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Review MLB The Show 21 Review Thread

ethomaz

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Mar 19, 2013
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Please close this one if there is another thread but I could not find it.


Metacritic: 78 (PS5) / ?? (PS4) / ?? Series X|S / ?? XB1
OpenCritic: 78

I'm lazy so I will credit mazi for the summary while the new updates will be done by myself.

Game Informer (no score, review in progress):
I still have days of playing ahead of me, but I can already say that MLB The Show 21 is a hell of a game. The first impression it makes is strong, and it looks absolutely stunning. The lighting, fluidity of animations, sharpness of picture; it screams of quality. The Show is obviously the best baseball game out there each year, but it has also long been one of the best sports series, period. From what I've played thus far, this entry upholds that legacy in fun, inventive, and deep ways.
Hardcore Gamer (4.5/5):
San Diego Studios continue to try and improve an annual product that already has a fantastic core with MLB The Show 21. New Xbox players will be blown away at the realism and the gameplay options in the game while PlayStation players will appreciate the changes to the presentation and some of the visual improvements. The four main game modes don’t see any huge changes outside of Road to the Show, which may nab a mixed reaction from fans on how it was designed, but personally I feel it’s a good if unnecessary change. The visuals are still great, but there are next to no next-generation implementations across the board outside of running at 4K and 60 FPS, which does change the game especially if you didn’t try last year’s title on PS5. Whether on PlayStation or Xbox, MLB The Show 21 remains the gold standard for realistic sports games.
Attack of the Fanboy (4/5):
Being the most consistent annual sports franchise out there, MLB The Show manages to overcome the loss of a few key features to give players yet another reason to step right back into the batter’s box in MLB The Show 21.
Gfinity (4/5):
MLB The Show 21 doesn’t quite knock this one out of the park. Instead, it’s one of the most well-hit doubles I’ve ever seen. The foundation San Diego Studios has cultivated over the years has allowed them to almost seamlessly transfer over to the next-gen and has me excited to see where the series goes from here.
Pure Xbox (8/10):
It's a fantastic year to be getting MLB The Show 21 on Xbox. There's a welcome 'Casual' preset for beginners, the gameplay is more enjoyable than ever, and newcomers will likely be overwhelmed (in a good way) at the sheer amount of content at their disposal. Road to the Show's new Ballplayer integration won't satisfy everyone, and needs a few tweaks, but it's nevertheless still a highly enjoyable mode to play, and the likes of Diamond Dynasty and March to October are excellent options as well. We've been waiting a long time to experience The Show for ourselves on Xbox, and it's amazing to finally be stepping up to the plate with MLB The Show 21 on Xbox Game Pass.
GameSkinny (8/10):
MLB The Show 21 isn't as flashy as its cover star. Lacking many overhauls to its modes, this year's game focuses on a decent laissez-faire story mode, a cool new Stadium Creator, and more of the superb baseball sim gameplay that has earned the series its reputation as one of the best Sony exclusives.

MLB The Show isn't exclusive anymore, but that just means many more people are about to learn firsthand how lifelike a sports game's on-field gameplay can be.
PlayStation Universe (8/10):
Not so much a true next-gen leap for MLB, but a cautious set of baby steps towards it. The presentation and gameplay remain strong, and the ability to be a two-way player in Road to the Show has freshened that mode up and made it more enjoyable than ever. MLB The Show 21 is another reliable entry in a strong sporting franchise, but it definitely needs a bit of a shakeup next time out.
Android Central (4/5):
MLB The Show 21 manages to build upon many of its already great features and is once again the gold standard for baseball video games.
Wccftech (7.5/10):
While MLB The Show 21 is another solid entry in the series, the pitch to Xbox newcomers and those looking for a next-gen experience isn’t as strong as it could have been. Pitching, fielding, and existing modes get some welcome adjustments, but truly significant additions are thin on the ground and the series’ presentation is stuck in its tracks. Hardcore hardball fans and Xbox owners who haven’t experienced MLB The Show before should have a good time, but this franchise may be in need of a rebuilding phase within the next year or two
GameSpot (7/10):
Much like its predecessors, MLB The Show 21 is still one of the best sports games available once you step over the foul line. The gameplay has been tightened up and Pinpoint Pitching is a potential game-changer, and all of these elements go some way to dampening the disappointment of its missing features, stale commentary, and changes (or lack thereof) to Road to the Show and Franchise. It's not the strongest debut the series could've had on new hardware, but if you're in the mood for nine innings of America's favorite pastime, MLB The Show is still the undisputed king.
Forbes (7/10):
MLB The Show 21 is still loads of fun to play. Franchise is slightly improved, Diamond Dynasty continues to be strong, and Stadium Creator is even better than expected.

