In the years since Xbox One hit the market, it has seen very few baseball titles worthy of praise. In comparison to PlayStation 4, which has had MLB: The Show under its wing for years, this has been a fairly large problem for baseball fans who game on Xbox. However, Super Mega Baseball 2 takes the formula of the franchise's original successful Xbox 360 game and adds to it, bringing that experience to Xbox One.
For the first time in a long time, America's favorite past time has a strong showing on Microsoft's console.
Gameplay: A customizable and deep experience
Though you wouldn't expect it based on the cartoon-style textures and the comically large heads of the players, Super Mega Baseball 2 actually has a surprising amount of depth in its gameplay. Pitching, fielding, and hitting all require you to learn and understand how to time your actions and position yourself on the field, just like actual baseball players. In addition to this, the game's physics engine is surprisingly impressive; baseballs will bounce in realistic ways depending on what type of surface they hit (sand, grass, or walls) and the angle at which they hit them.
Trying to learn all of this sounds a little complicated, but in reality, it's quite simple. The game has a helpful "How To Play" menu that clearly displays all the controls for the player to learn, and it will also walk you through everything with on-screen tutorials during your first match. This makes the game accessible to all players.
What stands out the most in Super Mega Baseball 2, though, are the excellent customization options the player has at their disposal. For example, the "Ego" system allows you to fine tune the skill of your AI opponents during games — higher Ego means the computer will be more difficult to beat, while lower Ego equates to an easier experience. This means players of all skill levels can enjoy the title.
You can also create your own teams, complete with logo, jersey colors, and uniform styles. In addition, you can create your own leagues, divisions, and even players.
Presentation: Charming visuals, lackluster sound
Super Mega Baseball 2 continues to utilize the stylized and comic aesthetic that the original game introduced, and it's as charming now as it was then. Player animations are smooth and enjoyable to watch; the way players run around the bases never fails to put a smile on my face. Color wise, the game uses a variety of vibrant and bright hues to bring the whole field to life.
Unfortunately, the excellence of the graphics doesn't transfer over to the game's audio. Every crack of the bat or sound of a ball entering an open glove is identical to the last, and I can't help but feel that Super Mega Baseball 2 could have really used more sound work. In addition to this, the crowd spectating the game is quite muted, and whenever you pull off a big fielding play or hit a home run, you don't really get the feeling that you've entertained the virtual thousands of people that are supposedly watching your game with excitement.
Bottom line on Super Mega Baseball 2 for Xbox One
Aside from the disappointing sound design, Super Mega Baseball 2 is the baseball experience that Xbox sports fans have been waiting for. It's easily the best Xbox One baseball game available.
- Excellent gameplay.
- Cool visuals.
- Fantastic customization.
- Poor sound design.
Super Mega Baseball 2 is available now on Xbox One for $29.99.
This review was conducted on an Xbox One, using a copy provided by the publisher.
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