Category Archives: Video Games

Does this polygonal Yasiel Puig actually look like Yasiel Puig?

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Courtesy of their official Facebook page, MLB The Show has posted some brand new screen shots from the Playstation 4 console that comes out in May.

And we have to admit – we’re nerds. We have waited all offseason to see what Yasiel Puig’s first face scan looked like in this game. Small details like this are everything to us. We thought it would feel as if we were looking into the eyes of the real Yasiel. Instead, we feel like it looks like Kenley Jansen. Are we wrong? Tell us we’re wrong.

And don’t get too excited by the new screenshots if you decide to check them out. Once we get our copy of the game we promise to post a nightly screenshot from when we’re playing. We’re going to make showing off the polygonal league a regular feature on this site. Tell me us it’s not cool to look at. You won’t do that, because if you did you would be tellin’ a lie!

UPDATE: According to his Instagram account, Puig is apparently taking on all comers this season in the game. We love this guy. Such a clown (in a good way)!

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MLB The Show ’14 releases May 6th for the PS4

Nats

It’s not as early as we would have liked, but it’s not as late as it could have been. While a release right about now similar to past years of MLB The Show would have killed many dull hours during spring training, we received good news that this year’s version of the game will arrive on Tuesday May 6th.

The news was confirmed via the MLB the Show twitter feed earlier today.

MLB The Show Disappoints Playstation 4 Owners with May Release Date

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The news broke today about MLB the Show ’14, and to be clear it was not all that positive. The PS3 version will come out on April 1st. And for all of you that shelled out $400 for the PS4 like we did? You were given the worst news of all. There was no clear date, and the rumors of April 1st were likely at least six weeks off. The game will be announced sometime in May for that console.

This is a real bummer. Instead of SCEA Studios capitalizing on fans who are excited about the start of baseball season, they’ll be getting the game out to people when the season is six to eight weeks in. And by then the real season will be in full force, so many people will be so tied up with you know; following real actual baseball each night that they’re not going to have as much time to spend on the game. I have to give the creators of this game a huge thumbs down in this department. It’s always been great to get the game in March and have it during the dull spring training period. With any video game created now, there are numerous bugs that probably won’t be addressed until baseball is past it’s All-Star Break. There’s really nothing positive about this late release aspect.


Other things being reported
that we don’t really care about (much of this isn’t breaking news):

  • Facial hair and whatnot will be more detailed.
  • You can play a game faster now with “Quick-pitch”. Bleh.
  • There are 1,000 unique fan models instead of the usual 42.
  • All scoreboards are actual 3D objects.
  • Commentary will have some new wrinkles – we’re sure it will still be somewhat recycled.
  • There are ballgirls and ballboys. Who cares.
  • Leather actually looks like real leather now. Again, oh boy.
  • Here’s the big one I guess, if there is a big one: if a player gets hot, fans will hold up signs for him. This is somewhat dynamic at least in how it is sounding.
  • Fans will actually react to and catch foul balls. Pretty cool.

As a whole, I would be happy with a few less fan models and the leather still looking like old leather to have the damn game out when I want to play a baseball game. Madden sucks as per usual, and I don’t know how much more NBA2k14 I can realistically play. My PS4 is basically a $400 paper weight (sorry, I am not a big Blue Ray guy).

SCEA Studios, Ramone Russell, and the MLB The Show team, you did your loyal fans a huge disservice by deciding to release the game months in and have all info on an embargo. We still don’t know a lot about this new game outside of the big new leather and facial hair features, which makes me think the first version of this game on the new console will be largely a port with some new lighting. It’s still a really good game, it’s still always a buy for me on a count of I am a baseball addict. I will give you my money.

But a lot of people out there bought the Playstation 4 specifically for this game in mind. Making them wait until almost June to get it is a load of crap. Especially when all we heard all along was that you were working on this build in the early part of last year. You should have been working harder apparently. And bring back the damn hot zone guessing – quit removing features that people like just because you want to.

UPDATE: Here’s the game’s head developer Ramone Russell showing people what a jerk game developers can be.

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Russell_SCEA “likes” the post meaning he agrees with the take. Really? So you don’t owe people anything? People who spend money hand over fist to buy your game and put food on your table. This reminds me of Josh Looman, the head developer of the nightmare that is Madden. And that guy is a major dick.

