abreast of league happenings during the season, Sony has added a ticker that displays scores and stats from the other league games.

If all these changes come together with the new analog controls, baseball fans will be in for another great outing when MLB 11 hits shelves this March.

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  • It sounds like they somehow improved on the already amazing experience of last year's game, which in my opinion was going to be a tough task. This game has come a long way and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

  • W.I.P. - Work In Progress

    Plus that player creator seems like a cool feature!

  • OMG THANK YOU!!! I love the idea for RTTS but it didnt live up to the hyp. Now the newly revamped RTTS should be good. I have bought each mlb the show for the last 5 years. This year i told myself "whatever its just gonna be the same thing, im not gonna buy it" Well there is one thing i will be changing! Six years in a row!!!

  • Mod

    If there is one sports series that's actually worth buying every year it's The Show and this shows why. I'll probably get this again this year too.

  • I'm and Xbox person, I'm not a Sony hater by any means. I owned the Playstation and Playstation 2, along with the original Xbox. This time I elected to only buy one system and went with the Xbox. I say all of that just to say that this game makes me jealous of Playstation owners. It's the only game that I REALLY want to experience or something like it and can't on the Xbox.
  • MLB 11 looks simply amazing and I can't wait to see it in 3D.

  • Hey MLB 11: The Show why don't you just make last years sports game of the year 5x better? Oh you're doing that? Can't wait for March to be here!

  • Now if they can get rid of those horrible announcers.....
  • This will be the first year I have a PS3, so I can't wait to check this out. Anything is better than another god-awful 2K10 baseball title.
  • I'm still just hoping that the multiplayer issues are fixed. I still don't understand how ever other sports game can combat lag but baseball can't. The fact is that the AI will never be as good as playing against other humans and so far in the next-gen baseball offerings the lag has been killer. Hopefully this year is different!
  • i especially like the screen shot of Adam Dunn hitting but one of his many-to-come homeruns at the Cell.  let's get this season started already!!!!!!!!!

  • "Sony has reworked the trade and waiver wire logic so teams analyze their rosters more realistically; don't expect teams to trade away surefire aces like David Price."

    That's good news, though I could work around this in the past by trying to make trades that were reasonable. Though, the real question remains: Will teams be expected to retain, bid on or otherwise employ surefire aces like David Price, or will he have to retire at age 30 because of a poor free agent market?

  • is there a steroid feature for A-Rod?

  • Its a complete over haul which is good because i dont have a ps3 to play it but now i can use this as a excuse to get one

  • I don't like baseball. This looks sexy though.

  • Word to ya moms GI...just wonderin when the review fer the baseball games are comin out...probly tomorrow huh?...I got ants in me pants!!!!!!!