MLB 14 The Show PS4 impressions: out of the park

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Sony San Diego's latest baseball effort, MLB 14: The Show, for PlayStation 3. While it's beginning to show its age in some areas and had some loading issues, it still remains a quality simulation of the sport, and its new additions, particularly Quick Counts, makes for a breezy run around the bases. Just in time for the sport's entry into the dog days of summer, we have the PlayStation 4 of MLB 14, and while most of its differences from the prior version are cosmetic at best, it puts on a hell of a show, especially when it comes to representation of the sport. There's a small price to pay in taking it in, which I'll get to later on in the review. But for true fans of the sport or those looking to flex the muscles of the PS4 with a sports title, it's certainly worth it. Most of the features you've come to expect from the series are intact in the PlayStation 4 version. Road To the Show, Franchise, Home Run Derby and online leagues continue to be as strong as the PS3 edition, although it's really depending on the stability of the PlayStation Network. For instance, with the sessions we had, there were a couple of times when we couldn't complete a game because of too many connectivity issues. The rest of the time, though, it worked just fine. Maybe Sony's gotten over this hump already. Hopefully.

Mind some hair issues, the players look fantastic

As for the gameplay, you can stretch your experience however you see fit. Want to crank up the difficulty and see how you perform as an All-Star? Or maybe you prefer taking the easy way out and giving your team an advantage against power players by moving some sliders around. MLB 14: The Show continues to be an accessible title, with a number of options to mess around with to make the experience feel like your own. Obviously, MLB 14: The Show's most defining changes on PS4 lie in the presentation. The audio continues to show commanding quality, between the improved crowd noises and the solid (if repetitive) commentary throughout each match-up. The graphics are also quite wow-worthy, producing the kind of realistic player models and TV angles that you come to expect from a broadcast. Those fields look nice as well, whether you prefer the ivy in the 100-year old Wrigley Field or the Green Monster in Boston's park. There are some slight hair issues here and there, but this isn't bad for a PS4 rookie effort. Not at all. The only true downside is the loading time that comes with producing these graphics. The contests can take up to about a minute to get started, although it runs pretty smoothly after that. This should be expected for next-gen hardware, but here's hoping that with MLB 15, Sony speeds things along. Just a tad. Regardless of loading hitches and slight blemishes here and there, MLB 14: The Show is one of the best sports games you can get on the PS4 right now. All of its excellent features remain intact, and the presentation really shines, especially on a nice summer evening. If you need your baseball fix, definitely play ball. This impressions piece is based on a review copy provided by the publisher. MLB 14: The Show is available now for PlayStation 4, as well as PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. The game is rated E for everyone.