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Recap thread

That was a fun game!

 Kansas City Royals mascot Sluggerr gives a high five to ex-Royal great Bret Saberhagen before an MLB game between the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals on June 03, 2022 at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What a pleasurable game to watch today. Too bad the Royals still haven’t come to terms with their stadium workers or else I’d be writing about it, here.

Instead, I think I’ll talk about the thing I was doing while watching the game. Playing MLB The Show 23. Now, I can’t recommend this game, despite a reasonably implemented Negro Leagues storylines mode, because it’s buggy as heck and absolutely littered with microtransactions. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun at all.

As part of their All-Star Week celebration they released several new player card packs for use in a couple of their game modes, including a pack type that has draft picks from the first couple of rounds. That means Blake Mitchell is in there, and though I wasn’t successful in grabbing him from a card pack, I did get a Kyle Teel card which I successfully sold on the community marketplace for a similar price as the Blake Mitchell I found in the same place. (See what I mean about being littered with microtransactions?)

I immediately slotted Mitchell into my lineup. During his first at-bat...

Later on I got my hands on a Paul Skenes card, too. So my team - which also includes Elly De La Cruz, vintage Greg Holland, and Buck O’Neil - is looking pretty good.

One of their other game modes is a “Moments” mode, meant to allow the player to step into important or exciting moments from historical baseball games. They implemented a World Baseball Classic version of this mode which is where I was focused today because, so far as I can tell, it’s the only thing that’s going to expire and saying something is around for only a limited time is a surefire way to get me involved.

There are some cool moments in there, like when Shohei Ohtani pitched to complete Japan’s victory or when Yu Chang hit a grand slam to win a game for Chinese Taipei. Unfortunately, they apparently had to really go digging because there are also moments like Luis Robert singling to load the bases, Yu Darvish pitching in relief and only allowing one run, and - from the other side - Kyle Schwarber hitting a solo home run to cut the late lead from two runs to one.

Like the rest of the game, it’s a really mixed bag. Of course, I’m only even playing this mode because I discovered that the game doesn’t really want you to just play Road to the Show - the mode where you can create or choose a player to train up into a big league star from AA-ball - because, while you can still train your RTTS player with drills and success in games the movement of your stats is abysmal. The real way to level up an RTTS player is to gather high-level equipment - think everything from bats to elbow guards - to increase your stats and turn you into a star. And how do you get that equipment? You guessed it, card packs aka microtransactions.

The worst part is that almost nothing you do in RTTS helps you gain the currency for buying those card packs. So unless you want to shell out more real money after paying full price for a AAA video game, you have to play the other modes which are much less stingy with the in-game currency - Stubs.

Much like the Royals, I’m incredibly frustrated with the processes involved but I also can’t seem to walk away.