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Groundbreaking achievements don’t happen very often. For years, sports gamers have been tied to a specific console or handheld, their particular universe held captive inside plastic and wire. Franchises on consoles languish while the owner is away from home, while virtual careers are oft ignored on the small screen when a high-definition experience beckons. More often than not, the lack of cohesion means neither gets taken as far as you'd like. There were a handful of exceptions during the PSP era, but sadly, far too few. Thanks to Sony's San Diego team, that doesn’t have to happen anymore – at least from a baseball perspective, with MLB 12: The Show's debut on PlayStation Vita.
Groundbreaking, indeed.The ability to play seasons, franchises, or the Road To The Show and effortlessly share them between the Vita and PS3 is spectacular. What’s more is that it works beautifully - after the painful initial setup on both devices, that is. A simple “save to cloud” or “load to cloud” option had us moving from handheld to console all the time, taking our teams with us when we hit the road. It’s a great feature that should be the standard for all PS3/Vita combos moving forward, and instantly justifies having the game on both platforms. On its own, however, MLB 12 The Show on the Vita doesn’t pack quite the punch we were hoping for.The drawback of switching devices is that it’s clear how unimpressive the Vita version looks compared to its gorgeous PS3 cousin.
Frankly, The Show is far from a visual killer. It feels more like an update of a PSP title than something uniquely created for the super-powered new handheld. While certain things have a nice appearance (especially the major league stadiums, which have some lovely details), for the most part The Show is rather aesthetically bland. From an overall lack of crispness to pixilated crowds to slowdown during at-bats and in the bullpen, The Show compares poorly to other Vita launch titles from a graphical perspective.The guts of The Show are superb, though. Long known as the best baseball sim on the market (for good reason), you’d be hard-pressed to find fault with much of the core gameplay.
Players move across the field with fluidity, ranging for fly balls and sliding into bases in exceedingly lifelike manners. Special care was obviously taken by the development team to incorporate individual pitcher and hitter characteristics, like Neftali Feliz’ fastball follow-through and Ryan Howard’s pre-pitch point of the bat. An embarrassment of statistical riches awaits you in-game, from individual breakdowns to hitter tendencies. Batters get immediate feedback on every swing, which is especially crucial for a game with such a high degree of difficulty. In some ways, it’s not a stretch to call it the best handheld baseball game we’ve ever seen.Problems abound, however. The new Pulse Pitching mechanic is lacking, and we quickly went back to the old-school meter. A hyper-sensitive left analog stick renders it impossible to accurately use on a train or bus – and that's a big deal for handheld gaming.
Sunken secrets update. Long load times feel like a leftover from the old PSP series, and empty dugouts have replaced missing umpires as the “thing that makes you painfully aware that you’re playing on a portable device.”.
|Trophy||How to unlock|
|'RESPECT THE GAME!'(Bronze)||In any game mode, enter a game with a mismatching uniform.|
|Back, Back, Back, Back, Back..(Bronze)||Hit a home run of 490ft or more in Home Run Derby.|
|Cruzball(Bronze)||Playing as the pitcher in any game mode, intentionally walk a batter, then turn a double play. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|Deep Dish(Bronze)||Hit a home run into the Bullpen Sports Grill in rightfield at U.S. Cellular Field. (CWS)|
|Don't Try That Again(Bronze)||On defense, throw a runner out at 3B or home plate from the outfield. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|Fish off a Barrel(Bronze)||Hit the aquarium behind home plate at Marlins Park. (MIA)|
|Go Chasin' Waterfalls(Bronze)||Hit a home run into a waterfall at Kauffman Stadium. (KC)|
|In The Bag!(Bronze)||As the batter, hit 1st, 2nd, or 3rd base with the ball. Trophy is not achievable in Home Run Derby.|
|Loud and Clear(Bronze)||Hit a home run into the speaker in center field at Dodger Stadium. (LAD)|
|On The Beach(Bronze)||Hit a home run into the sand area in Petco Park. (SD)|
|Plowman(Bronze)||As a baserunner, plow the catcher. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|Pulsating(Bronze)||With the pitching difficulty set to All-Star or higher, use Pulse Pitching to strike out the side. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|Run Benjie, Run!(Bronze)||Steal a base with a player whose primary position is Catcher. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|Sombrero Dealer(Bronze)||In any mode, strike out the same player four times in a game. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|Squeezeball(Bronze)||In any game mode, win the game with an RBI bunt. Must be done in a full, uninterrupted, 9 inning game against the CPU controlled team.|
|Take Out Your Rival(Bronze)||In any mode, hit the opposing pitcher with a pitch.|
|Texas Two-Step(Bronze)||Hit a home run onto Greene's Hill in CF at Rangers Ballpark In Arlington. (TEX)|
|The Old Fashioned Way(Bronze)||In any mode, earn a save by having your reliever pitch the last 3 innings of a win. Must be done in a full, uninterrupted, 9 inning game against a CPU controlled team.|
|Vulture a Win(Bronze)||In any mode, blow a save and get the win with the same pitcher. Must be done in a full, uninterrupted, 9 inning game against the CPU controlled team.|
|You Blew It(Bronze)||In any mode, blow your opponents save opportunity. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|Zone Plus Analog Blast(Bronze)||With hitting difficulty set to All-Star or harder, hit a home run using Zone Plus Analog controls. This trophy is not unlockable in Home Run Derby modes.|
|Contact Killer(Silver)||In any mode, excluding RttS, play an entire 9 inning game without striking out. Must be done in a full, uninterrupted, 9 inning game against a CPU controlled team.|
|Don't Phase Me Bro(Silver)||In any game mode, hit a home run off a 100+ MPH pitch. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|Early Exit(Silver)||In any game mode, knock out the opponent's starting pitcher before the end of the 3rd inning. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|For the Greater Good(Silver)||In any game mode, get a broken bat base hit.|
|Meatbull Buffet(Silver)||Bat around in an inning. Must be completed on All-Star or higher Batting difficulty. Must be done in a full, uninterrupted, 9 inning game against a CPU controlled team.|
|Quality Start(Silver)||Throw more than 70% first pitch strikes in a complete game victory. Must be done in a full, uninterrupted, 9 inning game against a CPU controlled team.|
|Solid D(Silver)||Using Pure Analog Throwing, with throwing difficulty set to All-Star or higher, complete a 9 inning game without an error. Must be done against a CPU controlled team.|
|King Slayer(Gold)||In Exhibition Mode, beat the team that is ranked first overall in the team select screen with Pitching and Batting difficulties set to Legend. Must be done in a full, uninterrupted, 9 inning game.|
|Million Dollar Man(Gold)||In any game mode, throw a perfect game against a CPU controlled team. Must be done in a full, uninterrupted, 9 inning game.|
|Winning(Gold)||Hit 10 consecutive home runs in Home Run Derby(TM).|
|Congratulations(Platinum)||You got all of the MLB 12 The Show Trophies!|
|Mr. 300(Silver)||Reach 300 XP in online play.|
|You're the Man!(Gold)||Reach 500 XP in online play.|