Gaming

Everything You Need to Know About MLB The Show 19

Here’s everything you need to know about MLB The Show 19
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Baseball season is approaching, and that means it’s time for the next installment of Sony’s MLB The Show franchise. The Show has consistently proven to be one of the premier sports games, thanks to Sony San Diego’s commitment to making significant and subtle changes each year. Based on the information released so far, it’s evident that Sony will continue its meticulous approach to enhancing the realism in MLB The Show 19. With the game set to launch on PlayStation 4 on March 26, let’s delve into everything we know about MLB The Show 19.

Bryce Harper Takes the Cover

Here’s everything you need to know about MLB The Show 19
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This year’s cover athlete is none other than Bryce Harper. As most of you know, Harper recently signed a monumental 13-year contract worth a staggering $330 million with the Philadelphia Phillies. This contract sets a new record for the highest overall value in MLB history. Sony now faces the challenge of preparing the cover art for the game’s launch. It remains to be seen whether the first printings of the game will feature Harper in Phillies gear or if it will follow the situation that occurred with NBA 2K18 cover star Kyrie Irving.

Gameplay Changes that Highlight Defense

In a video interview with IGN, MLB The Show gameplay designer Ramone Russell discussed the team’s approach to improving the defensive aspects of MLB The Show 19. The changes aim to make the defensive side of the game more realistic.

While batters have generally mirrored their real-life counterparts over the years, fielders haven’t always been as accurate. However, that is about to change. The developers have introduced a plethora of new defensive animations to address this issue, but not all defensive players will have access to them. For instance, a top-tier shortstop like Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians will be able to cover more ground and make more challenging plays compared to a less mobile and skilled shortstop. While any player can attempt SportsCenter-worthy diving catches, MLB The Show 19 strives to deliver realistic outcomes based on the fielder’s abilities.

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MLB The Show 19’s most noteworthy new defensive animation will likely alleviate some of the frustration players experience in the field. The new animations automatically move fielders towards the ball to facilitate making plays. This feature will be particularly crucial for infield plays, where it has often been unrealistically difficult to get an out with a speedy runner heading to first.

Moreover, this greater emphasis on realistic fielding means that playing players out of their regular positions will result in more errors. This logical change prevents players from simply assembling a team of powerful outfielders and placing them anywhere for great results. In total, MLB The Show 19 boasts over 1,300 new animations.

Higher Difficulty and Faster Pitches

Here’s everything you need to know about MLB The Show 19
Image used with permission by copyright holder

During Sony’s first Twitch livestream covering MLB The Show 19, it was revealed that as the game’s difficulty increases, the pitch speed will also increase. This means that if you play on a dynamic difficulty level, as you improve at the plate, you’ll have to contend with faster pitches. This new feature targets players who find batting to be easy even on the hardest difficulty levels.

Over 30 New Legends

While only two new legends, early 20th-century first baseman Jimmie Foxx and catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, have been revealed thus far, MLB The Show 19 will feature more new legends than ever before. Players can expect to have the opportunity to play as over 30 new all-time greats.

Changes in Road to the Show

The Road to the Show in MLBTheShow starts with this edition of #MLBMonday. https://t.co/1u7PS4HYQI pic.twitter.com/dPSLiyPX9L
— GameStop (@GameStop) February 18, 2019

Road to the Show, the beloved create-a-player mode, receives a significant overhaul in MLB The Show 19. In this edition, you are no longer limited to a specific number of attribute points when creating your player. If you want your player to have a 99 rating in every stat category, you have the freedom to do so. While purists may lament this change for removing a significant part of character progression, those familiar with Road to the Show understand that becoming even an average ballplayer in the mode is often a long and winding journey. So now, the option to expedite that process is available if you desire.

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Pitchers in the game will be classified into three archetypes:

  • Plain Filthy – Pitchers who possess excellent ball movement.
  • Flamethrower – Pitchers who specialize in throwing high-speed pitches.
  • Control Freak – Pitchers who prioritize accuracy and location.

Position players, on the other hand, will fall into one of these five archetypes:

  • Pure Power – Power hitters who consistently hit home runs.
  • Small Ball – Players who focus on making solid contact with the ball.
  • Mr. Utility – Versatile players capable of excelling in different situations.
  • Rock Steady – All-around solid players.
  • The Anomaly – Players who deviate from the norm for their position, such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Jose Ramirez.

Road to the Show introduces mini-games that you can play between matches to earn attribute points. These training exercises include weightlifting, pitch location memorization exercises, and batting PCI mini-games. While these mini-games are not obligatory, they contribute to a more well-rounded experience akin to what you’d find in Madden and NBA 2K.

Unlike other sports game career modes, MLB The Show 19 won’t feature a cinematic presentation. However, dialogue has been revamped to make your choices matter more. The game now offers more robust dialogue options that have a tangible impact on your player’s progression. Conversations with coaches, teammates, and rivals will shape your player’s personality and influence how others in the clubhouse and around the league perceive you.

Special Editions, Pre-Order Bonuses, and Release Date

MLB The Show 19 arrives on PlayStation 4 on March 26 with three distinct editions. The standard edition, priced at $60, includes pre-order bonuses that differ depending on whether you opt for the digital version or the physical edition from GameStop. Pre-ordering the physical edition from GameStop rewards you with 10 standard card packs for Diamond Dynasty, one Gold player pack, and a gear-up pack containing three items for Diamond Dynasty or Road to the Show. Pre-ordering the digital version from the PlayStation Store grants you a flashback version of Bryce Harper from MLB The Show 18, 10 standard packs, 5,000 stubs (in-game currency), and one Gold player pack.

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The MVP edition is available in both physical and digital versions for $70 each. The pre-order bonuses are the same as the standard edition, based on where you make the purchase. The only difference between the physical and digital MVP editions is that the physical edition comes with a steelbook case. Both versions of the MVP edition offer 6,000 stubs, one Prestige gear-up choice pack, one Diamond Flashback, one classic stadium, 10 standard packs, and 30 custom avatars.

Finally, the GameStop exclusive Gone Yard edition is priced at $100 and includes a baseball cap, steelbook case, and more in-game goodies: 20 standard packs, 30 custom avatars, 15,000 stubs, one Diamond Flashback, a Prestige gear-up choice pack, and a classic stadium.

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