‘MLB: The Show 17’ Retro Mode takes baseball gamers back to the 8-bit basics

PlayStation’s The Show games are among the most realistic, accurate, and rewarding sport simulators ever released, but that authenticity comes at a price: For all but the most dedicated players, the games are incredibly difficult to control. In MLB: The Show 17, a new Retro Mode looks to solve this problem.

Taking inspiration from classic baseball games like RBI Baseball and Ken Griffey Jr., “Retro Mode” removes all pitching attributes from players are instead forces them to rely solely on “velocity, break, and control.” This mode also removes the “high” and “low” portions of the strike zone, forcing you to paint the inside and outside corners when batters has a general idea of where the ball is going to end up.

Pitching is done with just one button press, followed by a push of the left analog stick. Players choose the pitch’s velocity after it has already left the pitcher’s hand, as well as where it will end up — this should make getting hits a challenge in a game that is already fairly low-scoring.

As Sony previously showed during its PlayStation Experience event, Retro Mode’s perspective and user interface have also been redesigned to more closely resemble classic baseball games. The point of view is now behind the batter, even if you’re pitching, and on-screen graphics have an 8-bit look that contrast with the hyper-realistic player models and environments in a hilarious way.

Leading up to the game’s March release, MLB: The Show 17‘s developers will be hosting regular live-streams to give fans a chance to see particular components of the game. In February, these will include more information on Retro Mode and “Diamond Dynasty.”

MLB: The Show 17 is out for PlayStation 4 on March 29 and features Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. as its cover athlete. In Canada, he’ll be replaced by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez, while Taiwan will get Miami Marlins pitcher Wei-Yin Chen.

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