MLB The Show ’14 Info Will Be Out Soon

Nats

One day soon, we’ll have more news on the grandaddy of all baseball video games, MLB the Show ’14.

There’s no release date yet, and details have been sparse in working their way out on the Official Facebook Page.

This series has set the standard for sports video games and is the only reason I bought a Playstation 4. We have to think they again deliver with the best rendition of their series to date. Plus, last year there was no custom face scan for Yasiel Puig and this year we get real Puig scanned into the game and that’s enough to take our money.

You best prepare yourself for us to screenshot the shit out of you on this site now that PS4 has the ‘share’ option.

We’ll leave you with one of the best baseball games of yesteryear: Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball for the N64. My buddies and I battled on this game in high school and then in college we often played a World Series (often spanning seven games) while pre-gaming and drinking beers before going out. It’s a legend.

MLB The Show ’14 First Look

Wow! Now Jayson Werth’s facial hair is going to look even better! I’m kidding. This game was already insanely detailed and it can only continue to look like a great sports game next to the turds that the Madden team churns out yearly. The difference is this year it’s moving over to the Playstation 4 – where you can now play games in a matter of a few minutes thanks to ‘simulated pitch counts’ and you can push a button to upload your insane highlight plays into the video game wizard cloud forever (if there is a way, more than a few of those plays are going to end up on this site).

Also, there was no cover vote this season involving cheesy twitter hash-tags and bribes from candidates that you didn’t win. The cover player was deserving and it’s the best hitter on the planet, Miguel Cabrera. It also looks as if the series has unveiled a new logo.

Can it just be March so I can have a Playstation 4 and own this game and spend likely my last year outside of fatherhood being a damn baseball video game wizard? Please?

Out of the Park Baseball is Cool

Read it and weep.

Read it and weep.

I’m in the middle of another World Series here, and out of the blue my star third baseman in an Evan Longoria mold ‘suffers a career ending injury’. I read my e-mail inbox and come to find out that Gabriel Martinez has decided to donate his kidney so his cousin can survive….. and he couldn’t wait until after I had completed another World Series victory.

Here are a couple quotes about the game, the one about the OOTP slapping you around a little bit definitely ringing true here.

“The great thing about sports is that you never really know what’s going to happen. Your ace pitcher could go down just before the playoffs, or a scrub you thought had no chance of making it could blossom into a star. I love this unpredictability and possibility for crushing defeats, as most entertainment today is designed to end with a happy ending. In my opinion, an experience isn’t truly rewarding unless there’s the possibility of failure.”

“I’m a huge fan of deep, complex experiences. Whether movies, books or games I always lean towards the meaty stuff that will keep you occupied for a while. OOTP is great because it scratches that itch while giving me something I can constantly tinker with.”

“The ‘unfairness’ of OOTP really is fairly unique compared with other games. Most big titles these days lead players by hand and make sure nothing bad happens. It’s refreshing to play something which slaps you around a little bit, and without sympathy tells you to get back up for more.”

“I’ve really gotten into the ‘rogue-like’ genre lately, where there’s no saving or loading and death can come at any point – you just explore, experiment and die in horrible ways. Over time you learn the ropes, and those challenges you’ve overcome just make you love the game all the more. OOTP very much has that same kind of feel.”

Now, off to win another cyber World Series and get some sleep.

“Nerd Baseball”: My Review of Out of the Park Baseball ’14

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My wife has long referred to my Out of the Park Baseball simulation gaming as my “Nerd Game”. That didn’t stop me from picking up a copy of OOTP 14 and building some of the best imaginary teams that life has to offer……wait a second.

The best part about OOTP is not actually in taking over a monster team and winning a title. It’s in building something. My favorite thing to do is take over a rebuild job, have it fall apart (it assuredly will), and then rebuild it again only to finally reach the top of the mountain.

In OOTP, you’re going to have teams that win 117 games and are perfect on paper. Then you lose in an NLDS to a Phillies team that had 87 regular season wins. You’ll encounter tough decisions that real life General Managers and Ownership Groups face every day in real life: do I keep Andrew McCutchen around by way of extension for another four or five years, or do I insert the 5-tool stud signed from Caracas named Sergio ‘Honest John’ Ybarra and let McCutchen go to another team because Ybarra is a cheaper, better option for the long-term health of my team.

