Pros and Cons of MLB The Show 24: Game Review

A review of the best and worst aspects from the newest edition of the most popular baseball video game, MLB The Show.

If you are like me, MLB the Show consumes your attention on summer nights after your favorite teams game wraps up. From rebuilding bad teams to taking your own player from low minors to the mid-summer classic, the Show always scratches the baseball video game itch.

Of course, we have to find something to complain about, right?

We could not possibly just enjoy a video game without criticism! With the game being new, some if not all of the issues will likely be fixed. I wanted to highlight some of the pros and cons I have experienced after a few hours of playing.

*Playing with default settings*

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Pro: In Play Camera Angles

In previous versions of the game a ground ball would simply go to the, say, third baseman and the camera would not move much as he delivers a throw across the field. While I was fine with this, the new angles are better. A grounder to second now has more of a zoom on second and shifts the angle towards the prospective of the first baseman. It might not be drastic, but it has a better feel to engaging the person playing the game.

Con: Player Ratings

I know you think your favorite player should be a 84 overall, but that’s not reality. I’m not even asking for bumps across the board, but some of these ratings are absurd, especially for prospects. Top 100 (or fringe depending on where you look) Connor Phillips is one of the worst rated players in the Reds rotation options. Same with Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who is just below a 70.

Yes, these ratings will be adjusted some, but of the few rosters I studied closely several productive big league players and promising prospects had to be personally adjusted to even give them a chance of hitting a baseball or throwing a strike.

Pro: Woman in the Game

Men are not the only people who play video games. If I can make myself a switch-hitting, 5-tool shortstop with unlimited range than I should also be able to play with a woman in the lineup. It’s a video game, let people create what makes them feel included.

Con: Overlapping Graphics

I’m not sure why, but I love the graphics that read “first career home run” or “18-game hitting streak” that appear after said events. However, I noticed the “and this one is gone” home run graphic overlapping the “first career home run” graphic. A small blemish that will be fixed but deserves a ding.

Pro: More Fluid Swings & Realistic Stances

You might have noticed that swings looks more fluid. They are not as choppy and have a smooth element to them, which is just pleasing to the eye. I also noticed more of the players batting stances (from what I have seen) are true to their real life stance.

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Cons: Delays on Some Contact

A few times I was late on a swing and the ball shot towards the opposite field. The problem was, a slight delay meant I was not sure if it was fair or foul and if I should send the runner from second. Probably a negative of the first “pro” I highlighted with the change in camera angle.

Pro: More Colors used on Franchise Home Screen

I’ll tip my cap to the cover art work. The past couple of games have looked cool with the colors used for Jazz (’23) and Vlad (’24). An upgrade has been the pink and grey used for your franchise home page, if you will. Before it was your basic light and dark grey without much else.

Overall Thoughts

The game feels a bit more realistic than previous years. I’m not hitting .357 with Calvin Biggio or popping 32 home runs with David Fletcher, and I think that’s good. I could just be rusty, but I have also found it more challenging.

After giving Madden and 2K another shot this year, I can firmly say The Show is the best sports video game with NHL a close second. Fix the bugs and make sure players have the correct skin tone (see Justyn-Henry Malloy) and I’ll be a happy man.