XXL’s Game Corner: MLB 14: The Show PS4 Review: Upgrade Me
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Vita
Release date: Available Now
MLB 14: The Show doesn't radically reinvent the series for the PS4, but it does one heck of a job enticing you to fall in love all over again even if you already played its PS3 twin. Everything you need to know about MLB 14 has already been covered in my review that you can read here http://www.xxlmag.com/lifestyle/tech/2014/04/xxls-game-corner-mlb-14-show-review-going-yard/ so this PS4 review will concentrate more on the graphic upgrades.
The PS4 version maintains complete feature parity with the PS3 edition. Absolutely nothing is lost. The PS4 version of MLB 14 is much crisper in its details, thanks to much sharper textures. Hair now stands out on players' heads, and close-ups of their faces show more freckles and blemishes. The players look more realistic than ever, and their individualized animations bring them ever closer to the athletes you see at the ballpark. You’ll notice the attention to detail that shows off real-time reflections on batting caps and player accessories, gorgeous new daytime lighting provides realistic exposure and contrast. Another nice graphical touch is how realistic the leather gloves look due to the improved material shaders that make the player’s gloves look close to the real thing. MLB 14 also checks in at 1080p on the PS4 whereas 720p was the recommended playing setting on the PS3 game. Crowd wise the character models and animations are more diverse than we’ve ever seen making everything look more natural. Probably the thing I found myself staring at the most was the awesome ball parks. All 30 MLB stadiums had been completely rebuilt from the ground up specifically for the PS4. NBA 2K14 on next-gen was previously the gold standard for visual excellence in a sports game but MLB 14 is making a nice argument for itself to be right on par with it. Also while this has nothing to do with the gameplay, it should be noted that MLB 14 on the PS4 has an awesome opening intro that is completely different from the PS3 version. Usually I skip the video game intros, but I’ve watched the one on the PS4 a few times because it was so well put together.
All of that beauty hasn’t come with a price however. The PS4 version unfortunately comes with some beast load times that are significantly longer than on the PS3. There are also some stuttering framerate issues noticeable during many non-gameplay shots that knock down the otherwise dope broadcast-like presentation. Online play seemed somewhat improved on the PS4 version of MLB 14 although I noticed some issues have carried over from its PS3 brethren. Some at bats were frequently met with latency issues and dropped frames and there are some instances of fielders skipping and stuttering across the field to catch fly balls. SCEA is usually on top of these things and I would imagine a patch is somewhere planned in the future to iron out the online issues.
The XXL Endgame
There’s no denying that MLB 14 The Show has made an impressive debut to the next-generation of sports gaming as it has hit the ground running with this beautiful port. While you’re getting the exact same game as the PS3 version, if eye candy is your thing then SCEA’s latest upgrade will seduce you into copping once again.—written by DJRhude (@DJRhude)
XXL Rating XL (Excellent)
This review is based on a retail copy of the PS4 version of MLB 14: The Show, provided by Sony.