MLB The Show 24 review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PS5, Xbox Series X
Publisher: MLBAM
Developer: Sony San Diego Studio
Medium: Digital/Disc/Cartridge
Players: 1-8
Online: Yes

After playing MLB The Show 24 on PS5 a few weeks ago, I was eager to dive into the game on the Switch. After all, I loved 2023 edition on the Switch despite having some more significant misgivings about the PlayStation version of the game (which you can chalk up to nostalgia for playing MLB The Show on PSP years ago, complete with subpar graphics compared to the main console version), and since I actually enjoyed this year’s PS5 edition, I figured that promised good things for the Switch version too.

What I didn’t count on, unfortunately, was just how big the gap would be between the two versions. Where last year’s version generally ran fine even if it looked a little ugly, MLB The Show 24 on the Switch performs noticeably worse than the PS5 version.

To be fair, “noticeably worse” is actually a major upgrade from where the game was when it launched a few weeks ago. You can now launch into Diamond Dynasty without the game immediately crashing, which is obviously a good thing, so if you’re after MLB The Show’s brand of dreamteam-building and card-collecting, you’ll be able to do that here, too.

The problem is that the game still looks and runs pretty badly. Obviously, the Switch isn’t going to compare to the PS5 when it comes to graphics, but even with lowered expectations, the difference is pretty jarring. Players look kind of freaky, with hair that always stays perfectly in place and facial expressions that mostly remain fixed. The on-field action, too, looks kind of blurry at all times.

The worse part, though, is how bad the pre-recorded video and cutscenes look. When the game cut to studio talking heads talking about my team or my player, it looked like I was watching on an old CRT monitor. Figuring this might just be an issue with playing the game in handheld mode, I switched it over to playing the game docked…and my goodness, did that make it worse. It also doesn’t help that Storylines returns – I mean, in general it’s fun to play as Negro League legends or the highlights of Derek Jeter’s career, but seeing as both feature videos, you have to sit through some pretty grainy footage for to do so.

MLB The Show 24’s bigger problem on the Switch, however, is its performance. Load times are ridiculously slow in places, and it can take forever to jump from the clubhouse to a game in Road to the Show, for example, or to go from setting your line-up to starting a game.

In-game, there are noticeable stutters and glitches that can make it awfully difficult to hit a pitch or catch a ball. While it didn’t happen constantly, it happened enough that I noticed it when I’d start to swing and there’d be a tiny pause that meant my timing was just a little off, which in turn was the difference between getting good wood on the ball and tapping the ball meekly back to the pitcher. On a similar note, the slowdown any time the game switched camera angles was glaringly obvious – as a hitter, I’d launch a hit into the gap or hit a hard line drive foul, but when the camera switched over to show the ball moving suddenly everything – ball, players, coaches, fans – would be moving like they were stuck in molasses.

There were even other weird glitches that caused modes to get confused with each other. Case in point: I played through the first few stops of the Derek Jeter retrospective before switching over to Diamond Dynasty, but for some reason the game kept showing me my progress in the Jeter mode. It thankfully wasn’t changing how far I’d come, but it was still annoying to see a completely unrelated mode being showcased.

Similarly, I have to note that the game really struggles with Storylines apparently requiring an online connection. A few times as I was trying to play Storylines, I’d suddenly get an error saying I was no longer connected to the network and then I’d get booted right back to the title screen. I don’t have a Switch Online membership, so that kind of thing might make sense for Diamond Dynasty (even if it would be a little weird), but to not be able to play the Storylines properly seemed weird.

Having said all that, I wouldn’t necessarily tell Switch owners to totally avoid this year’s version of MLB The Show. Even an occasionally stutter-y MLB The Show 24 is still a fairly solid baseball game, allowing you to dig as deeply into your franchise or Diamond Dynasty as you want. It’s undeniably a step backwards from last year’s version, but if you missed that edition or if you want updated rosters, then now is as good a time as any to check it out – as long as you’re okay with some less-than-stellar performance.

Sony provided us with a MLB The Show 24 Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Score: 6.5