As I sidled up to the sofa for yet another hour of Sony's MLB 14: The Show for the PlayStation 4 yesterday, it dawned on me how, despite the obvious sports trappings, it really is the ultimate action Role-playing Game (RPG), setting a standard that the more typical fantasy-themed games in the genre would do well to emulate. Now, don't get me wrong, for the most part, MLB 14 is a standard sports videogame, one obviously themed to the well worn game of professional baseball. However, it does have among its cavalcade of modes, Road to the Show, which is as much of an RPG as any RPG that ever RPG'd (or something like that).
Road to the Show lets you create a baseball player from scratch. You have a pool of stats to distribute over a wide range of abilities (hitting, throwing, running, fielding, etc.), determine physical characteristics, design the player's features, determine preferred position, decide on the player's age, etc. In short, you can mould exactly the type of character you want to play, albeit only a male one (you can thank Major League Baseball for that particular restriction), right down to the name, which can even be spoken by the announcer who calls the games if you choose something common enough (my first name was there, "Bill," but not my last, so I chose a nickname of "Train," as in, "freight train - look out!," for my last name (don't judge me!)). (Read more)
The last of the three newest articles (of six total to date) has been released that adds new companion information to our latest book, My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE. Check out: Watching HBO GO on Xbox 360 (and from earlier: Discovering XFINITY TV for Xbox 360 and Using MLB.TV on Xbox 360). HBO GO brings unlimited access to the network’s original series, hit movies, sporting events, documentaries, and comedy specials. The article discusses how to use your controller or Kinect to play, pause, and rewind through all your favorite HBO shows, as well as gain access to special interactive features.
Two new articles (of five total to date) have been released that add new companion information to our latest book, My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox LIVE. Check out: Discovering XFINITY TV for Xbox 360 and Using MLB.TV on Xbox 360. The former covers using your console to replace a cable box and how to easily control movies and TV shows with your controller or Kinect, while the latter covers the ins and outs of the MLB.TV app. A third new article (sixth total in the series), authored by Christina, will be released shortly. Give them a read, and, as always, let us know what you think!
I was one of a handful of videogame journalists invited to a 2K Sports' Major League Baseball 2K8 conference call that ended a few minutes ago with producer Ben Brinkman and others. Despite some static (the person who didn't mute did eventually jump off the call, but then the static came back) and technical issues with the conference call (not on my end), I was able to record the full presentation on my Windows Mobile cell phone. UPDATE: Or at least I thought - the phone recorded the whole thing but only as silence, so that's not a good future option obviously. I'll have to use an alternative recording method in the future. I would have uploaded the entire conference call exclusively for the benefit of Armchair Arcade members if it had worked. Even if you're not a fan of baseball or videogame baseball, it would have still been interesting to hear some of the behind-the-scenes stuff (if the recording is made available to me, I'll upload it and make it available).
LAST UPDATE: 20pGaming.com has made the audio available, here: http://2opgaming.com/2008/02/22/mlb2k8-conference-call-full-audio/
As a long time videogame baseball fan, I'm on record in regards to modern interpretations as being a fan of Sony's "MLB The Show" series (PS2, PSP, PS3) since the demise of 3DO's "High Heat Baseball" series after the 2004 edition (my favorite being the Xbox version). I actually liked EA's first version of "MVP Baseball" (Xbox, PS2, etc.), but it never really evolved properly to my liking from there. 2K Sport's "Major League Baseball 2K" series has had some interesting elements, but they never quite came together in my opinion to form a cohesive and fun videogame baseball experience (and its audio-visual presentation was comparatively lacking). Based on the data already released and this conference call, it looks like 2K Sports' "Major League Baseball 2K8" is on a very, very promising track to being a top game, finally, if not THE top game. I should be receiving a review copy of the game very soon (Xbox 360 version was my first choice for the achievements, though it's available for several other platforms including Wii and PS3) and I'll see first hand how it ultimately plays, which is really 95% of what matters.
We were invited to submit three to five questions ahead of time. It seems a lot of questions were focused on technical aspects, though mine, as I always attempt, were more focused on other areas that don't typically get asked...