Sports video games are fun, exciting, and now more realistic than ever. But when it comes to the world of baseball, nothing beats MLB The Show. And the 2016 edition is the best yet.
The game is so much more fun thanks to its updated rosters and improved graphics, many new features like Bowman Scout Day, and the variety of new ways to play. In Battle Royale mode where players draft their teams and compete online in double-elimination tournaments, while Conquest mode lets players take their team on the road to compete in tournaments. The Show also brought back the year-to-year saves where players do not need to restart progress on modes such as Road To The Show and Franchise. Another cool feature is that you can use players in their prime like a David Ortiz at the peak of his abilities.
While I was in San Diego for the 2016 MLB All Star Game, I had a chance to play MLB The Show 16 for the first time at FanFest. All types of players were lined up to take a crack at the game, from grown men and women to young boys and girls.
Later, I was invited to the home of MLB The Show 16 at its San Diego studio to learn how the designers get the players to look so lifelike. The Show team gave me a tour where they explained the motion-capture process. Basically, they put real-life players in special suits to capture all their movements and then put them into the game. At the end of the tour, I experienced what it was like to put on a spandex motion-capture suit and learn how a player is created for the game. It was awesome. The technology they have to capture the real body and movement of a player is incredible.
I was suited up in a dressing room full of different size spandex motion-capture suits and athletic shoes to fit all the different shapes and sizes of MLB players. They placed many small sensors on the suit, gloves, and head cap that I wore — just as they would do with a MLB player.
In the motion scanning area of the studio, there is a stage area where the action is captured. Here I had a chance to create my own stance, bat flip, home run swing, and home run celebration and then see an avatar of myself in action.
There is also a face scan area where more than 60 cameras are pointed at all different angles of your face. The face scan is how they capture the MLB player’s expressions for the video game. There is another, similar area for body scans, too. What is incredible is that they also travel and set up staging areas like this at stadiums to take the pictures of players during spring training.
From this experience, I was able to see firsthand how the process works and meet some of the talented team members who work on MLB The Show. I interviewed two of the games designers, Ramon Russell and Kirby St. John:
For me MLB The Show 16 is very authentic, offers a lot of variety and it is really fun. Ramon, Kirby and The Show’s team hit it out of the park with this game.
Photos and video: Max Ferregur