The only thing missing from the presentation of "MLB 10: The Show" is a shot of a fielding coach nodding in and out of sleep on the dugout bench. Outside of this minuscule detail, Sony has created the most realistic simulation in video games.

If someone ran a feed of this game to one of the many screens in a sports bar, I wouldn't be surprised if the patrons thought it was a live broadcast. The camerawork, statistical overlays and attention to detail on the field make "The Show" as much fun to watch as it is to play.

Fans lunge for foul balls. Base coaches chat it up with fielders between innings. You'll even see a catcher accentuate the importance of keeping a pitch down with an aggressive hand gesture. These details are purely visual, but they enhance the game play.

I never ran into a play where I thought a player should have reacted differently. The paths players take to field balls don't come across as artificial or gamey. Players accurately read ball bounce and spin and, above all, believably portray their position.

The realism captured in the player movements also affects game play. Fluid pitching animations deliver violent arm snaps and accurate velocity to match. Pitching and batting mechanics remain the same, but the AI for both sides is vastly improved. If a rival pitcher has you 0-2, you become his plaything. If the computer is controlling the batting champ at the plate, he'll make you pay for mistakes.

Unlike rival "Major League Baseball 2K10," fielding never induces headaches. The ball physics are easy to read, and fielders react the way you want them to. From the batter's box to the warning track's dirt, the game play of "MLB 10: The Show" delivers an all-star-caliber performance.

The one area where this series loses a bit of allure is in mode selection. With the debut of My Player in "Major League Baseball 2K10," the Road to the Show mode of "MLB 10" is now antiquated to a certain degree.

Being able to call the game as a catcher is a cool touch, and I love the new pitching exercises, but the weekly goal format could use a shot of the realism that the rest of the game exhibits. Road to the Show remains a blast, but it's mostly the same as last season's game.

Franchise mode allows players to set player injuries manually. (I guess this is cool if you want your Franchise to sync up with the actual MLB season.) CPU logic for trades and sim roster management is also much better this year.

Most of the other changes are minor, but they do open the doors for a high level of customization. You can assign audio for your team's home games, such as inning-specific songs or sound effects for game-changing situations. You can record the game-ending highlight reel or create your own. Online leagues have been fleshed out with most of the managerial options found in Franchise mode, such as 40-man roster management, league trading and lineup/rotation tweaking.

When you find yourself wondering which player messed up the batter's box chalk the most, you know that Sony's years of iteration has paid off. The little details are in place to fool your eye into thinking it's a real broadcast, and they push your skills to play the game the way it's meant to be played.

No baseball game has come closer to delivering a complete package.


  • Publisher: SCEA.
  • System: PS3 (also PS2, PSP).
  • Price: $60 ($30-$40).
  • Rating: Everyone.