Lately, I’ve been spending what little time I’ve had for gaming on MLB 12: The Show on the Vita. This is a franchise that stood out on the PS3 as being one of the best looking sports games in recent memory as well as being THE best baseball game out there.
This is why I’m so disappointed with the PS Vita iteration.
First of all, lets talk graphics. I’m not naive enough to expect PS3 caliber graphics on the handheld, but I was hoping that it would at least remind me of the quality that I was used to on the big console, especially because the two are interchangeable – you can save on the Vita and carry on the same season on the PS3. The Vita version, however, looks only marginally better than the PSP version of MLB 10. The characters are fluid, but the stadiums are choppy, the fans are disastrous looking and the ball looks like a beach ball when hit out of the infield. The customization options for your character are pretty deep, but it is ruined by the fact that the faces all look like they were an afterthought. Horribly rendered and lifeless, all of the facial features just mash into each other, leaving your created character looking pretty bad when viewed from any angle other than warming up in the batters box.
Consistency in the skill/controls is also an issue. Like real baseball, I understand that players can go on hot and cold streaks. However, when my batter has an average stat level in the high nineties, I’ve called the pitch AND the zone and I can barely hit outside of the infield half the time, it seems that there is a disconnect somewhere. It becomes more and more frustrating when I can hit a homerun clear into the next state in the bottom of the first with no one on base, but when I’m down one run in the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded, I strike out with the force of a hundred tornadoes. Keep in mind that my hitting, power and clutch are all high nineties!
Lastly, the presentation is terrible in this game. First of all, THERE ARE NO AUTO REPLAYS IN ROAD TO THE SHOW. How can a game with such marvelous presentation on the PS3 leave such a huge part of the RTTS out on the Vita? This means that you are literally batting, fielding and that’s it. The only animations you see are the ones that have you warming up in the batters box. Hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth of game 7 of the World Series with a full-count and the bases loaded while playing as the Chicago Cubs? No replay. Catch a fly ball while saving a baby that fell over the outfield wall? Nothing. It pretty much takes all the fun out of playing! Not to mention the load times are horrendous, especially when you wait 2-3 minutes for your game to load, only to pop up to the catcher and then get pinch hit for in the 7th – effectively ending your game and sending back to the loading screen to get to the main menu. Wash, rinse, repeat.
I was really looking forward to this game when I heard it was coming out on the Vita, but unfortunately, it just did so many things wrong that I have a hard time playing it. My brother gave up on it completely, and for a game that is in the higher price range of the new Vita games at about $50, it would seem that we deserve more than a stripped down port of a great console sports game.
Think I’m being too harsh! Let me know in the comments! Agree with me? Let me know as well!