I wrote a review the other day for MLB 12 The Show and promised that I would update you after I had more time to play the newest game mode, Diamond Dynasty. Well I did over the weekend and would like to offer this review as a supplement to my full review which you can read here.
All of the action takes place online, although your team can also play game against the CPU. Competition within your team’s division takes place online between you and another human player.
You start out by customizing your team, and man are there options. Designing the uniform is a lot of fun, there are thousands of combinations of things you can use for a custom logo and people have made some very cool one’s.
Then you start out with cards, which is what you use to manage your team. Each card is a player that can be activated to the 40 man roster. You can trade cards, buy them, and sell them. You can also recycle cards which aren’t useful to your team anymore, although there are times when this is a strategy in itself.
The reason the buying and selling of the cards is very important, is that your dynasty players are only with you for about 30 or 35 games. You also have MLB cards, meaning you can have MLB players on your team as well, but they are much shorter lived on the team, usually about 5-10 games.
It becomes important that there’s a constant “back up” source of stocked players (cards) so that when your current players expire, you don’t have an empty spot on the roster or somebody who hasn’t trained at all.
Which brings me to training. Your dynasty players are trained much like your RTTS player. It costs money to train players, and the higher their aptitude, the less it costs to train them. You earn money by playing games, more for winning, and completing various challenges. Luckily you do get money even if you lose games so you don’t just spin your tires.
There’s a lot of strategy in how and when to spend your money on training. On one hand you want your team to be the best it can be, but at some point it isn’t effective to train a guy anymore that only has, say, 10 games left on your team. Spend money on the players you have or go get new players? Bring in MLB players who are better but gone after 2 seasons, or activate Dynasty players who you’ll be able to train and customize for 6 or 7 seasons?
It’s a very cool mode, and one that is very very addicting because there’s progression after every game and every season. A season lasts 5 games in the divisions and there’s several different divisions based on the success and rank of your team. There are lots of other cool features, really too many to list. Here’s a great video that features an overview of the new mode:
- Addictive progression based team play
- Tons of customization possible
- Full control of team from start to finish
- Lots of ways to buy sell and trade players
- Don’t have to always be an all star to make money and get better
- Unlock all of the MLB parks by playing in them, win or lose
- Lots of different strategies
- Customization can be a little time consuming if you don’t get the hang of the logo designer
- Online play is rampant with stutters and glitches, making it very tough to pitch and hit
- Times two on the one above, it’s very hard to hit when the ball glitches home after about 30 feet
- Card system is complicated, it takes a long time to figure out, especially without a guide
My conclusion is that Diamond Dynasty is great addition to MLB 12 The Show. It provides hours and hours of fun, making money and spending it on your team to make it better.
It’s a shame the online play is so awful. Almost all the games I played in the mode were against the CPU because the online games were just too rough. The pitching and hitting in these games is hard enough without jerky, glitchy frames. I played four or five games against human opponents and the games were close and exciting, but also extremely frustrating. It’s more of a “just push x and hope something good happens” approach sometimes when the change-ups are disappearing halfway to the plate.
If they don’t get that figured out, Diamond Dynasty will have to be played without one it’s primary purposes, competing with other people. That, or else you’ll have to put up with a lot of nonsense that is no fun to put up with.
If they do get it figured out, then Diamond Dynasty will easily be my favorite mode in the game. Through all of it’s complexity and glitches, it’s still a very very fun experience. I could spend many more days enjoying the strategy of it all, even if I never played another online game against a human, although I would love to play other people.
Diamond Dynasty Score: 7.0/10
Great mode but needs help with the online glitches. With the online part fixed, the score would be closer to 8.75 or 9 for Diamond Dynasty, I love it.
Stay tuned for a review of MLB 2K12