Though it’s widely viewed as one of the better sports video games, MLB The Show has flaws like any other game. One of these MLB The Show issues that could be rectified in order to improve gameplay is the trade logistics, as it can be all too easy for players to acquire a star-studded lineup that allows them to dominate game in and game out.
Altering the trade logistics is a big project that would take a complete overhaul of how Franchise mode works, but it’s a risk worth taking. MLB The Show is facing the same challenges as baseball as a whole. As the demographic that loves baseball ages out of video games, The Show is fighting to pull the eyes of gamers away from other sports franchises and back to baseball. Revamping the trade logistics would be a step in the right direction.
Improper player evaluations are the crux of the flawed trade system. MLB The Show‘s trades put too much emphasis on veterans, and not as much on the prospects that are acquired. Taking a look at any MLB transaction in the last 20 years, great players are almost always acquired with a collection of young minor leaguers, not other guys in the majors. On the flip side, it’s incredibly easy for a user-controlled team to acquire the top prospects in baseball. Gamers can often flip a mid-level veteran to a prospect that a real MLB team would never trade away.
Switching to a more MLB-realistic trade system would require an overhaul of The Show‘s current system. Under its current construction, teams can only trade three players at once in The Showmeaning a lot of the bigger transactions gamers want to make are completely unavailable to them.
A great example of the flawed system lessons in the real-life Juan Soto trade from last week. Juan Soto is one of the best outfielders in MLB The Show, making it one of the most exciting transactions in recent MLB history. In that trade, the Washington Nationals sent Soto to the San Diego Padres in exchange for a collection of six MLB prospects. Under The Show’s current system, that trade would be impossible for two reasons. The first is the number of players traded; the second is that the trade would never get approved in The Show due to it including only undervalued prospects. There should never be a trade that happens in real life that wouldn’t be possible in a video game, as it takes the fun out of the experience.
MLB The Show would also benefit from taking into account team situations. If teams are contending for the World Series title, it’s fairly unlikely that they would trade away anyone considered part of their core. However, the current system does not account for team situations in any way, as all players are considered on equal footing in that standing.
The NBA 2K franchise has already figured out a good way to implement this situation. In the MyTeam and MyGM modes, the game dubs the highest-rated NBA 2K players on title-contending teams as completely untouchable. Additionally, in the MyGM mode, players occasionally receive challenges from the team owner, demanding the acquisition of better players or trading out good players to get a high draft pick. Ignoring the owner means that 2K players can eventually get fired as the relationship with the owner deteriorates.
MLB The Show does a lot right. The Road to the Show is one of the best single-player career modes in sports games, and building the best Diamond Dynasty team is exciting. However, The Show shouldn’t forget that Franchise mode is where it has made its money from the beginning. Revamping the trade logistics is the first step toward getting Franchise to the level of its other game modes.
MLB The Show 22 is available now for PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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