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Game review: ‘MLB The Show 19’: Swing into baseball season with this home run hit for kids

Parents need to know that "MLB The Show 19" is the latest installment in the baseball simulation franchise that's exclusively for the PlayStation 4. There's no inappropriate content in the game, but there's lots of product placement for Topps, Major League Baseball, and other brands in stadiums or in stat boosting items found in card packs. These items, along with players and other extras, can be purchased with real money or earned by playing multiple games. Players could potentially be exposed to inappropriate comments in online games because they're unmoderated.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

"MLB The Show 19" swings for the fences this year with a brand new installment that's larger and more expansive than ever before. New to this year's game is the March to October mode, which lets you select a major league team and try to get them into the postseason through an accelerated series of games. Road to the Show has been significantly revamped with new features, such as new player archetypes and training mini-games. Players also have the option to express themselves by expressing their personality in dialogue with teammates, managers, and even rivals in one of four ways: the Captain, Maverick, Heart and Soul, and Lightning Rod. Each personality type can unlock new abilities for you and your teammates in games, which can be the difference between a win and a loss. Along with revamps to the Diamond Dynasty and Conquest modes, there's a new mode called Moments, where players can explore some of the biggest moments in MLB history and see if they can match or improve on what happened by some of the biggest stars.

IS IT ANY GOOD?

This updated chapter of baseball is a true home run of enhanced gameplay, improved modes, and extras that will thrill baseball fans and bring newcomers to the digital ballpark. "MLB The Show 19" has clearly spent time in the training room, because this is the best presentation of the pastime in years. For one thing, more attention has been paid to the defensive side of the game, so players will really have to time their swings to drive a ball into a gap or past the infielders. Improved visuals and the addition of MLB Network's Heidi Watney to the announcing team as a dugout reporter round out the presentation of the on-field game. Similarly, the Road to the Show mode has been vastly revamped. What's more, you'll also get dynamic challenges during at bats, like driving in runs or advancing runners, which boost your stats. Honestly, the mode just feels brand new.

That would be plenty, but there's two other modes that are noteworthy. The March to October Mode accelerates play, making it a great way to fly through seasons and test your skills. Finally, the addition of MLB Moments is a fun way to explore historical moments in MLB history. Players are tasked with meeting or surpassing moments in history, such as hitting a number of home runs with Babe Ruth over a four game series or actually getting Tom Seaver the perfect game that slipped through his fingers in 1969. Sony plans on adding more historical moments along with events from the current season as well for players to test their skills. Simply put, "MLB The Show 19" overflows with gameplay and modes that sports fans and baseball fans will love.

RATING AND CONTENT

Recommended for ages 8 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Positive messages: 3 out of 5

Positive role models: 3 out of 5

Ease of play: 3 out of 5

Violence and scariness: 0 out of 5

Language: 1 out of 5

Consumerism: 3 out of 5

GAME DETAILS

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Price: $59.99

Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Release date: March 25, 2019

Genre: Sports

Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.

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