Since the launch of PlayStation 4 there’s been a healthy amount of sporting releases to get excited about. We’ve had the chance to slip off bicycles on Tour De France, to getting stuck in the sand in Golf Club, and the authentic MLB The Show, all with the hope of maybe daring us to try such a sport for real. America’s favourite past time can be a bit of a mystery to the outsider, for us British armchair sportsmen and women Baseball is not really in our blood, but thankfully Canadian indie games company Metalhead Software may have already known this. Super Mega Baseball has crossed the pond and landed here in Europe and gives us a chance to understand and get involved with a sport we may not know huge amounts about.
First off let me stress this is an arcade sports title – it’s goofy, cute and accessible straight from the start. Playing a sport is about getting stuck in, so luckily Super Mega Baseball doesn’t do long winded tutorials that will slowly zap your will to live. You’ll be thrown into the deep end immediately and swinging your bat before you know it. You may miss at first as the pitcher sends the ball swerving towards you. Here is where the clever (and intrusive) help arrives. Learning what to do comes in the form of brief pop up screens mid game. These display exactly that you need to know and when you need to know it. This method lets you get really hands on and brings a certain fluidity to the game. Because of this, Super Mega Baseball sucks in even the most inexperienced player early on.
Each over-exaggerated cartoony team is fictional and is made up of both men and women, and so too are the impressive Ballparks. Each different location comes complete with a wildly animated ‘Guitar Hero’ type of over enthusiastic crowd brimming with activity. Talking of guitars, there are some meaty anthems to be heard in-game also. Put these tunes and packed stadiums together and you’re all set in a perfect playing arena, so don’t slip up.
If you’re new to Baseball, each team has nine innings in which they attempt to score runs. There’s obviously more to it than that, but the beauty of Super Mega Baseball is it can be as shallow or as in depth as you want. Games modes include Exhibition and Short, Medium, or Long Seasons. The games Ego setting from 1 to 99 lets you get serious. Here you can step up your game with the broad difficulty range on offer. Games can go from a walk in the park to insanely difficult. Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, the game will lure you in to learning more adventurous techniques like jumping, diving, wall-catches and power-swings. This suits the more hardcore sport fan as do the player full season stats, fully customisable characters account and team progression. This Baseball game looks after every type of player.
The levelling up system is measured by Starpoints, with these being awarded for strike outs and catches. Here you can boost players abilities and create your unbeatable team. The game caters for 1 – 4 players, with a full single player mode and co-op play. The game sadly does lack online multiplayer though. Super Mega Baseball is part skill based. Pitching and Batting require precise and timed deliveries, and other actions are commands given to team mates. These still require fast reflexes. Opting for the ball to be thrown to the correct base will send your opposition packing.
Metalhead Software’s first release certainly knocks out a sports title that takes away the hassle of learning all the finer details of a sport. With the emphasis on fun, Super Mega Baseball is an exciting and engrossing sporting title wrapped up in a super bright colourful setting that looks after the non-sporting player.
Lizard Rating: 8/10