However, there are areas of the game that don’t feel like an actual next-gen experience, and we’re still missing features that other sports games have had for years.
IGN France (7/10, review in French):
A great simulation of baseball and mostly of the MLB. From the outstanding sound design, to the announcers or the MLB Network coverage, everything makes you feel that you’re in a ballpark or watching a real MLB game on TV. Next Gen features such as fast loading are a big deal. It makes it even more disappointing that the game only comes in English.
Screen Rant (3.5/5):
MLB The Show 21 is yet another solid entry in Sony's now multi-platform sports franchise. The consistent tweaks to how the game functions and its quality-of-life improvements each year have helped create a balanced, solid foundation for each iteration to improve on. Even though MLB The Show 21 lacks in delivering a truly engrossing current-gen experience on the new consoles in some ways and has a few typical sports franchise pitfalls, it's still an enjoyable game that has a high degree of craftsmanship.
 

ethomaz

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Must-have
I should say if you played 19 or 20 you should wait 22 because they removed key features (typical score is lower due that).
For these that didn't play the previous ones or the last one was many years ago it is a "myst-have" even more if you are a Baseball fan.
 
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Neil Young

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Played about 2 hours last night on One X. Gameplay still fantastic. So many choices on personalizing the game to your play style. Started a franchise, immediately signed Big Papi off the legends list for 25 mil a year destroying my budget.

The weekly challenge is addicting. I suck only getting 80k as my top out of 15 tries.

Diamond Dynasty is still awesome but a cash grab at the same time.

Solid 8/10 so far.
 

vaibhavpisal

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I don't think it will sell well on ps due to $70 vs "free on gamepass".

Maybe then Sony will cancel it's sequel and make The Show 22 exclusively for gamepass.
 
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graywolf323

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A Sony studios, Sony santamonica game scoring under 80 on metacritic. Not expected tbh.

this is Sony San Diego not Santa Monica

edit: no score but Operation Sports has their review up which is a really good read IMO

 
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Captain Toad

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That seems pretty low scoring for this franchise. What went wrong?

Do you think it has to do with MLB meddling?
 
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Entroyp

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Looks solid. It’s unfortunate that this one scored lower than the previous ones.
 

FrankWza

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this is Sony San Diego not Santa Monica

edit: no score but Operation Sports has their review up which is a really good read IMO

Fair review. Still enjoying but they deserve criticism. And that review likes Pinpoint and so far I think it’s not good. Also, they 180d the check swing and created an entirely different issue for non guess modes or players
 
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ethomaz

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Mar 19, 2013
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That seems pretty low scoring for this franchise. What went wrong?

Do you think it has to do with MLB meddling?
Ok.

There is some thinks that happened with MLB The Show 21.

- There is basically no improvement except the added Stadium Creator in PS5 version (it runs sharper because the DRS is higher compared with Pro)
- They removed some key features like:
- - Amateur/Exibicionism to build the reputation to get choose in the draft.
- - Import old saves.
- - Play your own Song (it is still available in PS4 version).
- Some gameplay changes that is just not working like intended imo.
- Animations needs rework.

That means the franchise stagnated and remove key features... imo that drive the score lower than previous games.
Maybe MLB The Show 22 can added back and make new advances.

BTW there a lot of new players in the game so for these it will be the first experience and it will probably be fantastic (even more if you do like Baseball) but for the franchise fans that versions is really a let down... you can stick with 20 or 19 that add more to your playtime.
 
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ethomaz

is mad because DF didn't do a video on a video of a video of a video on PS5
Mar 19, 2013
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I think the skill trees in RTTS are missing as well
I just listed the easy to check features :D
I did not get depth in the modes.

Reviewers are being fair imo.
 
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Warnen

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Another 7 for gamepass....

giggle laughing GIF
 

Gamerguy84

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Cross-gen and multiple versions.

Or they said fuck it and gimped it
I'm joking a professional studio wouldn't do that
 

Spokker

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Having followed this series for over a decade now, I never expected the graphics to be overhauled for next-gen. When The Show arrived on PS4, it was basically a resolution upgrade. It wasn't until 16 that they started implemented physically based rendering (PBR), and that was only for prominent objects in a stadium. I remember the first time I saw the upgraded rocks in Angel Stadium and being amazed, but that was 5 years ago. Those same rocks looked so bad when they first appeared on PS4 because they were basically PS3 assets.

Over the years they added graphical figures incrementally, such as accurate sun position, indirect lighting (think of the light hitting the grass or dirt and making the uniform look more green or more brown), and improved hair/faces.

Going forward, I would expect that same incremental approach with or without COVID. I don't think the pandemic had anything to do with the graphics.

It's going to look a little bit better each year. I think the next priority should be the player models and cloth physics for uniforms. It would go a long way making the players seem less stiff and doll-like.
 
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Bumblebeetuna

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Double XP in a baseball game what the fuck 😂😂

I played an hour or so of RttS, seemed ok. Read there were glitches in franchise mode and online play is still a laggy mess. Glad it was “free” on GamePass.
 

