MLB 07 The Show Review

When a ball club puts together a championship season, it generally tries to keep the roster pretty much intact. Sure, there may be a little tinkering done to fill in any gaps or shortcomings, but for the most part you donít want to mess with success. Thatís the case with MLB 07: The Show. MLB 07 looks a whole lot like MLB 06, mainly because MLB 06 was a winner. There are a few minor changes here and there that help enhance the experience, but youíve basically got the same team as last year here.

If you missed out on MLB 06, Iíll start out with a recap of the game. For the full box score, check out last yearís MLB 06 review. MLB 07 lets you enjoy the Major League experience from a single game through running a franchise through an entire MLB season. Other modes include Road to the Show and King of the Diamond. Road to the Show is a very enjoyable mode in which you create a player and then guide that player through spring training as you try to make your club, through developmental time in the minors, all the way to a starting spot on a big league club. King of the Diamond is an arcade mode in which you select a pitcher and a batter and then face off against your opponentís pitcher and batter. The innings are timed and a pitch timer forces the pitcher to make a pitch or face serving up a meatball to the batter. The field is laid out almost like a pinball machine, with traps, bonus targets, spinners, and the like, which gives this mode a fast-paced, arcade-like feel.

In MLB 07, pitching requires you to select the pitch type, specify a target location around the plate, and then use a moving meter to determine the strength and accuracy of your throw. Itís a nice and elegant pitch system that works well, but 07 added a few new tricks to the bag. The first addition is a pretty good one Ė your catcher will suggest pitches to you. In the big leagues, one of a catcherís most important duties is to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing batters and call the pitches accordingly. Just like in the big leagues, it is your choice as the pitcher to either take your catcherís advice or call your own pitch. Another new feature is pitch confidence. If a particular pitch has been working well, then your pitcherís confidence in that pitch will increase and it will be even more effective. On the other hand, if an opposing batter just went yard with your favorite pitch, expect the pitcherís confidence in that pitch to dip and batters to jump on it like sharks on blood.

Hitting remains an exercise in timing in which you can control the direction of your swing with the analog nub for greater accuracy. The game still lets you try to guess the pitch type. Get it right and youíll benefit from more pop in your swing. Guess wrong and good luck keeping yourself from whiffing at air. Base running has been improved for the better in 07, using a much more intuitive scheme in which the four face buttons correspond to the bases on a diamond.