Game On!: 2K vs. The Show

JD Luca of our baseball division is branching out, and is taking a look at the latest in sports video games. Here’s the first of his several future reviews, comparing MLB2K13 and MLB 13:The Show

Today we take a look at MLB 2K13 and MLB 13: The Show. Obviously there was a lot more effort put into the latter, but there are still good things in 2K that Sony has yet to address. I broke it down by graphics, gameplay, presentation, career, franchise, and the overall final view.

Keep in mind MLB 2K13 was announced late in the cycle and had no added features; it was made solely to make money because there was no other baseball game coming out for the Xbox 360. Let’s get to it.

Graphics: This one was an incredibly easy one with 2K’s graphics not improving since 2K9. Therefore, the Show is definitely leaps and bounds ahead of 2K in the graphics department: the stadiums players and everything around the field looks gorgeous, and the detail is just incredible (except for the fans that have a layer on blurriness in front of them). How a game so beautiful could have such poor looking fans is bothersome. Overall though the Show is by far the better game in this category.

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The fans are kind of terrible. (MLB 13 The Show/Totallly GN)

Presentation: Commentating and play by play is such a vital part of sports game’s success and appeal to fans. 2K continues to have the best commentating in their games, both basketball and baseball games by them are really in depth and conversational. Things are repeated, but not as much as the Show. The Show has a very robotic and standard presentation package which ruins the gameplay for me. Everything is so great TV style until the announcers talk. With the PS4 out this holiday MLB 14 will need an overhaul in that category. 2K wins the presentation round because of the commentary. 

Gameplay: Both games feature a variety of ways to play. For me I use the classic MVP 2005 controls, so I prefer the meter pitching and fielding, and the timing hitting in the Show. The pitching controls are very easy in 2k but I feel the hitting is actually difficult. Overall both games play in different ways, but all are very interesting and enjoyable. The big differential here is the Show is a much more challenging game, solid contact depends on many different things. The game itself though is much more realistic the swings look better, the pitches are more realistic speeds, the game itself just plays like baseball should and for this the show dominates this category.

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(MLB 13 The Show/Gaming Bolt)

My Player/Road to the Show: This one is quick. The MLB: The Show series started the career mode idea; they have had it longer have plenty of features being added every year. 2K’s is not bad by any means but the game itself is so unrealistic teams make too many trades and things I’ll discuss in the franchise mode. The more robust career mode is in MLB 13: The Show.

Franchise: 2K’s franchise mode has two features the Show really needs to implement, an MLB today mode which is like a virtual mlb.com and has all the rumors and games of the day which is awesome. The ability to fire manager’s mid-season is something still missing from the show series, which is unreal. Other than those two features, MLB The Show has a better constructed franchise mode. There are more realistic trades and no superstar for superstar deals unless they have fallen out of favor with their current team. Right away in 2k teams had already swapped mega stars for each other things that just wouldn’t happen. 2K also gets some credit because their commentary is dynamic and talks about things going on. The Show has a great franchise mode just some features being added would make it so much better, winning this category as well.

Final Point: Overall if you have an Xbox don’t waste your money on 2k, even if it’s the only baseball game for you just update the 2k12 rosters because there are freezing problems, glitches in the game, good commentary just doesn’t save it this time.

If you have a PlayStation 3 or Vita buy the Show. It continues to be the best baseball game available with new features and modes, the game just needs to add a bunch more for next year to make it truly superior. Thank goodness 2k is done making baseball games. Hopefully a new viable option comes next year for Microsoft.

MLB 2K13: 3.5/10

MLB 13: The Show: 8.0/10 

-JD Luca

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