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A new frontrunner for best baseball video game and an unpoppable bubble.

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March 12, 2013 5:00 am

Painting the Black: Reality Show


R.J. Anderson

MLB The Show 13 isn't flawless, but it continues to get impressively real.

MLB The Show 13's tagline boasts that the game is, "So real it's unreal." How real is it? So real Aaron Hill holds his hands at helmet-level; so real Luke Scott resembles a Civil War re-enactor; so real Nike's swoosh receives prominent placement on players' undershirts (for realism's sake, of course); and so real that, at its best, it blurs the line between playing and watching a game. 

Part of The Show's charm is capturing nuance. While replicating every player's stance and delivery is an impossible task, The Show does get many right. Anthony Rizzo holds his bat at his belly and wiggles it around while Fernando Rodney shows a minimal leg lift before delivering the ball. There's an added layer of realism involved as pitchers pronate their arms and batters roll their wrists during swings; necessary actions in real life yet ignorable within the friendly confines of a game. Replay functions have been in sports video games for years now to varying degrees of use. The Show gives you reason to examine the finer details—from pitch grips to crow hops—because the level of care is evident. 

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