MLB The Show 22 | Review | Switch - TheFamicast.com: Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!

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Monday, April 4, 2022

MLB The Show 22 | Review | Switch

It’s been a long road for The Show to reach the Switch. The former PlayStation only franchise landed on Xbox for the first time last year, and for 2022, it has finally hit the Switch after a few years of being teased. To cut right to the chase, you’re probably wondering if this Switch port of The Show 22 is something you should have on your radar or steer clear of. Lucky for you, that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about. Let’s take a look. 

Note/Gameplay
For the record, this is my first time playing The Show ever. Over the years and especially when we started doing the website, I focused most of my attention on games that were either on the Switch exclusively, Japan only or both. So here we are. When it comes to gameplay, I went ahead and set things up to my liking. For fielding, I turned off the throwing accuracy meter as I really didn’t enjoy that aspect of the gameplay. For batting, I just kept things as is with PCI (Plate Coverage Indicator) turned off to keep things simple. I also turned on the dynamic difficulty option for games and have found things to be relatively fair as I get more experience playing. Of course, with the slew of gameplay and difficulty options available, there’s really no wrong way to play this game, in my opinion. Play in a way that allows for optimal enjoyment. 

Modes
There are quite a few different modes to go through in The Show 22. Road to the Show, Diamond Dynasty, March to October, Franchise, Quick Play, Home Run Derby, Post Season, Online a Retro Mode and more are all available. The Quick Play options offer just what they say - some quick pick-up-and-play baseball. Things like the Challenge of the Week are pretty interesting, putting you in a variety of situations to compete with gamers around the globe via online leaderboards. The one I took part in puts you in control of Shohei Ohtani as a batter against Babe Ruth as the pitcher. The goal here is to string together hits, balls and home runs to get as high of a score as possible. Between this mode and Moments, there are some entertaining options that you can dive into if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. 
I spent the most time so far with Road to the Show. If you’re unfamiliar, here you take control of a player trying to work his way from the minors all the way into the big league. Depending on your position, these games can move by very quickly as you’ll only play at times in the games when you are directly involved with the play at hand. For me, I’m a center fielder, so I’m only on the field for balls hit in my direction and/or for at-bats. I’m a sucker for these kind of modes, but I will honestly say that I was a little bit disappointed. While you do have interactions with some coaches here and there, it is by no means anywhere near the level of detail that you will find in something like the MyCareer Mode in NBA 2K. It didn’t make me quit playing or anything like that, but I just thought there might be more on offer here. Regardless, I’m still having fun building up my scrubby player. 
I did play through some of the included Retro Mode that is included with the package. In this mode, things are extremely simple and akin to what you would have found in RBI Baseball (NES) or Ken Griffey Jr.’s Major League Baseball (SNES). It’s a fun mode, but kind of a bit throw away with a lack of options. With the RBI series officially and unceremoniously dead, it would be cool have a bit more depth to this side mode. Adding some kind of season mode could give the this more longevity to players.

Online
I’m not really into playing games online in a competitive setting, but I did manage to get connected to a game of The Show 22 online. With cross platform play turned on, I was playing against an opponent who was playing the game on PlayStation (they had a blue controller icon next to their username). I went in expecting the worst, but honestly, the online play here was relatively smooth. While there was a little bit of lag from time to time, the game mostly ran without a hitch. Of course internet connections will vary widely, so your mileage may vary. In my experience, things were more or less fine. 

Visuals, Performance & Presentation
If you’re looking for visual fidelity with The Show, you are going to be disappointed with the Switch version of the game. Things here do look pretty good, with a lot of detail on the player models, uniforms and stadiums. At the same time, elements of the stadiums can sometimes be a bit low quality, with some signs sporting low resolution images. Things do look pretty decent from a distance. The uniforms themselves are also really highly detailed, but the players themselves lack the kind of detail that you’ll find on other platforms. Faces look believable and have pretty good animations. The hair can look kind of weird depending on the color or race of the player (for example, blonde hair looks…like video game hair). Regardless, for me, it’s not a huge deal, but just keep that in mind if that’s something you are concerned about. 
When it comes to frame rate, things are kind of all over the place. The good news is that this very rarely, if ever, impacts gameplay. This is most prevalent when the game presents players in situations such as highlighting a player before they’re at bat, or taking a look at groups of players celebrating. The most disappointing thing here with the framerate is the inconsistency. While playing the game, things are typically 30 frames per second or higher, however for the everything else, things dip well below that. I understand wanting to try to squeeze as much as you can out of the Switch platform, but I think things would be better served with a locked framerate at 30. As for handheld mode, The Show 22 runs relatively well. Everything that you will run into while playing the game in docked mode are also present here, for better or worse.

Presentation is akin to what you would find in real life MLB broadcasts, complete with proper intro animations, stats and more. While these look very convincing for the most part, these sections of the game often run a bit choppy like I mentioned above. In terms of audio, the commentary is provided by Job “Boog” Sciambi (Shawmby) and Chris Singleton. The duo do a pretty good job of calling the game. Licensed music is also included here, but I had it turned off during my time with the game. 
Closing
MLB The Show 22 actually holds up relatively well in this Switch port. I think this goes without saying, but if you’re looking for visual fidelity, you are better off picking up the game on Xbox or PlayStation. Even with that said, The Show performs well enough, albeit with a few hiccups here and there, and the core gameplay remains largely unaffected. Additionally, the dynamic difficulty does a great job at keeping up with your level of play so things aren’t too easy or too difficult. In terms of content, there are tons of modes to play with enough to keep you occupied for hours and hours on end. If you’ve been waiting for a way to play some true MLB simulation baseball on the Switch, look no further. If you’re looking to supplement your Xbox or PlayStation purchase of the game, this is an acceptable option to have to play on the go.


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