If I was the marketing person for “MLB 13: The Show,” this is how I would advertise it: “You can text-message your friends while you bat, because this game moves so slow, you will have all the time in the world!”
Don’t confuse this game’s slowlness with badness. “MLB 13: The Show” is stellar.
But it is baseball, so you better have the patience to wait for a good fastball.
I really love this new “MLB 13: The Show,” even more than previous “Show” games.
The batting, pitching and fielding is as sweet as honey.
When you’re batting, you can use one button to swing regularly; another button to swing hard for power; and yet a third button to take odd swings (to hit foul balls to stay alive at the plate, and to hit sacrifice flies.) All those options rock.
When you’re pitching, it is an exquisite experience to place different speeds of fastballs, curves, slurves and other signature throws around plate corners.
Fielding is a completely perfect bit of ease.
And the umpires are just as iffy as in real life, occasionally making terrible “strike” and “ball” calls.
The big difference from previous “Shows” is, I am able to hit the ball like crazy!
I won one game 19-0, including a grand slam, while pitching a one- hitter.
For me, big offense is a whole new thing in the “Show” series, which usually makes me suffer and struggle.
So why am I winning so much?
First, the game has an “easy” mode so casual players can hit home runs, too.
The game’s artificial intelligence keeps track of how good you are doing over the course of many games. If you keep beating the hell out of other teams, “The Show” will start making it harder to win.
But secondly, when you stand at the plate, “The Show” has improved how you see the ball leaving the pitcher’s hand and then zipping toward the camera.
That makes it is easier to keep your eye on the ball (which is everything in baseball), so you can knock the wrapper off of it.
The game does mess with you. That 19-0 game I won was followed by a mere 5-4 victory.
And, yes, patience is key. Sometimes when I have a guy at the plate, I will go get coffee, write emails or go to the washroom. When I get back to the game, that same batter is standing there facing, say, a 2-2 pitch count.
Patience pays off. Most of my hits come off of two-strike counts. Most of my other hits come off of first pitches. I have to mix patience and impatience to confuse the game’s artificial intelligence.
Also, there are many ways to play “The Show” — via a complete season, a fantasy draft, trades, budgets, exhibition games, a playoff mode, an online mode and much more.
This game is more fun than actual baseball.
“MLB 13: The Show” by Sony retails for $60 for PS 3; $40 for PS Vita — Plays amazing. Looks terrific. Challenging. Rated “E.” Four out of four stars.
Doug Elfman is an award-winning entertainment columnist who lives in Las Vegas. He blogs at http://www.lvrj.com/columnists/ Doug_Elfman.html. Write to Doug on Twitter at @VegasAnonymous.