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Video Game Review: PSP Version of ‘MLB 10: The Show’ Wins Series

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CHICAGO – The PS3 version of “MLB 10: The Show” is a beautifully rendered sports simulation that has received nearly universal acclaim (including in our review) and Sony was nice enough to send over a PSP version for us to contrast and compare for our readers considering taking their team on the road. Unsurprisingly, Sony delivers for their handheld version as well, connecting with a solid hit that has only a few notable flaws.

HollywoodChicago.com Video Game Rating: 3.5/5.0
Video Game Rating: 3.5/5.0

The most striking thing about the PSP version of “MLB 10: The Show” will be your first response to it - the game looks great. Honestly, titles like this one make me angry because they remind me of the untapped potential of the PSP in that it has yet to be matched in terms of graphics and fluid gameplay. Of course, the stadiums and players aren’t as detailed as the PS3 version but they are still incredible for an on-the-go sports game. For the PS3 version, I said that “MLB 10: The Show” is the best-looking sports game in history and they’ve maintained that visual expertise for the PSP version as well.

MLB 10: The Show
MLB 10: The Show
Photo credit: Sony Computer Entertainment

It may look great, but how does it play? The smooth animation of the PS3 version and incredibly in-depth pitcher/batter mechanics are a little less refined but that’s to be expected. There are, however, a few elements of the gameplay that are unacceptable including a lack of urgency on throws to the cut off man (a problem in the PS3 version but it feels even more pronounced in this one) when you’re trying to make a play at home and some odd baserunning A.I. that allows for too many players to be picked off or just make dumb decisions.

MLB 10: The Show
MLB 10: The Show
Photo credit: Sony Computer Entertainment

Batting, fielding, and pitching will all be very familiar to fans of the franchise. Fielding is traditional using a classic face button system with the four buttons representing each base. Batting features a “Guess Pitch” system and is still the most difficult part of the game. To be blunt, “MLB 10: The Show” is tough. Don’t expect to be able to pick it up and kick some Yankee ass without some serious practice or changing the difficulty setting.

In fact, “MLB 10: The Show” can be a little TOO tough. Potential buyers should be warned that it is more of a ‘simulation’ game than an ‘arcade’ one. You’ll have to take pitches as a batter and you’ll have to work the corners as a pitcher if you want to be successful. Baseball is a game of inches, which can be frustrating when you’re just trying to entertain yourself with a handheld video game console, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

As for modes, the PSP version of “MLB 10: The Show” includes the expected “Exhibition,” “Manager” and “Season” modes along with the somewhat unexpected handheld versions of “Home Run Derby” and “Road to the Show”.

Sports games often release handheld versions that feel like mere shadows of their console version but such is not the case with “MLB 10: The Show”. It’s not quite as refined an experience and I think the game can be frustratingly difficult but this is a title for hardcore baseball nuts who won’t be satisfied by leaving their favorite team at home not for casual players. If you take baseball seriously enough, it’s time to go on the road with “MLB 10: The Show”.

MLB 10: The Show’ was released and developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is rated E (Everyone). The version reviewed here was for the PSP, but the title is also available on the PS3 (review here) and PS2. It was released on March 2nd, 2010.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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