As you may or may not know, the PS4 version of MLB: The Show 14 was delayed for about a month after the release of its PS3 counterpart, presumably for Sony’s San Diego Studios to get all of their ducks in a row for the much anticipated jump to next gen.
I, being the huge baseball fan I am, couldn’t wait… literally… so I went out and picked up the show for PS3 when it launched at the beginning of April. Quite a few new features were added like a draft showcase for the Road to the Show mode, as well as Player Lock, which, you guessed it, locks onto a specific player on the team, allowing you to only focus on their appearances, and Quick Counts, a feature that gives every batter a randomly generated count to speed up gameplay.
Now, I don’t really play Road to the Show, so the new Draft Showcase, however cool, didn’t really excite me. Player lock is pretty useless to me as well, as taking at-bats and plays as one singular player just seems boring to me… another reason why I don’t do RTTS. I also don’t care for quick counts. The possibility of starting an at-bat 0-2 just seems lazy and infuriating. Apparently it speeds up the game a lot, but with the possibility to shorten seasons and save in-game, I don’t see the point. If you’re looking for quick games, you’re picking the wrong sport.
So what was I most excited for outside of obligatory roster update? The jump to next gen. We literally got no information on the PS4 version of the game leading up to its release outside of a developer diary and a screenshot or two (which all looked amazing), so I was expecting something huge going into it. Unfortunately, I’m pretty disappointed.
I am happy though that I didn’t pay full price to go from one version to the other. Gamestop was offering a $20 trade up promotion from PS3 to PS4 for fans who wanted to play it early, exploiting an oversight on Sony’s part. It would have been awesome had they offered the $10 upgrade the way they did with Call of Duty Ghosts, Battlefield 4 and Assassins Creed IV.
One of my largest complaints about the PS3 version of the game was that load times were eternal, even with the optional install. That hasn’t changed with the PS4 version, mandatory install be damned. This is largely the same game as it’s counterpart, just with a better lighting engine and a few new animations. I even had issues with transferring my save from one to the other, a feature that is supposed to be seamless, resulting in me just restarting my franchise.
In addition, the controls just seem touchier this year, resulting in a ton of throwing errors each game, and I even over ran a few ground balls here and there. That coupled with the fact that not only do higher difficulties feel cheap at times, but they also make bugs more visible, left me wanting to smash my controller when playing a few games consecutively.
So far, the biggest bonus for me has been the ability to play the game on the Dual Shock 4, but you can even do that on PS3 so long as the controller is connected via USB.
All in all, I wouldn’t suggest the upgrade from PS3 to PS4 if you already own the last-gen version of the game. Outside of the Gamestop promotion, which requires you to have purchased your original copy from one of their stores, the money just isn’t worth it. That really upsets me to admit, but it’s the truth.
If you don’t already have the game, the PS4 version is the definitive version, but not by much. Be prepared for prettier lighting, but have your phone or tablet handy to kill time during the excessive load times.
I don’t think I’ll do a proper review of the game, but if I had to rate it right now, I’d give it a 7.5/10. The game is still great at it’s core, but the jump to next-gen isn’t nearly as graceful as it could have been. Ultimately the game is weighed down by unfair difficulty spikes, touchy controls, and bugs that crop up at the worst times.