MLB 09: The Show Review
MLB 09: The Show box art
System: PS3, PS2, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: SCE San Diego 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SONY 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 3, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Perhaps the game's biggest problem right now is the multiplayer features. Of course, they're absolutely complete and compelling, especially the ability to enter into a season mode with friends, but there seems to be a lot of hiccups present during actual gameplay. I was disconnected a few times from games and often experienced some disconcerting lag. That being the case, the online offering does leave something to be desired. However, I expect the team at SCEA San Diego is hard at work making sure these issues get ironed out. From what I gather, substantial improvements have already been made.

MLB 09: The Show screenshot

On the bright side, the game's graphics and sounds are perfect. The visuals are so good in full HD, you'll often forget your playing a video game and not just interacting with a live telecast. Surprisingly, the visuals aren't flawless, however. Though stadiums and crowds are nearly perfect, backgrounds, especially during spring training, are decidedly lacking detail and polish. Nevertheless, the solid framerate, 1080p reproduction, and amazingly accurate player animations more than make up for the background discrepancies. As was the case last year, the sounds and commentary in this game are outstanding. Crowd noise, player-specific chants, umpire calls, stadium music, the varied voices over the PA, and the commentating duo make this game the most aurally satisfying sports title out there.

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As with any sports title, if you own and love last year's version of the game, there probably aren't any substantial reasons to pick up 09. However, the new baserunning controls, incorporated training into the Road to the Show mode, online season, extra level of difficulty, and the updated rosters won't do you wrong. If you're a sports fan, own a Sony console, and you've never picked up a version of MLB: The Show, get in your car and don't come back until you've purchased MLB 09: The Show for either PS3, PS2, of PSP.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

The visual presentation is quite excellent. You'll often think you're interacting with a live game, only to be sucked back into reality by fuzzy backgrounds.
The game controls brilliantly, but they are absolutely not novice-friendly.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sounds and commentary are spot on. Again, you'll feel like you're watching a live game on an HD set. With the commentary turned off, you'll think you're at the ballpark.
Play Value
With a ton of varied game modes, authenticity galore, near-perfect gameplay, and extensive yet somewhat glitchy online play, there's at a year's worth of content for you to swing through!
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Road to the Show 3.0: Fans can play offense and defense from a custom-created player's perspective. Road to the Show includes interactive training, a new steal/ lead-off system, updated presentations, and coach interactions. Interactive training consists of a set of mini-games designed to improve a player's ability and performance in various areas of baseball.
  • Franchise Mode 2.0: MLB 09 The show features the 40-man roster. Franchise Mode improvements also offer Salary Arbitration, Waiver Transactions, and September call-ups.
  • Online Season Leagues: Online Season Leagues are available, allowing players to hold fully functional drafts and utilize Flex Schedules, providing fans the opportunity to play games ahead in the schedule.
  • Training/Practice Drills: Players have the ability to choose from a number of different Training/Practice drills, providing players the chance to polish and improve existing skill sets.
  • Additional Animations: MLB 09 The Show features more than 700 new gameplay animations, more than 400 new presentation animations, and more than 150 personalized pitcher and batter animations.
  • Custom Music, Fan Yells and Chants: Using the My MLB Music feature, players can store their favorite music for play on MLB 09 The Show. Edit tracks to assign batter walk-up music or record your own voice and assign it to play for the player and situation of your choice.
  • Replays to Hard Drive via Replay Vault: Store highlight reel replays to your PS3 hard drive as a movie file, and enjoy the ability to playback clips at your leisure. Additionally, players can access an end of game replay to see the most exciting and important plays of the game.
  • Mascots: This year every team mascot is available, performing signature moves during each game to pump up the crowd and rally the team.
  • Roster Vault: Players can create the ideal roster offline by adjusting player attributes, appearance, accessories, etc. and save them. Once online, players can upload them to allow others users to download, use, and rate the roster.
  • Updated Fielding Control: Fielders now have more dynamic reactions and take different routes to run down hit balls. New hotshot plays are included, and depending on a player's attribute level, they can misplay balls and drop a ball too hot to handle. Additionally, players can experience more realistic barehanded flips and the ability to dive with the ball in the fielder's bare hand for the putout.
  • Legend Mode: A fifth level of difficulty is now available for players seeking the ultimate challenge.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 1080p (Full HD).

  • Screenshots / Images
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