MLB The Show 24 Review – Hitting for the cycle

MLB The Show 24 is the latest in San Diego Studio’s annual release of their renowned baseball sim series that continues to elevate the studio’s status as one of the most consistent sports series in the industry. Last year, I was fortunate enough to review MLB The Show 23 and San Diego Studio did a wonderful job at offering something new to players with Storylines: The Negro Leagues. Flash forward to 2024 and we’ve got a fresh coat of baby blue paint as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the American League East Toronto Blue Jays received the honor of dawning the cover, who you should also recognize as the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero. With all that being said and the current MLB season well underway, it seems to be the perfect time to step into the batter’s box and see what sweeping curves and change ups the developers are gonna throw our way.

Immediately what grabbed my attention wasn’t the multitude of ways players can experience and play the game or how the developers continue to one up themselves in the visual department. What hooked me from the moment I arrived at the main menu was the return of Storylines: The Negro Leagues. The triumphant addition to the series that debuted last year is back and better than ever with its Season 2 storyline paired with the “Captain’s Pass.” Season 2 as you can guess, continues with episodic simulations and situations players get to experience as legends like Hank Aaron, Josh Gibson, and Toni Stone. The execution of presentation is what really sells this mode as Storylines is comparable to an interactive museum of history for some of the sport’s most impactful players.

Speaking of impact, it’s hard to put into words exactly the impact that generational talent Derek Jeter has had on the sport. Everyone involved with the sport either grew up and knows of the Yankee phenomenon appropriately named “Captain.” In The Show 24, the Captain gets his well deserved own chapter of the Storylines mode which features iconic moments and a voice over intro featuring the man himself. While it is a surprising addition, it opens the door to so many other players and stories that both new and returning players can play, learn, and appreciate.

Going around the horn, let’s talk about the biggest element to The Show and what everyone looks at each year, which is the gameplay. There are a number of new features that include over 400 new animations, new throwing motions, and polish to the responsiveness and smoothness of controls. The improvements to how the game feels and functions shine as the game plays flawlessly and improves upon the consistency they worked hard on and implemented in last year’s title. Throwing, fielding, and hitting have never felt better and that goes for every mode The Show 24 offers.

One of my critiques to The Show last year was the absence of anything fresh added to one of the Flagship modes. I’m referencing, of course, Road to the Show which for those unaware, is the equivalent to a Career mode in which you climb the ranks of your favorite team’s farm system to develop and prove you deserve a spot on the Opening Day Roster. The team over at San Diego Studio listened to feedback and added a Scouting Combine.The Scouting Combine allows for impactful moments early in the career and adds a new dynamic as it forces you to think about where to focus stat improvements. Additionally, you can now create and play as a female, a long overdue and welcome sight that can’t be overstated. The experience is still incredibly addictive as you can create your own superstar designed exactly how you play alongside customization options for every aspect no matter what kind of player or fan you are.

Diamond Dynasty is The Show’s “live service element” as new additions, players, and packs are added as the year goes on. The mode revolves around playing games and completing challenges to add MLB players of today and yesterday to build the perfect lineup. While it’s the title’s most popular mode, it’s my least played as the pack opening and the player chase isn’t my cup of tea. With that being said, the mode still excels at giving players a reason to lace up their spikes everyday to hop in and get a game or two in. The in-game currency known as “Stubbs” continues to be a very fair system with the ability to earn Stubbs in countless ways via gameplay as well as having the option to sell old cards for Stubbs and in turn purchase new ones. This year we have some small improvements that target towards improving the mode’s quality of life and making the flow of the live experience better. Each season is increased to 12 weeks from the previous eight and in-season cards mean there’s a reason to check out every event and leaves less gaps in content as the year goes on.

I always expect San Diego Studio to deliver on the visual and audio upgrades year to year. With no real competition in the genre, one would think the tendency to become complacent would sneak into the series, but The Show 24 truly delivers some fantastic graphics and a varied soundtrack. Facial expressions, stadium attendees, and player animations are incredibly smooth and fluid. It’s come a long way from the same 10 fan animations that are repeated throughout the stadium.

Overall, 2024 gives us another excellent outing from the team behind the industry standard of a video game sports sim. They followed up with small additions to modes that are already fun and make for an all-around entertaining showcase of just how talented and dedicated San Diego Studio is. The only thing missing is that I would’ve liked to see an entirely new mode of some sort. Last year, Storylines was such a surprise hit that going back-to-back would’ve elevated The Show 24 even more. Even lacking a new mode, there are still plenty ways for anyone and everyone to enjoy America’s Greatest Pastime.

Noah is the resident weeb who spends most of his time gaming and watching anime. His goal is to expand his skills while meeting new people. You have probably seen him feeding the other team kills in Overwatch Comp or speculating Star Wars and One Piece. Follow him on twitter @RigsbyNoah.



MLB The Show 24

Review Guidelines

MLB The Show 24 is the ace of the sports sim industry. Building upon last year’s impeccable Storylines mode and adding small improvements to existing game modes, San Diego Studio have built a complete experience that makes it hard to find anything negative to say.

Noah Rigsby

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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