Sunday, February 28, 2010

MLB 10: The Show Review & Mauer Commercial

As any video game sports fan knows, Sony's MLB: The Show is the best baseball game franchise around (Sorry 2K sports, but it's true.) Unfortunately for most people the game is unattainable, seeing as it's only available on the Sony consoles. Since no one plays PS2 anymore, no one ones a PSP and 90% of people use their PS3s as glorified Blu-Ray players most of the people that read this wouldn't think twice about a game like this being released this Tuesday. But then again, most games like this don't have the greatest baseball player that ever lived.... Joesph Patrick Mauer.
One thing you might notice is that the cover actually says Joe's name and his credentials for being in the game right there at the bottom. I have never noticed that before on any game before. Seems to me that maybe the good people at Sony Computer Entertainment don't think that average Joe baseball fan will know who Mauer is. Also, not to get all paranoid or anything but doesn't it seem strange that you can't really see any good Twins signage. Possibly making it seem like a still up-to-date game once Mauer moves West? Possibly.

Anyway, to the game itself. Now since it doesn't come out until Tuesday you might be wondering how I got a chance to play it. I was at Best Buy the other day and I noticed that the PS3 didn't have the normal DJ Hero set up, and there was a big MLB: The Show (MLBTS) poster next to the TV. I thought at first it would just be the demo, but as I started playing I was delighted to find out it was the full build. Now, I should say that I am not 100% sure that it's the final build. The rosters were mostly up to date, Orlando Hudson was noticeably missing from the line up but that could be fixed with an release date online roster update.

The first thing I noticed about the game was that it was surprisingly similar to MLB: The Show 09. And that's not a bad thing, I am glad they didn't try and fix something that's not broken. The game does play smoother and looks noticeably more realistic. They added some features like the Home Run Derby and the All-Stars Futures Game but everything else seems to be the same. Now normally, at this point I would be saying, "if you don't have 60 bucks to drop on basically update rosters, don't. MLB: The Show 09 will do just fine." But then how would you play at Target Frickin' Field?

Target Field looks pretty awesome in the game, obviously the sponsors aren't all there. The big Budweiser sign in left field is replaced by some made up company (I can't remember what it is) but Minnie and Paul are there in center field. And yes, they do light up and shake hands after a home run. It's pretty cool playing in target field in late afternoon and seeing the lighting change and the signage light up. MLBTS now features day light transitions and long games will show shadows grow and the sun start to go down behind stadium.

The main draw of any MLBTS game is the RPG-like single player mode. You can start your career as a draft pick and work your way up to the majors. While last years version was awesome there was room for improvement. Fielding and pitching drills will be added to the already strong hitting and base running modes. But the biggest improvement is the ability to be the catcher in this mode. (Possibly, the main reason for using Mr. Minnesota on the cover.) In catcher mode you will be able to take advantage of knowing all the hot and cold zones and hitting tendencies of all the opposing players and be able to call the entire game from behind the dish. Hopefully, you have a good enough pitcher to see those plans through.

It's clear that Sony really outdid themselves on this game and I have no problem dropping 60 bucks on all these improvements. But I'd be lying if I said that having Joe Mauer on the cover hasn't affected my decision. Hell, I even bought The Bigs.

The Mauer Commercial

The television spot for the video game features Mauer's finest acting performance to date. He's composed, affable and truly engaging. He's like the Joe Mauer of acting. It's hard to say how the producers were able to bring out this previously unseen version of Joe Mauer. Some have suggested the crew and director locked themselves in the studio with the catcher until they got it right. They were there for six days.

Others believe Joe had an acting coach, who taught him radical new acting techniques. Chief among them was the aptly named, "Mauer Method." It's similar to Stanislavski's Method, where the actor immerses their self within the role so deep that the acting is barely even acting: it's the character being natural. The Mauer Method is trickier. It's believed that the other actor in the commercial was paid to go, in character, down to Mexico with Joe Mauer. They drank tequila and went fishing. The baseball player truly thought he was hanging out with the vice president of Sony.

When they got back to shoot the commercial, Mauer thought it was just a video conference. He was truly shocked when the dude didn't know who he was. It's totally believable when he's like, "dude, we went fishing in Cabo!"

Because they did!


haasertime said...


Game review was written by Dayonster, and the commercial review was written by myself. It's called collaboration.

I'm going to end every blogpost, from now on, with "because they ____"

Daymonster said...

jerk... I was hoping to take credit for your work.

Bryz said...

Hey hey hey, I still have a PS2 and use it!