Since I’m the sentimental type, I stuck with Cutch. I wanted to see him along the names of the other greats in Pirates statistical history like Willie Stargell and the great Roberto Clemente. If you have the time for it, this game tracks each franchise’s historical leaders in basically every category. As time goes on, you’ll see some kid you signed as a 16-year old out of a third world country become one of the greats of your franchise, if you’re lucky.

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The highest score I’ve ever achieved in a season’s work (I simulate every game – there’s no other way) was when I posted a season score of 135 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I won the World Series this year with the Buccos despite having a payroll that was a fraction of the size of the rest of the field. It’s just like real life.

On my Pirates team that won the series, things had to fall carefully into place. If I had a big injury to the rotation or to one of my stud players, there just wasn’t the quality depth there to absorb any big injuries. You get your one crack at a big-time free agent with an organization like the Pirates in OOTP, so you better hope it works out when you sign Clayton Kershaw to that nine-year deal in Free Agency. In my case, it did. As I mentioned I won the World Series and swept the loaded Detroit Tigers in the 2015 World Series. I won something I’ve never seen before, they call it “The Moneyball Award”.

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In another OOTP Franchise of mine, I have the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a four year span I’ve won 103, 99, 99, and 117 games with them. And my goodness it is sweet to be one of these teams in OOTP. It’s almost too easy. Except when it isn’t.

You’ve got the luxury to re-sign anyone you want and the tough decisions are few and far between. You’ll never lose any big-named star if you don’t want to (I assume as long as my teams keep winning) and any youngster that turns into a star will be rewarded with a big, fat contract that no one can match. The best part about being a big-market monster is you can prepare quality depth. I go out every year and bolster the bullpen by signing closer-types to $9 million dollar deals and then make them middle-relievers. I don’t give a shit that Papelbon or Huston Street want to close. Shut your mouth, take your dough, and give me the holds I pay you for in those late innings.

I also have a starting outfield of Yasiel Puig, Giancarlo Stanton, and Bryce Harper. All three of them are signed to long-term contracts. Harper gets hurt every single year in every single franchise I start. So I went out and obtained two 4-star guys to be the bench outfielders, and they get a fair amount of playing time when Stanton or Harper go down with an injury (Puig is nearing ‘Iron Man’ status and never misses any time).

Each year with the Dodgers, any international free agent who enters the free agency pool I have first pickings of. See a 6 foot 7 pitcher you like that has good upside? I don’t give a shit that he’s 16. Outbid the Twins and give that kid a $10 million dollar bonus just because I like his nickname and his latin heritage. If it doesn’t work out, fuck it. I’m the Dodgers. I can buy my way out of anything.

In all those years of winning though; I only won a single Championship and only made the World Series that year. Every other year has ended in disappointment.

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The greatest disappointment was losing in the NLDS to the lowly Phillies, led by Dominic Brown and some catcher named Sebastian Valle. I was up on the Phillies two games to nothing, all I had to do was take one more game. This Dodgers team of 2017 was by far the finest I’ve ever built. I had a season winning percentage of .722 while the Phillies were a lowly .519 for the year. It didn’t matter because Tim Collins shut my high-paid bats down in a one-game take all game five in Los Angeles. I went home to rebuild the rotation, with an itchy trigger finger ready to send the overpaid likes of Zach Greinke and Taijuan Walker elsewhere.

I’ll be back – I’ve got a staff of Kershaw and four other of the top young arms in baseball. It’s going to be like if Paul Wilson, Bill Pulsipher, and Jason Isringhausen had not blown out their arms for the Mets back in the 90′s. Mark my words, we will be back.

Along the path to glory and struggles, you’ll see some neat storylines develop. Legends like Albert Pujols chasing down milestones, guys like Mike Trout turn into players who make new records, and expansion teams like the Columbus (Ohio) Rockies turn into a league powerhouse. This game is good for at least one team owner to die per year and usually the more-lenient son takes over with a more laissez-faire approach then dad had. Guys you cut loose years before will come back to beat you in pivotal games – so make sure you don’t do business with a division rival.

