MLB charts its own course here

  • MLB charts its own course here. While Madden tried to tell us a deep, if massively contrived, story a year ago, The Show offers only light storytelling aspects. Instead, it dives into unique and fun character-leveling mechanics. You're no longer earning points in the game and then using them to Madden Mobile Coins level up stats later; now, your character attributes are directly tied to on-field performance.

    It's a smart formula that both NBA 2K and Madden might want to study. You build a character in The Show, selecting from a series of archetypes, each with pros and cons, or modeling your character after a current pro. Notably, this year, you're not a superstar; instead, you're a late-round pick trying to make it to the pros.

    From then on, it's all about performance. Rack up a lot of strikeouts as a pitcher, and you'll see your K/9 stats gradually improve. Swing at bat pitches at the plate, and your plate discipline stats will adjust accordingly. Make errors, and your fielding stats will slide. Suddenly, you're not just piling up "points" or "coins" to synthetically make your dream character. Your earning that character with every at-bat and every pitch thrown. Add in some light dialogue elements, and you have a strong mode that shies away from the overwhelming (and unrealistic) storytelling of Madden's Longshot.