Missing baseball? New “MLB: The Show” game is here to fix that

Gavin Ewen, Sectional Editor

While the start of the MLB season is hanging in the balance due to the coronavirus pandemic, baseball lovers have something that can help fill the void until the season eventually — or hopefully — gets underway. 

“MLB: The Show ‘20” is the best sports game for this baseball-less time. The graphics and game modes were vastly improved in this year’s version, and there’s no better way to get your baseball fix during this time of uncertainty.

First, let’s talk about some improvements in the game. Diamond Dynasty Mode, personally my favorite mode, made some of the biggest changes since last year. Diamond Dynasty is, essentially, where you build up a team with current and former superstars. This mode is done almost entirely online, and it’s had

A huge step up in the game play itself within the mode is that now users are able to select their pitcher instead of being assigned a random one. This is an advantage for many players due to the fact that you can now pitch with the pitcher you want and perform with the best.

Another change in Diamond Dynasty is the creation of a new mode called Showdown. This mode allows for challenges, and the rewards can be massive, ranging from stubs to even getting packs and unlocking players. 

One of the other more prominent changes within Diamond Dynasty is the addition of new legends, or unlockable former players. For example, in this year’s game, an 88-overall Greg Maddux was added into the game along with an 87-overall Tom Glavine. There are many other newer additions, but these are the two I’ve actually played with the most recently.

In Franchise Mode, there was only one huge improvement in comparison to last year’s iteration, thanks to the mode being near-perfect already. Other than the rosters being updated, the only change is that you have the opportunity to relocate your franchise to another city, which can be fun for experimenting with in the future. 

As for the game overall, new animations were added, such as bat flips after home runs and celebrations. My favorite addition to the celebrations was the inclusion of the Gatorade shower when you get a walk off hit. It adds that authentic look to the game. 

In other parts like Playoff Mode and Play Now Mode, there weren’t any significant changes from last year’s game. The new rosters from all the offseason acquisitions is the only big switch.  

As for improvements for next year’s version of “The Show,” I suggest more gamer freedom in Franchise Mode. General Managers should have abilities or custom schedules to make it more intriguing. Oh, and in online mode the connection can be sometimes very stagnant, which can disrupt the flow of games. 

From all the new graphics to updated gameplay modes, San Diego Studios definitely hit it on the head for 2020’s version of “The Show.” This game consistently gets better, and I recommend it to any baseball fan suffering Opening Day withdrawals as the season remains suspended.