There’s too much to OOTP to simply put in one post to review. There’s something for every die-hard baseball fan to enjoy, and the most enjoyment comes from the game’s small intricacies. If you love prospect management, you’ll love this game’s building of the various team farm systems and the league prospect ranking features. The teams you go up against are very smart, year after year. They field a lineup that is competitive and makes sense.

Every once in a while, you’ll build something really special. And you’ll win a year ahead of schedule. All of the things will line up just perfectly for you. Kind of like it did for my 2015 Pirates.

 

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The Baseball Show: Out of the Park Baseball ’14 with Brad Cook

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Tonight on The Baseball Show podcast, M.J. Lloyd and I talk about the world’s finest baseball simulation game with Brad Cook.

I first discovered curiosity about this game from Deadspin’s post on OOTP. Then I wrote a review of it. Then when my wife and I went on vacation to Myrtle Beach, I slipped the laptop out of my travel bag and played it until about 4 AM on a couple of evenings. I needed an intervention.

Enjoy our chat with Brad, and then go buy this game and enjoy a baseball lover’s dream.

A huge thanks to Brad joining us tonight.

MLB ’13 The Show Starring Andrew McCutchen Comes out at Midnight

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The day should be considered a holiday on this blog. This day. The day in which the greatest sports video game ever produced comes out each year. If only I didn’t have to work tomorrow.

At midnight this evening (12:01 actually) you’ll be able to download a digital version of MLB ’13 the Show on your Playstation 3. You won’t need a disk to play it. You can play it right on the PS3 without any hardware whatsoever.

And naturally, why wouldn’t I do this? There’s no midnight release at the local Gamestop, I don’t have to waste any gas, I don’t have to worry about my dog chewing up the disk. This is perfect.

The big features I’m excited about are the scouting system in franchise mode and the dynamic team budgets that are tied to team performance. For instance, if you can make the Pirates into a perennial contender (good luck with that) you’ll be able to get more spending revenue to go out and acquire players that would normally only sign with a major market team.

I have spent a lot of time through the years playing with the Reds in franchise mode. If you’re wondering who I’m going to roll with to start this year, see below.

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Look at that eye black!

I’m a Reds fan, but my initial task is going to be to get Harper, Strasburg and Davey Johnson that ring that eluded them last season.

And as for household chores, nothing is getting done at my house until November. There are pennants to win in the cyber baseball world of MLB 13 The Show.

MLB 13 The Show Cover Vote Kicks Off

Today over on MLB.com, MLB ’13 the Show launched it’s cover vote with seven of the finest candidates imaginable taking center stage.

Andrew McCutchen has jumped out to an early surprising lead, but our favorite candidate is trying to pull out all the stops.

Voting has gone the way of the All-Star game, and if you have a twitter account it’s fairly simple. You just have to release a tweet into the cyberworld stating “#MLB13HARPER” to cast a vote for Harper.

It’s already the greatest video game on the planet, let alone baseball game ever made. Producers of The Show have again pulled out all the stops in not only aligning themselves with MLB.com but ensuring that whoever ends up on the cover will assuredly be one of the game’s most rising stars.

And although we wouldn’t mind seeing Cutch, Miggy, Posey, or even Braun on the cover; no one makes more sense from a marketability standpoint than that of Harper.

Even Hardball Talk had a post up about it today, props on the gif of the old school Atari. Baseball really is abuzz about The Show 13.

Out of the Park Baseball: A Review of an Out of this World Baseball Simulation

At Diamond Hoggers, we hope to attract only the most hardcore baseball fans as readers. Let’s face it, if you don’t have bleacher bum in your blood, if you don’t love the smell of pine tar or wouldn’t go see two last place teams play in the dog days of August while sitting in the nosebleeds of the park; you probably don’t stick around here long. My one-liners aren’t that good.

This post will be fore the die-hard fans. If you think you’re that, read onward.
Continue reading

As The ‘Show Turns

Tonight I started my MLB ’12: The Show dynasty on the ol’ PS3. I have already come to the conclusion that unless I’m missing some kind of game breaking glitch, this is the greatest baseball and sports video game I’ve ever played.

