I know absolutely nothing about baseball. I don’t know who the best team is, who the best players are and a good percentage of the rules I’m completely unaware of. In real life, the average length of a game of baseball is THREE HOURS. I can’t even watch a film that goes on for three hours. Terminator 2 is less than three hours, and that’s the greatest story ever told. Certainly more exciting than watching a game of fucking baseball.
It is weird that I find baseball video games so enjoyable. I wouldn’t ever stick them on the top of my pile of games to play when there are big AAA shooters or long-awaited sequels to games I loved on the way, but occasionally I like to play a game that I can completely… ignore. A game I can basically play on autopilot and still feel like I am achieving something. Baseball games are ideal for this - you don’t need the sound on, you don’t need to be constantly moving the stick or pressing buttons, there’s a lot of downtime etc - and MLB ‘14: The Show might just be the best I’ve played.
Or, kind of played. Most of the game is untouched. There’s a mode called ‘The Road To The Show’ and it is basically FIFA’s 'Be A Pro' mode and that’s all I’ve done. You create your custom character and only play when they’re needed in the game. So, if you’re up to bat, you’re batting, but you only field if the game has already decided that you’re going to be needed to catch the ball and throw it back to one of the plates. I think they’re called plates. I’m no expert. When you're not required, the game plays out in a confusing stats screen, but once you’ve learned the absolute basics these stats start to show what is happening, who is playing well and what you’ll need to do to help your team win the game. Win or lose, you earn stat points that you can spend to make you hit harder, run faster and eventually make your way to ‘The Show’, whatever the fuck that is.
Some of the modes are likely completely impenetrable unless you’re a bit of a baseball nerd, as it is a very stat and jargon heavy sport, but on its absolute, most basic level, it is one of the most enjoyable sports games currently available. If you actually like baseball, I can’t imagine how good this must be.