The heart of any sports game revolves around its main features and in the case of MLB 10 The Show
, that feature is the Road to the Show. As the years progress, Sony's feature tends to get better (and has actually spawned a similar mode from its competition), so it is once again welcome to be able to create your star player and build his career from the ground up. Through games played, training, and persistence, it is your goal to build up a star player in whichever position you choose. This year you can also take control as the catcher, calling the action as you see fit by directing the pitcher throughout the game.
Fielding has apparently been addressed this year, and it is a mixed bag. One downfall is that the fielders don't seem to get the best jump on the ball (most notably the infielders), allowing extra bases where I wouldn't necessarily think it should, but on top of that, the game allows way too many fielding errors to occur, dragging the gameplay down a bit. Those things aside, controlling the fielders themselves does have a very natural feel to it. I love the fact that one can quickly turn a double play without much thought going into the controls, and catching fly balls is a breeze thanks to the oversized under-foot graphic that appears.
From a pitching standpoint, the method of delivery is meter-based, and it certainly takes a bit to get used to. When nobody is on base, pitchers tend to have a slower delivery than they do when there are base runners ready to steal. While this is certainly more realistic (MLB 10 The Show is definitely a better simulation than 2K's game), it has the ill side effect of increasing the learning curve of how to pitch. I personally found this game's "simple" aim and click method to give me less control than I would have liked, but others may prefer this method of delivery.
On the other side of the plate, however, the batting was outstanding. MLB 10 The Show gives the option to guess both the pitch and its location, which can help even when you guess wrong. Guess right, and indicators flash so you know that the delivery will be coming as you have anticipated. The beauty, however, is that just because you've guessed the general location within the strike zone doesn't necessarily mean that the ball will cross the plate, so you'll still have to keep a lookout for pitches that make you chase errant throws. The act of hitting is a simple button-click, either with a normal swing or a power swing (except in the Rookie difficulty setting), and it's not necessary to aim your bat, although it will certainly yield better results if you follow the pitch location correctly.
MLB 10 The Show offers up a host of gameplay modes outside of the Road to the Show feature. You'll also be able to play Franchise and Season games, test your batting skills at the new Home Run Derby, or even practice your position playing in mini-game drills. The Online Season will also allow you to now have 40-man rosters. In general, MLB 10 The Show is an excellent baseball simulation that will appeal to the masses. Unfortunately, there are small things that drag the game down a bit that will have to be overlooked. The only real problem (as mentioned above) is in the amount of errors that occur on mundane, routine plays. You'll also have to watch out for errant throws from off-balance players, so sometimes setting your feet before the throw to first is a small detail that need not be overlooked. These types of errors I reluctantly appreciate, however. The ones that kill me are grounders that get by both infielders, and bloopers that sneak past outfielders, resulting in extra bases that should never have happened.