When you play a car racing game you want to feel like you are traveling at over 100 mph inches off of the tarmac, a rhythm game should have the music beating through your heart while a soccer game should let you experience the feel of scoring the winning goal in the World Cup Final. So what should a Baseball game provide? For me it should provide the heart thumping thrill of hammering a home run out of the stadium. So how does Baseball Slugger match up to my demands?
Baseball Sluggers intro video really sets the scene of what to expect with the main protagonist stepping up to the plate and slamming a home run out of the stadium. And this is what is great about this game, that’s all there is to it, no need to worry about tactics, bunts, running or catching, they’ve just simplified down to smashing the home run.
The graphics look great with your pumped up batter striding up to bat any pitcher would be worried. There are three styles of game play, Matchup, Arcade and Classic with a Training option thrown in so that you can hone your batting skills before you take them to the competitive plate. But to be honest the controls are so intuitive your time in training will be pretty short.
Control of the bat is via the accelerometer with left, right, tilt back and tilt forward controlling the placement of the bat over the plate, all it takes then swing the bat is a tap on the screen, anywhere on the screen two which makes it very easy whether you are left or right handed. So placement of the bat and timing is what hitting home runs is all about, no different to playing the game in real life itself.
Whichever of the three games modes you choose to play the gameplay is identical, step up to the plate and hit as many home runs as you can. However, the scoring and winning the game are different. Classic mode is a simple Home Run Derby game, hit as many home runs as you can before being out a total of ten times. Arcade mode is more fun though with a range of special balls being pitched your way including double scores, triple scores and life balls which takes one of your outs off of your score. You will only gain the reward though if you hit the ball beyond the outfield. Scoring repeated home runs, hitting to all sections of the park and hitting over 500ft will score you more points and then on regular occasions you will also be thrown a Gold ball.
The Gold balls are money balls, the more you hit the more you have to spend on extra features such as jerseys, boots, bats, shades, helmets and more. And there are just for effect either, most of these items will increase you batters powers and skills helping you climb the online leaders boards. There are also achievements that when completed will give you extra gold balls for you to spend.
At this point I’d give the game 4/5, but the Matchup options gains the extra point that makes this a 5 out of 5 must buy. Matchup play is Baseball Sluggers online option. Entering Matchup mode you are giving a choice of four channels with four different pitchers with four different levels of skills to choose from. However not all channels are open to you at the beginning as you must work your way through them before you can face the top sluggers from around the world.
The gameplay is exactly the same as the other modes but the goal of the game is to hit more home runs and score more points before your opponent. Loading times are small and within seconds you are launched into a game against one of the many challengers from all of the world. I’ve played many online matches and I’ve never had to wait more than a few seconds to be launched into the action.
The online game is handled excellently too, while you play exactly as you had done in the single player mode your opponent can be seen in picture style in the top right hand corner of the screen. Certain pitches will be with power balls that if hit into the stands will result in the next ball to you opponent being an Iron, Magic or Invisible ball. You progress along with that of your opponent can be seen across the top of the screen.
The action is fast and frantic and it all results in a game that just can’t be put down, you can even choose a playlist of you own tracks to accompany you while you play if you like. if you a fan of baseball then Baseball Sluggers is as addictive as Flight Control and should be downloaded immediately.
- Great Graphics
- Intuitive controls
- Hitting a home run never gets boring
- Amazing online integration
The Not So Good
- Cannot think of one!
Reviewed By: CraigWillis
Baseball Slugger Screenshots