MLB 13 The Show – New Features and Details
Releasing on March 5th, 2013 for both PS Vita and PlayStation 3, MLB 13 The Show from Sony San Diego Studio is once again emerging as the premiere Baseball title on any platform. The follow-up to the “Best Sports – PS3″ Golden Minecarts 2012 winner is looking to be more than just a roster update, MUCH more!. There’s a lot to digest here, but enough with the babble, let’s get rockin’!
The cover athlete this year, after a heated online election, is Andrew McCutchen, outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I voted as much as I could for Ryan Braun, and even though he was completely exonerated form the allegations of testing positive for banned substances, people still help a grudge against my boy (don’t forget that he’s the only player in the Majors to beat allegations of this kind, AND that his numbers were actually BETTER than they were during the year of the false allegations, but I digress.)
NEW FEATURES IN MLB 12 THE SHOW:
• The “Post Season” Mode (PS3 & PS Vita) – MLB 13 The Show will introduce users to Post Season Mode this year as it offers quick entrance directly into the Post Season, fast-tracking your run to the World Series. The mode offers you the choice of selecting to play with one team, or all 10. The format utilizes the newly changed playoff structure, with a single-game Wild Card round leading into the standard Division, Championship, and World Series rounds. The Division Series, Championship Series, and World Series can all be set to varying lengths (Single game, best of 3, best of 5, or best of 7 are all available). Only the Wild Card round is hardwired to a single-game, winner advancing format. Additional options for the mode include selecting the venue for each game. Lastly, all of the game control options you’ve come to know are available in this mode, including: single player, head-to-head play, co-op play, and PlayStation®Move support.
• Cross Platform Online Home Run Derby (PS3 & PS Vita) – MLB 12 The Show introduced Online Home Run Derby™ to the PS3. MLB 13 The Show brings this experience to the PS Vita with the inclusion of cross platform play. Regardless of whether users are logged into a PS3 or PS Vita, selecting an Online Home Run Derby match will gather users into one game experience. You could be playing against users in a train, plane or their living room!
• Beginner Mode (PS3 & PS Vita) – In an effort to make The Show more accessible and to help users learn the fundamentals of the game Beginner Mode has been added. No matter the age or skill level, the new Beginner Mode offering allows the user the opportunity to succeed when playing The Show. Beginner mode uses an advanced, adaptive AI system that dynamically updates your skill level on the fly. It starts out on the easiest of levels and only advances as the user improves.
• New Push/Pull Hitting Trajectories Engine (PS3 & Vita) – New to MLB 13 The Show is our Push/Pull hitting trajectory tendencies engine. When you hit select during the pitcher-batter matchup, the in-game screen it will show you if the current hitter is Extreme Pull, Pull Hitter, Balanced, Opposite field Hitter, or an Extreme Opposite field hitter. Both A.I. and human hitters will hit more balls to their preferred side according to this attribute. This data is derived from real yearly spray charts provided to us by MLB.com. Despite this shift, very late and very early timing remains unchanged. Rather, within good timing, a larger chunk of the timing window is considered early for pull hitters. This means if you swing too early on a changeup, your timing won’t change at all. But if you get good timing on a pitch, it will be biased towards the hitters preferred zone. You will also now see more defensive shifts when Push and Pull hitters are at the plate.
• Franchise and Season Mode Evolution (PS3 & PS Vita) – MLB 13 The Show is set on improving the user’s experience in Franchise mode by focusing on player development, while creating a more realistic and dynamic league as time progresses. Additions include a newly implemented team budget that focuses on a reward-penalty system which is solely based on a team’s performance on the field. MLB 13 The Show is the most realistic baseball game ever as multiple years’ worth of real-life data was used to determine the team-specific correlation between win-loss record and budget size, while also looking at postseason performance. This new budget system results in a more dynamic league, in which a low-budget team can become a big spender after a period of sustained excellence, mirroring real teams in the big leagues. Furthermore, team-specific player valuations were also added in order to add personality to each team. These valuations are based on the team’s league, their home stadium and historical tendencies. These changes affect every facet of a team’s decision making process, from drafting, to promotions and demotions, to trade decisions and free agent acquisitions. In addition to these changes, the user can expect improved Player Generation and Career Progression, as well as new Scouting and Training systems.
