9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2011 [rating: 4.5/5]
Com2Us have been producing quality games for the whole range of iDevices for some time now and none more so than the slug fest that is Homerun Battle 3D. While their latest title (9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2011 for iPhone) is another baseball game it’s a simulation of the full game rather than just focusing on home runs.
The other noticeable difference between the two games is the graphics, where Homerun Battle 3D included high quality 3D graphics which lit up the screen of whichever iDevice you were playing the game on 9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2011 used a more toned down cartoon style graphics in an almost Manga style even though real player photo’s are used through the rest of the game.
You could think that due to the cartoon style graphics that the game play is light weight too, that couldn’t be further from the truth as the game play is deep and detailed although it is also easy to pick up and play, which is the perfect combination.
The game has three modes, Exhibition, League and Homerun mode. Exhibition and League Mode allow you to play either a single full game or a full season of baseball respectively while the Homerun mode is like a game of Homerun Derby where you get 5 pitches to achieve a set number of points from homeruns.
The main part of the game though is the League Mode where you get the opportunity to take your selected team as far as you can through multiple seasons and this is where I spent the majority of my time during my review of 9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2011.
After selecting your team and confirming your line up you are taken to the first week of games and are immediately thrown into the game. There are two methods of help built into the application, the first is a video tutorial that takes you outside of the application and the other is the text based help.
In all honesty neither of these help options are particularly helpful, the video concentrates on the card trading aspect of the game, more of which later, while the text based help is extremely wordy without the help of screenshots. With all that said though the controls are very intuitive and it didn’t take too many games before I had the controls down even if I did lose my first game 18-2!
I’ve split the controls into three areas batting, pitching and fielding. Batting couldn’t be easier with two options available, a normal hit and a bunt. For the normal hit you can tap the screen anywhere on the screen while there are two bunt buttons to bunt the ball to either the left or right hand side of the field. With controls this simple the main aspect of hitting the ball for a homerun is all based on your timing and works very well.
Once you have hit the ball you can then control the batters run. He’ll automatically run to first base but from then on you can either chose to advance the player or leave him to stay where he is. This again is both simple and effective and gives you complete control over your success and/or failure!
Finally there is the pitching, here you have a few more options but again its been implemented really well and is very straight forward. Firstly each pitcher has between 3 and 5 pitching skills and so the first task is to select your specific pitch, then you can drag the ball to the area you wish to pitch the ball too.
At that point timing is again the key as a blue circle will grow and shrink around around the ball and tapping the screen when the ring is at it’s smallest point will produce the best pitch possible. Obviously despite your best efforts the opposing team will hit the ball at that point you will need to field the ball.
Your players will automatically attempt to catch the ball and as the players run around the bases you can tap on the base images that pop up on the screen to choose where you wish to throw the ball.
The game moves along at a good pace and I found both the pitching and the batting enjoyable. As you play you also earn achievements which in turn earn you points that can then be combined with the various cards that you pick up to increase your player stats.
There are over 100 achievements to unlock during game play and they can also be achieved multiple times enabling you to earn the points associated to them in each and every game.
That brings me on to the card collecting part of the game. Depending on the team you choose you will automatically be given a selection of cards from that team. As you play you will gain other cards and then have the opportunity to draw, combine and level up you cards and subsequently your player statistics.
The basics of the card trading part of the game is pretty straight forward, selecting your player cards gives you the opportunity to level them up. This will cost you points that you will have gained from unlocking the achievements, however it’s not guaranteed that you will level up even if you have enough money as for some reason occasionally you will get a response that the level up has failed for no apparent reason and you’ll have still spent your money!
As points are the currency of the game you can also purchase points for real money. However as I was playing this final version of the game prior to its official release no prices as to how much purchasing, rather than winning, these points would cost.
Obviously the game would be even better if had a multi-player option and had a better help system but it only takes a little away from what is a great game.
Overall 9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2011 has both the depth and simple controls that will keep you coming back for more and more over and over again. Com2Us have another hit on their hands, I have to go now, I have a season of baseball to finish!
- Simple intuitive controls
- Great depth of detail and statistics
- Additional card trading game
- Poor help system
- No multi-player option
- Graphics not up to Com2Us usual standard
9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2011 (iPhone / iPod touch) Game Trailer
Price: $4.99 (iTunes Store)
Released: Jul 08, 2010
1.0.0 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
Size: 18.6 MB
Languages: English, Korean
Seller: Com2us USA, Inc.
© 2010 Com2uS
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.