In honor of this, I’m going to keep you all in the loop on the adventures of my franchise play periodically. That’s not only because I am a huge dork, but I want you to all be along for the ride as I manage the 2012 Reds to a World Series title.

Today, I started the season 2-0 with a pair of wins over the Miami Marlins.

On Opening Day with the game tied at 2-2, Jay Bruce hit a 370+ foot jack into the Moondeck off Mark Buerhle to put the Reds ahead 4-2. He would add another 2-run shot later in the game off the left field foul pole (and off another lefty, a full count offering from Mike Dunn) to increase the lead to 6-2.

I went ahead and left Aroldis and his cheese on the hill to see if he could notch his 2nd career save in the 9th and despite giving up a bomb to Giancarlo Stanton (pictured below), the Reds held on for a 6-3 win in front of a sell out crowd on Opening Day.

In the second game of the season, things got a little whackier.

The hero of the “day” is pictured at the top of the post. Devin Mesoraco hit a two run bomb to left field off Anibal Sanchez to put the Reds up 2-0. Miguel Cairo made a throwing error to allow the Marlins to tie the game at 2-2. I won’t lie, I cannot remember how the Marlins got up 3-2 on me in the 6th, but they did.

Jay Bruce hit a bomb to tie it in the bottom of the frame, and things got crazy from there. The inning ended after I had hit around and Bruce tripled with the bases loaded to put my boys up 9-3. That will teach polygonal Ozzie Guillen to pitch around Votto to get to Bruce.

I decide from there I can ride out Sam Lecure’s stash rather than using the important bullpen arms. This was a poor idea.

So Lecure is tired or something after like 10 pitches. I continue to whip the mule, not understanding why in the Hell ‘Sam Lecure is getting tired’ and why the game is notifying me of it in the middle of trying to get the heart of the Marlins order out.

This ends in Lecure getting crashed around in the waves a bit. And then John Buck hit a 3-run bomb that made it 9-8. I got out of the inning with little dignity and gave the ball to Ryan Madson in the top of the 9th.

In his first Reds appearance, he sets down Jose Reyes and Chris Coghlan routinely, and then appears to retire the side and win me the game by striking out Hanley Ramirez looking. The umpire calls the ‘strike’ a ball and I go full count to Hanley. Madson is pissed on screen and has words with the umpire. I’m not kidding, play the game. It might happen to you.

I start to feel paranoid about the game stealing one from me. At that time, Hanley hits a ball in the hole to short stop and Janish has no chance to throw him out. And here we go folks.

Mike Stanton to the plate, and holy shit; nothing Madson has can put him away. Big Mike blasts a 3-2 offering into the left field seats to put the Fish up 10-9 after fouling off like 5 pitches and my heart sinks. I feel cheated.

But I forgot who was coming up in the bottom of the 9th, and so did my managerial counterpart; Ozzie Guillen.

Joey Votto catches a 1-1 pitch off Chad Gaudin (why was he closing for the Marlins) into the seats in right field, a majestic 406 foot blast; and we’re all tied at 10 once again.

The next batter is Bruce on one of his customary Jay Bruce hot streaks–just like real life. He’s already homered 3 times in the series, walked, tripled and has 9 RBI. Bruce singles on a line drive to right field and I roll the dice and steal second with him. Drew Stubbs continues to hit like he’s swinging a sword (also life like) and after missing two bunt attempts, fails to make contact and strikes out swinging. With two outs and Bruce still on second, Mesoraco hits a line drive to right field to score Bruce.

Turn out the lights, Cincinnati can still go 162-0 and everything I touch is turning to gold right now in the way of lineup moves!

Stay tuned for the next installment…

The Only Thing ‘Unreal’ Would Be the Marijuana Consumption

This is MLB ’12: The Show’s Commercial that so many have been talking about. And if you didn’t know the connection between dope and Cubbies fans, you haven’t been around here long enough.

It’s a great commercial for a baseball video game, and it’s exactly the type of audience that this product needs to attract. I love it and I agree, one of the coolest things you can do is ‘manage’ or ‘GM’ your virtual Cubbies to video game glory all while twisting a doobie in the suburbs with the train going by your apartment.

Such is why this game is so special. With that said, Papa’s got some gamin’ to do.

h/t: Big League Stew