• Road to The Show Evolution (PS3 & PS Vita) – One of the most popular aspects of MLB 13 The Show, Road To The Show, has been reworked this year in an effort to provide players with the most immersive and realistic on-field experience ever in a sports video game. More focus has been made to bring simpler control over a users’ player on the field in order to bring an unparalleled experience to the game. Environmental improvements, such as a revamped on-field sound system, enhances hundreds of new sound FX, player yells, and crowd sounds so they are heard prominently and realistically from the player’s perspective on the field. Other notable improvements include a new user-controlled catch system, a revamped catcher mode, an improved Performance Evaluator to include baserunning and fielding, new custom batting animation sets, pitch type tip-offs when on defense, position-specific tasks such as calling for a pick-off as a middle infielder, and much more.
• The Show Live (PS3 & PS Vita) – The Show Live provides an exhibition-based mode using data from MLB.com to populate daily match-ups, line-ups and starting pitchers, giving users the opportunity to play in an environment that matches the “real-world.” The Show Live presents games in the same way as season-based modes, with up-to-date player and team statistics. Hear commentators reference the previous or next day’s events, based on real-world situations and information. Users have the choice to play a game from today, or turn the calendar back and play any game from earlier in the season. The Show Live brings users closer to Major League Baseball action than ever before!
• Diamond Dynasty 2.0 (PS3) – Diamond Dynasty juggles aspects of team management, player progression, and online competition, with more creative freedom than any sports game to date. In order to improve Diamond Dynasty, feedback from The Show Nation was used to expand and fine tune the systems that make up the mode. DD will now be simpler to understand for new users, while also being easier to navigate and manage for previous users. In addition to being more intuitive, visual tutorial walk users through the more complex screens or systems within DD.
Diamond Dynasty introduces the Designated Hitter in MLB ’13. Users can choose whether they want to play by American or National League rules at their home park. Are you a baseball tactician who wants to use small-ball tactics and challenge your opponent to make strategic substitutions? Or will you stack nine sluggers and let your bats do the thinking?
The Marketplace gets a haul over as well as users can post and cancel orders with ease. The Marketplace has gotten smarter, minimizing the amount of potential exploits.
The Dynasty card type has also evolved. Dynasty Cards now display more information about the player’s abilities. This information gives you an idea of what you are getting right away, but more importantly how good a player can get. Each Dynasty Player has maximum thresholds he can reach in each attribute, so picking which cards to activate to a team has become much more important.
Many core systems have become more versatile to cope with the inherent volatility of multiplayer online play. Overall, Diamond Dynasty in MLB ’13 is smarter, deeper, and much more stable.
• TruBroadcast Presentations 2.0 (PS3) – True Broadcast Presentations 2.0 continues to blur the line between reality and The Show. This year focuses on further refinement of game continuity through the restructuring of thousands of presentations but also a heavy emphasis on taking stadium ambiance and big game atmosphere to a new level. The addition of new scenes, new cameras, new OSDs, new music and new audio allows MLB 13 The Show to take a huge step forward in the twofold approach of truly immersing the user in the moment during the pre-game while satisfyingly rewarding the user once the final pitch is thrown. Now more than ever the user will feel the difference between Opening Day, the Regular Season, the All-Star Game and the Postseason, and increasingly strive for a taste of the new Postseason celebrations.
• New Scouting and Training System in Franchise Mode (PS3 & PS Vita) – A “human element” was incorporated into MLB The Show’s Scouting system, which affects the user’s decision making process when dealing with scouting directives, position changes and, ultimately, drafting a player. This idea originated from Community feedback as The Show continues to strive be the most realistic baseball video game on the market. The goal for the Training system changes is to allow the user selecting individual players to train in areas of their own choice. More variety will be offered as training on a positional level will not be offered which will require the user to make their own choices of how to impact the development of their players.
• Road To The Show Commentary and Presentation Evolution (PS3) – The Road To The Show mode received a major commentary and presentation overhaul in an effort to bring the focus back to the player in the mode. The largest change is the removal of all commentary during the action. This was done to place more emphasis on the enhanced on-field sounds and to give users the sense of what is really like to be on the field as opposed to simply controlling a player on a screen. Commentary and presentations will still be heard before and after a play, but only when something important or notable regarding the user’s player is going to be highlighted. In addition, a new pre-game player spotlight will feature the user’s player and discuss his recent career progress or performance. Finally, hundreds of new presentation scenes have been created and thousands of new commentary lines have been recorded to give the RTTS player the attention he deserves and to highlight notable single-game, single-season, and career achievements like milestones and records.
• Online Road To The Show Leaderboard (PS3 & PS Vita) – Users can track their Offline Road to the Show careers and compare their player against all players from the community using RttS Leaderboards. Users can compare stats to see who is considered the best at their position, at similar levels. Users and their stats will be grouped by organization level: Double-A, Triple-A, MLB, as well as by position. All this will be tracked, displayed and sortable as long as you are connected online and PlayStation®Network signed in.
