A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that MLB 15: The Show is the latest installment in the award-winning baseball franchise. There's no inappropriate content -- such as violence, sex, or profanity -- but moms and dads should be aware of lots of consumerism pushed toward players through lots of product placement and advertisements. There's also unmoderated multiplayer, which could raise serious privacy and safety concerns.
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What's it about?
MLB 15: THE SHOW is the 10th edition of the best-selling Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise simulation for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita. Along with a handful of improvements over the previous title and upgraded graphics (especially in the PS4 version), this game offers year-to-year saves (those who purchased the previous game can continue their Franchise and Road to the Show progress); officially licensed equipment for the first time (including bats, gloves, and more), which can be purchased with in-game rewards called Stubs; the reintroduction of MLB legends including 30 iconic players; and a tweaked Diamond Dynasty mode.
Is it any good?
Sony Computer Entertainment America took an already great game and made it even better. Near photorealistic graphics and fluid animations are the first thing players will notice when booting up MLB 15: The Show. The huge number of solo and multiplayer modes are back again, but it's the refined visuals that will no doubt please baseball fans. Players look, move, and act more like their real-life counterparts (even when in the dugout). Plus, this new game adds real-time seasonal sun and shadows, realistic-looking crowds, and revamped nighttime lighting. But it's not only good looks: The tension between the pitcher and batter is palpable, and it feels good on the plate when you hit the ball with a thwaaack and run the bases. Enhanced stadium visuals have authentic crowds and shadows.
Enhancements to the now-streamlined Diamond Dynasty mode no doubt will be celebrated by seasoned MLB game fans, though Stubs, the in-game currency, can be hard to earn -- and might frustrate players who play for hours but can't even afford one deck of virtual playing cards. Perhaps some better balancing is required here in a downloadable update? On a related note, the new directional hitting mechanic is a great idea but didn't seem to work that well; trying to aim where the ball will go wasn't very easy. But overall, MLB 15: The Show is still the best baseball game available, and thought it's not vastly different from its predecessor, you'll appreciate the improvements and additions.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sports games. Could playing video games based on a sport get kids interested in playing the real sport? Would playing sports games help you learn the strategy and technical aspects of professional sports?
Talk about the skills involved in organizing and managing 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?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
- Price: $19.99 to $59.99 (depending on version)
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release date: April 3, 2015
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Great Boy Role Models
- ESRB rating: E
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.