Alan Smithee

Review: Baseball Superstars 2010

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I never played 2009, but damnit this game reeks with charm

When you make a baseball game, there is one very important aspect that you need to keep in mind…and that’s playability. Gamevil has managed to capture just that in their newest release, Baseball Superstars 2010.

Let me preface this review with one statement…I HATE sports games, I absolutely hate them all. For a sports game to make it onto my radar and have me play it for hours on end, it needs to be something very special. To this date, this is the only other baseball game to capture my attention and have me scrambling to play.

To give you an example of how few and far between these games are, the last baseball game I loved came out 20 years ago.

If you were born in the late seventies or even the early to late eighties, then there will be aspects to Baseball Superstars 2010 that will make you feel like a kid all over again.

There is so much to do, it hurts.

There’s so many options with this game, you have the ability to follow just one player through his career in the “my league” section that makes this game feel more like an RPG, complete with equipment, items, and level-ups. So far, I’ve completed about four seasons my batter, and two with my pitcher…all in one weekend.

That’s the shining jewel of the game, but you can also play exhibition games, complete seasons, homerun derbys, and even the mission mode…like I said, there are so many options. But for the sake of the review, I’m going to stick to the my league option.

When you first start the game, you’re a young buck pitcher or batter who needs to prove himself to the coach of the team. The man doesn’t pull punches either, he can be a real dick if you’re not playing to your best abilitly…so much that it reminds me of why I never much liked team sports.

damnit you're ruining this team is the reason I play this game.

The worse your performance in a game, the more morale your team loses (think of it as Hit Points) and the smaller your popularity grows. In order to get a better salary and more perks, you’ll need to grow your popularity and keep the team’s morale high.

The game plays almost exactly like an 8-bit baseball game like Bad News Baseball for the NES where it’s all about timing as a batter and skill as a pitcher. You’re not limited to just pitch and swing, that’s one thing that makes this game shine. As you gain experience and renown, you get to learn super pitches and super swings that come complete with different animations…it’s much like Baseball Simulator 1.000 that way (google them kids).

the first time I hit a homer, I got chubs

Of course, the greatest feeling in the game, as a batter, is hitting a homerun. When you line up your bat and time it just right, the resulting slow motion animation you get is so addictive, it’s gotten to the point where I’ve played on my 3GS iPhone until the battery died.

ruining the team and having your coach curse at you is one thing, but having him slack-jawed at your performance cheers me up

Of course, the coach isn’t always such a hardass, if you have a great game with plenty of RBIs and hits, your popularity will skyrocket, morale will boost, and the coach will look at you slack-jawed while singing your praises.

Graphically, the game is adequate as far as the character sprites are concerned, but a good chunk of the my league section will be you watching the innings fly by as you wait for your next chance at bat…or in the training/managing backend of the game. These aren’t exactly the most spectacular screens to be looking at, but they do the job.

The sound of the game is uniquely baseball, with all of the corresponding umpire yells, except for the super pitches. My favorite is the ninja pitcher throwing a flaming baseball that breaks before crossing the plate. I adore the background music, but have found myself shutting it off to listen to music through the phone’s playlists because of the amount of time I usually spend playing.

Control is tight, but simplistic, there’s not much need to use the control cross as a batter except for taps to reposition your place in the batter’s box. As the pitcher, the motion controls make placing your pitch easier than trying to manipulate it through an on-screen control.

Overall, I’d have to say that this game has solidified my position on mobile gaming being less about the handhelds that we’re all used to, and more about games like this and from companies like Gamevil. This game is totally worth the full price of purchase. I fully endorse this game and will knife-fight anyone who says that they didn’t like it. Get it, now!

Bottom Line: $5 / $5

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