A Virus Can't Stop Baseball After All
Image courtesy of Image Credit: Sony San Diego StudiosYou’ve likely heard of the Sony Playstation exclusive before, and it’s the only baseball simulation on the market. Prior to MLB developing their own “RBI Baseball,” competition was nonexistent (and to be fair, even with RBI, it still is). This is the last year The Show is a Playstation exclusive however, as the game will be released on multiple consoles in the year ahead.
Expecting everything from a traditional sports game in The Show is a good place to start. You’ve got your “Play Now” modes, as well as season and franchise-centric modes. Where baseball fans can really sink their teeth in and get lost in an alternate reality is the Diamond Dynasty experience. Driven from the view of a card-collecting hobby, it’s a full-fledged baseball experience that brings Fantasy Baseball to life.
Going back to early versions of EA Sports’ Madden series, you’ll find the origination of these card-based game modes (with that one being dubbed “Ultimate Team”). Baseball ties this in perfectly as Sony San Diego uses the Topps license to provide actual card art from the physical cards purchased at retailers across the globe. In collecting players, the goal is to assemble a team worthy of competition either against multiple computer modes, or a more difficult run against other human opponents.
Although Diamond Dynasty has not been around as long as Ultimate Team, it may have made more substantial advancements. Content has been king for The Show in recent years, and this season The Show 20 married it with gameplay improvements that greatly enhance the overall experience. Much of what made The Show 19 great within the Diamond Dynasty game mode returns, and the small additions such as the new “Showdown” game mode take it over the top.
A significant addition to the player pool has been made in 2020 as well. Each year new legends are added to the roster in hopes of drawing heightened interest. Now not only are former MLB stars included, but up and coming prospects are put into the action (although they are not paid for the use of their likenesses).
It can’t be overstated how much fun creating your dream lineup of current and former MLB stars only to deploy them in a seemingly endless amount of game modes truly is. Although the time commitment to generating an upper tier squad is immense, the rewards as you progress through certain achievements along the way become addicting and grow in value as well. Having thought I would forego this year’s version and focus entirely on the real thing, a cease in baseball had me scouring Craigslist for a Playstation and grabbing a copy of The Show 20 on Monday.
Countless reviews are on the market in regard to the game as a whole. Diamond Dynasty remains a different beast entirely, but it’s potentially the most rewarding. Fangraphs' own Paul Sporer put together a great tutorial for newcomers, and while lengthy, it’s a great dive into everything the mode has to offer.
As has been the case every year, you can follow the exploits of my Hardball Kekambas on Twitter and utilize #HBK to sort through some of the notable events. I committed last night to making sure we’ll have a Twins box score every day from a simulation on the game that was intended to be played as well. Finally, check out Cooper Carlson’s run through the 2020 season through the eyes of The Show 20 right here at Twins Daily.
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