MLB 12: The Show (Vita) – What about the gameplay?

Since I was sick much of the past week, I didn’t get any time to dive into MLB 12 (Vita or PS3). I did spend some time last night with the Home Run Derby mode; mostly just to get a feel for batting and of course to pick up the HR Trophies.

I was curious what others thought about the Vita version, so I headed over to Metacritic this morning. At the time of this article, only two reviews offered on Metacritic, which to me is somewhat of a surprise.

What was even more surprising, and honestly I’m not even sure why I am still surprised by this sort of thing, the reviews don’t even bother to tackle the gameplay aspects of a Vita version of MLB 12. Take this example from Cheat Code Central (CCC):

Most tellingly, many of the game’s presentation elements have been removed. While hitting a homerun provides the proper score increases, one does not actually see the players walk the bases. Transitions between pitches are quick, accomplished with fades, as is the case with each fielding play. Once there is, ostensibly, nothing more to be done by the defense, the game fades immediately back to the pitch/at-bat display. I hesitate to call this “lazy,” but it definitely takes away from the overall experience of the game, from the illusion that one is managing a baseball franchise, guiding a player from the double-A league up to the Majors, or running an exhibition match between the Yankees and the Red Sox to see who’s really on top in the Northeast. In the end, though, these elements of the games visuals and presentation, while disappointing, are hardly game-breaking or offensive.

To me, this is actually OK; I want a portable game of baseball to play faster. For that matter, I have been calling for faster playing baseball games, yet ones that still maintain simulation aspects, for years and years. Strangely enough, IGN actually agrees with me on this point; hell just got a little less warm.

Not that anyone really cares, but I do agree with the CCC reviewer about MLB 12 being somewhat intimidating for MLB The Show newbies. For some inexplicable reason, I actually set the game on the hardest mode, and it took me a while to figure out WTF I was doing, adjusted the game according, but I was already down 8-0 in the 1st inning. Ouch!

I really hate the Vita trend of not having a physical manual. MLB 12: The Show is certainly one game that warrants one just to provide some sort of cheat sheet on all the control options and what the various sliders actually do.

At any rate, I read the CCC review twice – not once does the subject of gameplay come up. Not that the IGN review offered a better approach. [sigh] I’m getting far too old for this sort of thing.

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