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Greetings, readers. I have had this delightful game since the second week of April. It came out April 1st, but after several attempts at downloading the game from the PlayStation Store, I gave up and bought a copy from Best Buy. After playing around with the game as much as I could, I’m now ready to make my report on its pros and cons; what I like, love, and hate about the game.

Let’s start with what I love about it. Last evening I played a game in the now defunct-in-real-life Herbert H. Humphery Metrodome, which could be found in the classic stadiums section. And I swear the creative people made it look even more realistic than last year. Attention to detail and nuances was going to be their big thing this year, especially on PS3. Other classic stadiums that I love are Shibe Park in Philadelphia and Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York.

I also love the new feature this year that with a push of a button you can control one player in any mode, not just the Road To The Show mode. To my amazement, the only position I can play with any kind of proficiency, besides pitcher, is third baseman. I wouldn’t say it is easy, but basically I get the ball and throw it to first base. A lot of the throwback uniforms are also excellent and will fit into the love category. Such uniforms include the old Washington Senators, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the black and yellow Pittsburgh Pirates away uniform from 1979. Love it!

Now to my likes. This is kind of a grey area folks, because I truly love this game. Let’s see, what do I just like about it? They kept all of the fictitious minor league stadiums. As well, they did not get rid of Season Mode. I will tell you, however, it took several days for me to find Season Mode. To give a little extra space to fit in something else, they now offer only five fictitious umpires; I have been trying to figure out which names they have dropped and so far cannot do it. Another big plus is that the umpire will occasionally blow a call if you toggle on the features that make the calls variable; it adds to the realism of the overall baseball game experience. Also, each home plate umpire has his own unique strike zone. So don’t think you can learn to pitch and always have it hit a strike.

I also like the fact that you can choose what weather you will play in during a franchise or season game. In previous years, it was randomized in those modes.

Now what I don’t like so much about the game. Even though the announcing is still one of the most awesome of any video game I have ever played, a few comments by Eric Karros are just too negative in spots for my taste; especially if a younger child was the one playing the game. Matt Vasgersian is top-notch as always, as is Steve Lyons. Another dislike is that they fade to commercial every half inning, including the 7th inning stretch. I wish they would stay “on-air” for the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” I think it would add to the ambiance of the baseball experience. I do not like the choices of music on this year’s game. I don’t find the music awful, I think that MBL12 and MBL13 chose better songs. This is a minor point for me because I play the game, I don’t listen to the music.

Now for my final ratings. Gameplay: a good solid 9 out of 10.

New features: on the PS3 version which I own, I am going to have to say only 7.5 out of 10.

Broadcasting: an 8, mostly because of Matt Vasgersian. He carries the team.

Ambiance: such as new Jumbotrons and up to date expanded stadiums, a full 10.

FINAL SCORE: a very good 8.6

Well, there you have it. Please do chime in with your comments and your ratings if you wish to.

Until Friday, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

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