• Universal Profile (PS3 & PS Vita) – Universal Profile provides a central hub for any statistics a user records while playing The Show. Regardless of the modes or platform played, stats will be tracked and viewable in a user’s profile. In addition, profiles will have levels associated with them. As a user plays, they accumulate experience (xp) towards their profile’s level. Users now work towards a universal progression system whenever they play, regardless of the mode or platform they play on.
• Button Accuracy Meter (PS3 & PS Vita) – Users will now have more control over the fielding aspects of the game than ever before. For users who choose the new button accuracy meter they will now have complete control over the fielders arm accuracy and arm strength. No longer will an errant throw be the result of a random dice roll.
• Steve Lyons Joins The Booth (PS3 & PS Vita) – Joining the The Show’s Broadcast team for MLB 13 is MLB veteran Steve Lyons. Steve started his Broadcasting Career with Fox in 1996, and has called several Division & League Championship series with the network. Steve currently does Color Commentary for the LA Dodgers.
Steve brings new energy and insight into the game, refreshing the commentary for MLB 13 The Show.
• MLB 13 Online Leagues Overhaul (PS3) – This year with MLB 13 The Show Online Leagues has been given a complete and total overhaul. New features include being able to play the real MLB schedule with all 30 teams, coupled with upgrades and refinements – like being able to manually control the pace of the league. Ultimately, the commissioner of a league will have the tools to be able to create and customize it in order to play with anyone anywhere to have a complete MLB experience in an online environment.
The Best Gets Better! MLB 13 The Show includes over 50 more enhancements, new features, and improvements!
1. Hitting engine improvements deliver more hit variety than ever before
2. Wider timing window across all difficulty levels
3. Improved ball physics (less ground rule doubles etc.)
4. Over 250 new fielding and running animations
5. Over 90 new batting stances
6. Over 130 batting stance re-captures for players who changed their stances
7. Over 50 new pitching motions
8. Over 60 new HR swings
9. New Defensive Positioning screen, view the whole field and watch your players shift on the fly
10. Franchise Mode: Team specific player valuations, which affect drafting, trades, free agency, etc
11. Franchise Mode: Projected team budgets and free agents for the upcoming season
12. Franchise Mode: Previous award winners and each team’s Hall of Fame members will now be tracked and displayed
13. Franchise Mode: Ticker in Franchise that displays scores, milestones, trades, etc
14. Franchise Mode: Top 50 Prospect icon, used to indicate the best up-and-coming minor leaguers
15. Franchise Mode: Organizational Depth Chart which displays your starters at each level (AA, AAA and MLB)
16. New CBA “Qualifying Offer” system included
17. 7 New Minor League and Spring Training stadiums
18. On screen Tutorials to help you navigate some of the more complicated screens
19. New silhouette bat when bunting
20. Back picks while a catcher in RttS
21. Ability to assign swing animations when creating or editing a player… follow through, step in, etc
22. Big glove for catcher when a knuckle ball pitcher is on the mound
23. Over 500 new presentations
24. Pitcher Energy/Rotations for Online Play Now
25. Mercy Rule for online games
26. Twitter in The Show
27. Ping indicators in online game rooms
28. New online ranked game Play Now flow with game worth
29. New post-game summary screen for all online ranked games
30. Player photos updating with Roster updates
31. In-game simulator when FF to the end of game
32. PCI Appearance – There are 4 alternate PCI appearances
33. Pitcher Batter Analysis will now display 40 instead of 25 pitches
34. New Throwback uniforms
35. More catcher animations on plays at the plate providing more exciting outcomes
36. Enhanced CPU base running. Less predictable and more human like behavior
37. New base running animations “around the bases”. Allows for more control of your base runner
38. New Pulse pitching, Meter pitching, and strike zone art
39. New player accessories
40. New online ticker design, more stats and information
41. RTTS infielder’s pickoff request
42. New more interactive user steal system
43. Improved CPU pitcher substitution logic
44. New player card
45. Guess pitch evolution
46. RTTS Removal of the “green-light” system
47. Over 1,000 new RTTS-specific presentations
48. New RTTS user catch option
49. New RTTS On/Off options for ball halo and ball trail
50. Over 15 new batting camera’s and 5 new pitching camera views
So, as you can see, the development team definitely listens to the community. SOme of these changes have actually been on “most wanted” lists of many fans for quite a while now. Keep checking back to this site over the next few weeks for in-depth coverage and analysis for MLB 13 The Show.