Also on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Developer: San Diego Studio
I felt pretty indifferent towards MLB The Show 23 on PS5. While it?s functionally the same game on the Switch, I feel a lot more enthusiastic about it. And to explain why, I need to digress with a personal anecdote.
The single game I?ve played more than any other is easily MLB The Show 10. I put literally hundreds of hours into that game, playing every single at-bat of a Road To The Show career that spanned about a dozen years. I sunk a tonne of time into that game?and I did it all on the PSP during daily commutes over a few years, in all its fuzzy-looking glory.
In other words, there?s something about MLB The Show 23 on the Switch that tickles the nostalgia centre in my brain and makes me a lot more forgiving of its imperfections. Like the PSP version of The Show so many years ago, the Switch version of MLB The Show 23 features graphics that clearly don?t match up to its versions on the other consoles, and I like it all the more for that.
Of course, if you don?t have that same specific memory that I bring to the game ? and why would you? ? then I can understand why you might be a little underwhelmed by how MLB The Show 23 performs on the Switch. The players look a little more pixelated. Even the videos, like the ones of Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick talking about Negro League players in Storyline mode, look less crisp than they do on PS5. On top of that, the sound isn?t as good, with the crowd noises sounding a little less crisp and the crack of the ball coming off the bat sounding more like a ?ping? or a ?thud.?
Still, if you can tolerate subpar visuals, you?re still getting a full-featured baseball game you can bring with you anywhere. While there isn?t anything all that new in the main game modes ? be it RttS, Franchise, March to October, or Diamond Dynasty ? the fact remains you can do everything here you can do on the more technologically advanced consoles too. Admittedly, that was also the case with MLB The Show 22 on the Switch, and you can?t carry over your progress from last year, but if you were previously on the fence about the game or waiting a year to make sure the bugs got ironed out, you can jump in now and get the full MLB The Show experience (minus, obviously, the stunning graphics).
Plus, of course, there?s the Negro Leagues Storylines mode. It?s just as fun to be able to play as these legendary players on the Switch as it is on the other systems, and Kendrick?s stories are still really enjoyable to listen to. Just about my only complaint would be that the console?s limitations are just as on display here as they are elsewhere. That means that the players and stadiums look kind of iffy, the crowds sound more muted, and the sounds of the game sound less true-to-life.
But those are the trade-offs you have to make to get a very solid baseball game like MLB The Show 23 on the Switch. We may still be waiting for the generational leap to make itself felt on PS5 and Xbox Series X, but until that day, it means we get to continue experiencing the game on previous gen consoles ? and, in the case of the Switch, take the game with you anywhere. I don?t imagine that?ll be enough to make me sink hundreds upon hundreds of hours into this game like the way I did a decade ago, but I certainly foresee lots of Switch baseball in my future nonetheless.
Sony provided us with an MLB The Show 23 PS4/5 code for review purposes.