‘MLB The Show 19’: New Legends Revealed And Top Takeaways From Twitch Stream No. 1
On Thursday, Sony San Diego Studios did what it always does; It wowed viewers of its first Twitch stream focusing on gameplay with enhanced realism, baseball-centric upgrades, and quality that has hardcore fans counting the days until its release. It’s March 26, by the way.
I maintain, the series still needs some layers when it comes to customization and franchise mode, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed with the gameplay updates that were revealed during the stream.
Here are my top takeaways.
THE FIELDING CAN’T BE THAT GOOD, CAN IT?
Playing Out of Position Will Get You Burned
There were two streams on Thursday. The first one focused on fielding, and it was downright impressive. The development team seems to have devised a system built to perfectly penalize players who exploit the game by playing guys out of position.
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For years–especially in Diamond Dynasty–gamers have stacked lineups with heavy hitters because the penalty for playing someone out of position wasn’t stiff enough. If the system revealed on Thursday works as it sounds and looks, the days of using that exploit are over.
Fielders who are poor at their position will routinely get worse jumps on fly balls. They will bobble or misfield more grounders and the sweet spot on the throw accuracy meter will be smaller. This isn’t just the case for players who are out of position. This will also affect poor defenders who are playing their primary position.
It won’t happen on every play, but this is being added to the game to put an emphasis on good defense, and I love it.
Killing Baserunning Exploits
We’ve all done it. Whether playing against the CPU or against a human opponent, how many times have you seen a guy round third in The Showand steal a run in a way that would never fly in real baseball? It has almost always been a part of the game.
Thanks to over 1,300 new animations, many of which are designed to give your fielders ample opportunity to branch out of elongated actions, baserunners who are attempting to use an exploit should be cut down. The plays shown on the stream were examples of the tactics gamers often used in the past.
Hopefully, the retail version plays as true as the demonstrations. However, rest assured, gamers will still go looking for more cheese.
The New Animations Look Really Smooth
Obviously, the stream is a controlled environment, but again, I must stress how good these new animations look. The catchers hopping out of the crouch into throws, the look of an outfielder getting a bad jump and the action around second base during a double play left me very impressed.
PITCHING AND HITTING
Pitch Speeds Will Be Up On Higher Difficulty Settings
If MLB The Show was too easy for you on the higher difficulty settings, that might be about to change. It was confirmed in the stream, the pitch speeds will be increased once you reach the highest difficulties. I always play on Dynamic Difficulty, so it’ll be even more challenging to make good contact once I ascend the difficulty ladder.
Fewer Pitchers Hit By Comebackers
For years, pitchers took a beating on the mound from balls hit back at them. Overall, it happened too frequently, and when it did, the pitcher was almost never hurt badly enough to leave the game. It felt more like a useless delay. According to the stream, that will happen far less. It was said, in playtesting, those occurrences were either nonexistent or greatly reduced.
I hope it’s not gone entirely, because it is part of the game, but it should be rarer.
I really enjoyed watching the various bat-to-ball results that were shown on Thursday’s second stream. I’m not a player who had a ton of complaints about the hitting in the past, but the changes implemented sound as if the realism in this all-important part of the game has been enhanced.
At the close of the first stream, Jimmie Foxx was revealed as a new legend. There will be multiple versions of The Beast in the game. During the second stream, Hall-of-Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez was announced as another new legend. There will be more than 30 new legends in the game, which is the most Sony San Diego Studios has ever added in a single year.