MLB 14: The Show

Game review by
Brett Molina, Common Sense Media
MLB 14: The Show Game Poster Image
Deep, detailed baseball game among best for sports fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to play baseball, from the basic rules about the sport to strategies teams use during specific in-game situations. The game also offers great insight on how a professional baseball organization is managed, such as calling players up from the minor leagues to knowing when to rest players during a season. It's a very accurate depiction of life in baseball. MLB 14: The Show is a deep, rich sports title, and most sports fans will enjoy it.

Positive Messages

This game can teach gamers about the rules and professional conduct of baseball, how to work cooperatively to win games, and how it's fun to be athletic.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although plenty of baseball players are role models for kids in real life, the players don't actively promote or espouse ideas within the game that make them role models. Kids may find it appealing to play with their favorite players, improving their stats and their career within the game, but they won't be able to promote or adjust the narrative of the players apart from raising or lowering the team's chances of making the playoffs.

Ease of Play

First-time players jumping into the game might find a steep learning curve. The game attempts to simplify things with detailed instructions on how to play and modes such as batting practice and fielding practice to get a feel for the controls. But veterans will find it easy to adjust to this year's game, as the controls are largely the same.

Violence
Sex
Language

Players may hear harsh language if engaging in online chat against human players. But the game itself contains no foul language.

Consumerism

Lots of sponsors are featured, with billboards displayed within stadiums from companies working deeply in Major League Baseball. Certain features, such as plays of the game, are sponsored.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MLB 14: The Show is a straightforward simulation based on Major League Baseball. Players can become a baseball star or a general manager, guiding an athlete or a major league team to the World Series. Other modes will give players the option to run franchises, manage a team over several seasons, or play exhibition games. Parents should be aware that online chat is unmoderated, so kids might be exposed to objectionable language.

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What's it about?

MLB 14: THE SHOW is a sports simulation based on Major League Baseball. Players can guide one of the league's franchises over the course of a season or several years, building rosters, playing games in major and minor leagues, and guiding the organization to World Series victory. Players can also opt for the Road to the Show mode, where they can create their own baseball star and move him up the ranks of the minors en route to a spot on a Major League roster.

Is it any good?

Some of the largest changes to this year's installment of The Show comes with the visuals and physics, both of which are striking. Players carefully mirror their real-world counterparts. It's a gorgeous video game. As for the gameplay, it's as enjoyable as ever. Newcomers might find it challenging to jump in for the first time, but, once they take the time to learn controls, it's incredibly gratifying.

There are two excellent features that also get around the old complaint that baseball games can be slow and boring. It's now possible to speed up games thanks to the Quick Count feature, which only brings you to key moments of a game and lets you make a decisive offensive or defensive play to affect the outcome. Gamers also can hone in on their favorite player with the new Player Lock feature and bypass any sections of the game where that athlete isn't up to bat or able to make a play on a hit ball. Between the robust franchise modes and high level of detail, MLB 14: The Show is among the best sports video games available.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the level of detail in MLB 14: The Show. How does the game compare to the real-world sport?

  • Talk about the skills involved to organize and manage baseball. How do they compare to other sports such as football or basketball? Is baseball more complicated with the addition of AA and AAA minor league teams?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love sports

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