Better still, you can actually play as Junior in the game. That was the first thing I did. I added Griffey to the current lineup from the “Legends” free agent list and went to town. The stance, the swing and the face are perfect.
Another upgrade is the movement of the baseball. This game looks and feels way more fluid than past installments. The ball curves, dips and dives more like a real ball would off of a round bat. This has led to some unfortunate fielding mistakes on my part as I am not used to it (Mitch Haniger had a heck of a time with a slicing bloop hit by Jose Altuve, which turned into a triple). Once I got used to it, I was astounded at how realistic it was. There are more bloop hits and spinning balls just inside the bag down the third base line.
The fielders also got an upgrade. One of the biggest complaints with last year’s game (I was one of them) is the infielders sometimes had zero urgency in throwing the ball to first base. Billy Hamilton would hit a slow grounder to shortstop and the fielder would nonchalantly pick it up, pop the glove a few times and haphazardly throw it to first for a nice infield single. Maddening. This year, the fielders are more aware of who is running and act accordingly.
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For those who are fans of Road to the Show, you will like this year’s game. This year added a bit of what the NBA 2K series has with a created player story in the fact that you can basically choose your own attitude. You can respond to the conversations with your manager, front office, or agent. You can select to be a humble ballplayer just trying to help the team win or an arrogant, silver-spoon fed prospect looking to get paid. It’s a fun break up in the long season of just trying to boost stats.
If you are a fan of Diamond Dynasty, I unfortunately have not gotten there yet. I’m more of a Franchise Mode and RTTS guy. Reviews have been good so far (if the connection is working). I do know a Griffey rookie card is thrown in there somewhere, along with dozens of other legends.
With just a few days to get a review in while it’s “hot off the press” I obviously have not dove into all of what you can discover. I was not originally going to buy this year’s version, since I have pre-ordered the previous two years’ installments, but with all the new announced changes I could not resist.
This game is for all who appreciate the game of baseball, young or old, married or single, ex-ball player or basement nerd. There is so much to explore. Happy gaming!