PSP Review – MLB 10: The Show

Spring hasn’t truly sprung until a new season of baseball has started. That also means a new version of the best baseball simulator out there, MLB 10: The Show. The game fared pretty well on the PlayStation 3, but how well does its handheld counterpart perform?

Hey batter batter...

For fans of the series, upon starting up you are greeted to a different-looking interface. But surely you are not expecting a simple palette change. So instinctively you might go hunting for new features. I’ll save you the time – there are none. In fact, a few things are missing this year from MLB 09. The first is online multiplayer – sorry, ad-hoc only this time around.

Double play - two online features OUT!

No online multiplayer is actually a good thing in this case, since last year’s was a lagfest. On the other hand, because the rest of the game seems like such a minor upgrade, it really makes you wonder just where the time went into improving this game. Not only is the online play missing, but the Sportsconnect service that updated the game’s rosters in MLB 09 is also gone. So now you are stuck with the same rosters at the start of this MLB season.

So with online play and roster updating gone, you’d think there would be a new feature or perhaps the always-fun and arcadey King of the Diamond mode from MLB 08 would make a triumphant return? Nope. The only real upgrade this year is the interface – it does make MLB 09 look a little bloated by comparison.

The game is still just addictive as ever, however. Road To The Show is back in full force, and the challenge of progressing your own player through the ranks is a great way to keep yourself entertained. But with no real new features added, the question keeps coming back – buy this game and start from scratch, or continue with MLB 09 or even 08?

Swingin' for the fences.

You see, once again any character of yours created in a previous iteration of the game cannot be imported into this year’s game. So all that time you spent building up your character (again) will be lost. But this year is a little different, as the game is available both in UMD and download formats. While MLB 09 eventually became available for download last October, this was well after the game had been out on UMD and some people (yours truly included) did not see any sense in buying a game they already had.

So for those of you who have the UMD version of MLB 09 or for those new to the series, I would recommend picking this up just for the incredibly shortened loading times when run off the Memory Stick/internal Go memory. Online support has seemingly been canned for MLB 09, so 10 gives you the latest rosters available for the PSP. Anyone else who already paid for MLB 09: The Show on the PSN? Stick with that.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Road To The Show is as addictive as ever.

Online play, updating rosters are GONE.

Nothing really but a fresh coat of UI paint.

7 out of 10