Kansas City Royals, Eric Hosmer a Focus of MLB 15: The Show
By Ed Moore
As I pen this, Opening Night of the 2015 season of Major League Baseball has wrapped with the initial battle for the NL Central Title culminating in a 3-0 St. Louis Cardinals victory over the Chicago Cubs. Adam Wainwright was his typical self, earning another nod at the best second place Cy Young nommer in the NL while dismissing North Side lead off hits as pesky annoyances. Jon Lester, the Kansas City Royals slayer of 2014, had no run support in a shaky first trip to the mound.
Watching games like this, whether you support the Cards or the Cubbies, do you ever wonder: Could I do better?
The answer is, in brief kindness, not in a million years. But if you have access to a next generation Sony console and have a few hours a week to spare, then you might just be able to flex your digits in a rapid flourish of focused pitching and timely hitting to hit multiple dingers off Wainwright and bring the Cubs to a 1-0 record.
MLB 15: The Show is the tenth incarnation in one of the highest rated sports game franchises in gaming history, and I have been a confirmed addict for the past four incarnations. As my adoration of America’s pastime grew from a passing joy to a full-fledged (perhaps necessitating intervention) obsession, my love of baseball was magnified into the sharpest focus with discovering The Show. The latest incarnation not only builds upon and surpasses previous entries, it bring our beloved Kansas City Royals to the centerstage.
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Perhaps I’m stretching. The opening credits to the game focuses entirely upon Yasiel Puig. The cover art? Also Puig. The launch menu? Puig again. But when you get to the main menu, in a box meant for “Road to the Show,” the game’s character creation mode, Eric Hosmer fills the image with one of his signature home run swings. In a series where baseball superstars of the likes of Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera, and the reigning Cy Young Award winners encompassed the entirety of the display, our homegrown, bar tab paying, lefty first baseman is in full view.
Getting to the World Series probably has something to do with that. Furthermore, the “VS” screen where two players would go to begin an exhibition match, the initial teams are the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants.
MLB 15: The Show, for the baseball fanatic like myself, has endless game modes that will never leave the player wanting. You can do simple head to head matches online or against the computer; in Franchise Mode, you can build your own team by picking up choice players in a fantasy-like draft. My latest effort has Tommy John rebounding Jose Fernandez leading off the Kansas City Royals rotation, with Ozzie Smith and Pablo Sandoval providing infield defense.
The Show is as rich a game as it is in depth. Utilizing real life statistics and historical data for every single major league player, the Show has compiled as close as one can get to performing as the Master of Puppets of baseball. Although not nearly as exhausting as an annual PETCOA projection, the statistics of the game to lend themselves some positive signs for Royals fans. A fellow baseball fan and avid gamer set up a Franchise Mode and set it on auto, predicting that although the Royals would end up in third place in a tough AL Central, they would share a ride with Detroit to the Wild Card game of 2015.
I implore any baseball fan with access to a Playstation 3 or 4 to seek out MLB 15: The Show. The richly designed environments, breathtakingly realistic character mapping of your players, and bottomless methods of varying gameplay will leave you satisfied throughout the new season.
It’s as close as you can get to being in #35’s cleats without the chin music.