Hitting tips for MLB ’08: The Show

Okay, after posting a small article on how to pitch in MLB ’08, I’ve gotten a few requests for help hitting.

First, let me say that this game is the hardest baseball game to hit in I’ve ever played. Which, frankly, makes it more realistic.

I’m going to give you a basic strategy to help you hit. Here goes.

First, you need to guess a pitch. Do this every time at the plate. Hold down R2, select the button that corresponds to what you think the pitch will be (look at the opposing pitcher’s pitch-buttons), then, still holding down R2, select a spot you think the pitch will come to, by using the L stick. Up, down, inside, outside, are your choices.

But start off doing this. Pick one pitch. For me, I use fastball low. I guess fastball low on every pitch. Now, if you’ve guessed both things right, you’ll see a complete lock-on. If you’ve just guessed the pitch right, only the outside box will flash red, meaning the pitch is going somewhere else.

Now: If the pitch does come in at fastball low, if you get a lock (and if you have DualShock 3 the controller will vibrate to let you know you’ve locked, another helpful little widget), aim the L stick low, towards where you think the pitch will be, and whale at the sucker. If you get a full lock, even consider using the square button for a power swing. You’ll belt out a great hit if you connect on the power swing; just remember, you’re a lot less likely to make contact on it.

If you guessed fastball (in this case) correctly but the direction wrong, move the L stick to where you think the pitch will be coming (I usually just default to moving it up in the zone) and, once again, whale away. You might want to just stick to using the X button for contact hitting in this case.

If you get a lock on just the location — the outer box will NOT light up but a brief red flash will show you which direction the pitch is going (if you guessed right), you can consider swinging at that pitch, but remember, it’s going to be some sort of breaking ball.

Now, if you don’t get a lock on the pitch OR the location — take the pitch. Don’t swing. You’ll get a ball out of it around 70% of the time.

This is the best advice I can give you on hitting in MLB ’08: The Show.

As you get better, play around with guessing other pitches and other directions, but use the basic strategy outlined above if you’re struggling mightily at the plate.

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