When a new gaming platform is released, the sports games that are launched alongside it are typically stripped of a lot of the expected core features. Surprisingly, that isn't the case with MLB 12: The Show for the PlayStation Vita. Rather than simply release a quick baseball game in time for the upcoming season, SCEA's San Diego Studio has delivered a game that is nearly identical to its console big brother. While there is still room for improvement, the Vita's first baseball game shows potential.
6366007Your career as a pitcher could go a lot like this
In terms of features, the Vita version of The Show is almost on par with what is available on the . Apart from the exclusion of the dynamic presentation and the new Diamond Dynasty mode, everything that is available on your PS3 is featured in your hands. This even includes the new pulse pitching and zone analog batting systems introduced earlier this year.
Pulse pitching is a new throwing system that replaces the pitching meter seen in previous games. In its place, there is a pulsating circle that needs to be stopped when at its smallest to get the most effective throws. Depending on a number of factors, the size and speed of the circle fluctuate. While it can be difficult to master and consistently stop the circle at its smallest, it's easy enough to grasp so that most players should be able to throw effectively in a short amount of time.
Although the pulse pitching system transfers well to the Vita, it is exploitable because of the system's touch screen. On the PS3, you need to hold the left analog stick in position for each throw, but on the Vita, you can easily move the pulsating circle with your finger and leave it where you want it for your pitch. Of course, the ability to mimic the same balancing act with the left analog stick is possible, but once you discover the ease of using your finger instead, there is no point in relying on anything else.
The other feature, zone batting, gives the batter more control in the strike zone. Rather than swing in the center of the strike zone, the zone batting system allows the batter to target specific spots when a pitch is thrown. If you notice that a pitcher tends to throw inside and you want to punish him, you can make it so that the batter swings with the most focus in that particular spot.
Don't get behind in the count.
Though it's a fine system, only the truly dedicated are likely to make use of this feature. The learning curve for newcomers to the series makes trying to juggle readjusting your swing while grasping the timing a challenging process. Although this new approach to batting might click immediately for some, for the most part, the precision and timing needs to utilize this feature makes it a daunting prospect in the early going.