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Analysis | MLB The Show 24 focuses on good “Storylines” and refines gameplay
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If last year's version of MLB The Show had the Storylines mode as a big highlight, this year's is more about expanding what worked. In 2024, the game invests even more resources in the mode and tells fascinating stories about athletes from the Negro Leagues, which will certainly hook anyone who is a sports fan, even if they don't understand as much about the stick and ball sport that generally attracts more fans. North Americans.

Storylines is the highlight

If our dear Fifinha ended up abandoning his “Jornada” mode, which had a greater focus on the narrative, San Diego Studio understood that there is a demand for this in sports games and intensified its focus on the Storylines mode, which is the biggest highlight of this year's version.

The narrative has dedicated more time to the Negro Leagues, almost like a second season of a series, telling the story of athletes of the caliber of Hank Aaron, for many the Pelé of this sport, Toni Stone, the first woman to be part of the Major League Baseball, and other stars of the time. The production is breathtaking, with a lot of narrated and visual historical content, with photos from the period and a lot of interesting context. What's new this year is that the content is also expanded to another period, with a line for Derek Jeter, New York Yankees idol and three other players, with smaller stories, who were also part of one of the best teams of this era.

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As far as gameplay is concerned, the player is placed in the role of playing emblematic matches for these athletes, having to get out of complex situations or win era-defining games. The coolest thing is that, when completing these journeys, you can win cards from the players you just met to use in Diamond Dynasty mode.

Other modes complete the package

The other more classic modes are also present, with more or less new features depending on the case.

With the addition of women, the Road to the Show mode has small changes in the introduction, giving differentiation to the journey that invites the player to create their character. If on the one hand there is a different and cool beginning showing the impact of the inclusion of women in sport for those who raise a girl, on the other hand the narration of the campaign's key moments were replaced by text, which takes away a lot of the shine that was here. Furthermore, this is the mode that seems most “abandoned” at the moment and with stagnant ideas there are several versions. On the positive side, the Draft to Combine returns this year and makes the draft part of the season much more fun, even if no different from what we've seen before.

The crown jewel, Diamond Dynasty, remains one of the best fantasy modes out there. The changes this year are more in the rules that govern the card system, but they are all very positive and make the ability to assemble the team and evolve players even more interesting. This is because players now have a longer evolution curve, which ends up with teams full of cards with maximized attributes in the first few weeks and impacts the market in order to guarantee better players at more affordable prices and then begin their evolution at from there. Seasonal cards can also be used for a longer period of time.

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There are still several other modes, including Franchise, which also does not have very relevant additions. Overall, the package is very diverse and some modes end up being more attractive than others, depending on the player style.

Refined gameplay

My first contact with the franchise was only in 2022, but since then you can see a considerable refinement of the game mechanics. Both batting and pitching, controlling players on the bases and even the QTE moments, which had everything to go wrong in a sports game, are not only very responsive, but also fair with the result they generate.

Unlike playing digital football or basketball, for example, baseball is much more rhythmic and each action on the field is like a separate mini game. Being able to define control settings, ranging from something very simple to super complex things full of variables, makes the game always fun according to the player's level and evolution. The tutorials are also very intuitive and play a great role in introducing newcomers not only to the game but also to the sport. No wonder, the franchise has been collecting new record numbers of players year after year.

Conclusion

MLB The Show 24 plays it safe while still expanding its main game modes, especially Storylines with its interesting narrative for sports lovers. There are some modes that have stopped in time and the occasional online problem, but the package more than makes up for it for those who are fans of the sport.

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Pros

  • Expanded and high-quality storylines
  • Gameplay more refined than ever
  • Diamond mode is fairer

Cons

  • Road to the Show mode remains frozen in time
  • Some connection issues in online mode

Grade: 8.0/10.0

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A copy of the game for PlayStation 5 was provided by Sony for the preparation of this analysis

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Analysis | MLB The Show 24 focuses on good “Storylines” and refines gameplay

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Analysis | MLB The Show 24 focuses on good “Storylines” and refines gameplay

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