Pallas

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viceland GIF by MOST EXPENSIVEST
Kind of hard to build a MLB game when Sony held the license for so long unless I’m understanding this wrong. Never played the series though but heard great things about it, you’re pretty spot on about why the score is low. Covid, multiple platforms, and you could probably add that it’s a new gen to one of the reasons too. I expect the next one to score higher.
 

lefty1117

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Still a fun game, just maybe not the best in the series. Particularly if you're an xbox user and haven't played this before, I'd say it's worth it and you'll have a good time (assuming you like or have interest in learning baseball of course)
 
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DeepEnigma

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Kind of hard to build a MLB game when Sony held the license for so long unless I’m understanding this wrong. Never played the series though but heard great things about it, you’re pretty spot on about why the score is low. Covid, multiple platforms, and you could probably add that it’s a new gen to one of the reasons too. I expect the next one to score higher.
I was only joking around adding to the fun, first off.

Second, Sony only held a first party license for themselves. MS, which purchased the High Heat Baseball license along with other ones to appease EA back with the OG Xbox when EA was hesitant, just vaulted the IP of a great series to appease the largest third party publisher at the time. It was a grimy move and they did nothing with that IP, since the purpose was just to take out a competitive product for EA.

I agree, next year should improve. Knowing these guys, they take the criticism and let it drive them to do better.
Still a fun game, just maybe not the best in the series. Particularly if you're an xbox user and haven't played this before, I'd say it's worth it and you'll have a good time (assuming you like or have interest in learning baseball of course)
Very much so.
 
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FrankWza

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I was only joking around adding to the fun, first off.

Second, Sony only held a first party license for themselves. MS, which purchased the High Heat Baseball license along with other ones to appease EA back with the OG Xbox when EA was hesitant, just vaulted the license of a great series to appease the largest third party publisher at the time. It was a grimy move and they did nothing with the license, since the purpose was just to take out a competitive product for EA.

I agree, next year should improve. Knowing these guys, they take the criticism and let it drive them to do better.

Very much so.
Yeah. It’s amazing how many people don’t get this when they tried bragging on this big “coup”
 
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FrankWza

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Still a fun game, just maybe not the best in the series. Particularly if you're an xbox user and haven't played this before, I'd say it's worth it and you'll have a good time (assuming you like or have interest in learning baseball of course)
It is. It’s just the only show ;) in town though. There’s nothing wrong with some tough love. I think even the most hardcore fans would agree this is a disappointment overall. Doesn’t make it bad. But some things are curious. Like, I get covid and having to develop for 4 consoles. But if that made things so difficult why bother with stadium creator for next gen? Why gimp rtts? Don’t rob peter to pay paul if things were tougher.
 
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WoJ

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I'm skipping this years version. Sounds like they totally destoryed the Road To the Show mode. Lack of Franchise Carryover save is also a dealbreaker for me too. In addition they got rid of roster carryover too. Also some minor stuff - with the create a stadium mode you can't play night games in a created stadium.

These are lots of little things, but for me they're enough to stick with MLB 20 for another year and see if they clean up some of these things next year.
 

Fox Mulder

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I wondered if covid, going multiplatform, and next gen would impact this game. It’s still fun and loaded with content even if it’s not amazing looking or filled with new features.

I think even the menus are worse than before and the server issues really are awful.
 

DeepEnigma

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I'm skipping this years version. Sounds like they totally destoryed the Road To the Show mode. Lack of Franchise Carryover save is also a dealbreaker for me too. In addition they got rid of roster carryover too. Also some minor stuff - with the create a stadium mode you can't play night games in a created stadium.

These are lots of little things, but for me they're enough to stick with MLB 20 for another year and see if they clean up some of these things next year.
I have a good feeling those carryovers will come back, and that was more of a side effect between the two different save systems from last gen to this gen.

Limited dev time, with Covid and all that jazz.
 
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Spokker

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Kind of hard to build a MLB game when Sony held the license for so long unless I’m understanding this wrong.
Sony San Diego Studio never had an exclusive deal with MLB to publish MLB: The Show. It was Take Two that had a third-party exclusive license from 2006 to 2012, which meant EA could not continue to publish MVP Baseball if they wanted to. However, Microsoft or Nintendo or whoever could have developed a first-party MLB game during this time.

After the Take Two deal expired, anybody could have negotiated with MLB to create a third-party game, and still MLB The Show remained the only AAA MLB simulation in town. The market simply was not big enough for two AAA MLB games.
 

DeepEnigma

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Sony San Diego Studio never had an exclusive deal with MLB to publish MLB: The Show. It was Take Two that had a third-party exclusive license from 2006 to 2012, which meant EA could not continue to publish MVP Baseball if they wanted to. However, Microsoft or Nintendo or whoever could have developed a first-party MLB game during this time.

After the Take Two deal expired, anybody could have negotiated with MLB to create a third-party game, and still MLB The Show remained the only AAA MLB simulation in town. The market simply was not big enough for two AAA MLB games.
Basically this.