Editorial Note: This is technically the last Friday of the Calendar month, but I’m going to bump the uniform tracker back one week because, quite frankly, talking about Wins and Losses with the Diamondbacks is kinda depressing now. Take this gif as a review of the past month.
Super Mega Baseball 2 is the latest in Baseball Video Games to come out this year. At first glance, it looks like a cartoonish arcade kind of game, but there’s more that meets the eye. If you’re like me, and I know I am, and like broad customization options, this might be the Baseball game for you.
Super Mega Baseball 2 (SMB2 henceforth) combines fairly realistic baseball physics with the casual sort of look. It’s just a Baseball game without any odd arcade frills like power ups or the like. In game, the pitches break the way their real-life counterparts would. If you swing at a pitch early, you’re more likely to pull it, if you swing late, you’re probably going to foul it off the other way. That’s basic stuff, but SMB2 wants to be a Baseball sim, though not based in any real-life Baseball. If that makes sense.
The Hitting/Pitching/Fielding mechanics are fairly simple, but do involve some degree of difficulty. Hitting involves a a little target reticle that you (Or the AI, depending on difficulty) line up with the pitch and swing at. If you’re dead-on, you’ll get better contact, if you’re slightly on, you’ll get less-good contact, and if you miss entirely... you can probably figure that one out.
There are also two basic types of swings. You can tap a button to do a basic contact swing, but if you’re feeling frisky (or you have a good power hitter up) you can hold down another button to “Charge Up” a power swing. The power meter goes from 0-99, but once it hits 99 it starts dropping quickly. Whenever you let go of the button, the batter swings at whatever power level you ended up at. It’s a dance of timing the pitcher’s delivery and pitch type with when you hit the button, but if you time it right, you’re gonna get some good contact or sock some dingers.
The game’s difficulty system is called “Ego” and it distills down to a single number from 1-100, increasing in difficulty (The more Ego you have, the less help you think you need. That sort of thing) Increasing this not only makes your opponent tougher, but lessens how much AI help you get while Hitting/Pitching/Fielding. It’s a neat system, because you can really fine tune how challenging you want the game to be when playing against the AI. