Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Super Mega Baseball 2 (Xbox One) Review

The World Series starts today so I'm bringing you a baseball video game review.

Super Mega Baseball 2 is the newest game in publisher Metalhead Software and was released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and for Microsoft Windows on May 1st, 2018. This game was part of Microsoft's Games With Gold program for May 2018. This review was played on my Xbox One.

This is the best baseball game on the Xbox One, that is both great and sad at the same time. I do not understand how there isn't a major MLB title on the system, at this point I would gladly take a new 2K game even with all its flaws. I've been seriously contemplating buying a PlayStation 4 to play their exclusive The Show baseball game, but enough of my complaining and let's get back on track with Super Mega Baseball 2 review.

First off, if you like your game with real players, real teams, and realistic graphics then this isn't the game for you. On the other hand, if you like a great playing baseball game then continue reading.

Super Mega Baseball 2 has many game modes including Exhibition, Pennant Race, Elimination, Season, and Customize. Exhibition is just a one-off game, Pennant Race has you play a set of games offline that are then ranked against online players (I didn't try this mode out). Elimination has you enter a tournament to beat a CPU opponent. Season mode has you pick a length of season, shorts is 16 games, Medium is 32 games, Long is 48 games. The game also lets you customize your season and play up to 200 games, you can also change the number of innings played, playoff length, and amount of teams in the playoffs.

I played a custom season of 80 games with a custom team to play with. I created a Cubs team including all the players that I could fit. My average ego for the season was around 60 and I was able to win in the "Finals".

Gameplay is simple but complex at the same time. When pitching you select a pitch and locate it where you want it to go. Then you begin the pitch which begins moving the ball around the plate based upon the pitcher's stamina and ego. The closer you move the ball towards the location you picked has your pitcher pitch a better pitch. If you miss huge hope that the batter at the plate sucks because usually, it will go over the fence.

There are two ways to hit in the game, regular and power. When the opposing pitcher throws his pitch you move a cursor to where the pitch is going while at the same time you swing when the pitch arrives. The difference with power mode is that you also have a power rating. You hit the swing button when the ball gets close which has your hitter begin his swing. You need to time it right so that you're at full power when the ball crosses the plate. The closer your timing is the harder you'll hit it.

Fielding and baserunning is pretty simple to use as well. To throw to a bag all you need to do is push the right button on your controller. B is first, Y is second, X is third, and A is home. You use the triggers to steal bases and can move either a single player around the bases at a time or you can control everyone at the same time.

Now that the basics are out of the way we can talk about ego. Ego affects both your players and yourself. Ego is basically how you set your difficulty. The higher up you set your Ego the harder the other team plays. Pitchers are much harder to hit, set your Ego to the top and try to get around on a 100 mph baseball.

Each player on all teams has their own personal Ego. When a player gets a hit, scores, drives in a run, etc. their Ego goes up which makes them play better. When they strikeout it in the clutch or commit an error their Ego goes down and it becomes easier to make errors and not hit well. It actually is a great system and mimics the slumps that real players go through.

I like that players randomly burp, scratch themselves, etc. While not needed for gameplay it does make the game feel just a bit more realistic. Another great feature is women player and umpires. The women even scratch their crotches like male players. The players also have "Dad Joke" names like Rip Dingers.

My biggest issue is the lack of an RPG like leveling system. When you played well in the original game you would be offered trainers and shoe contracts that would upgrade your player's stats but in this game that mode is gone. If you play a custom game you can alter your team's stats as high as they can go and what's the fun of that?

Despite all I've said it will come down to you if you'd like this game. If you don't like baseball skip this game, the same if you don't like cartoony graphics and fake teams. If you are in the mood for a good playing baseball game, particularly if you don't have a PlayStation 4, then I say try this game out. I give Super Mega Baseball 2 a 6 out of 10.

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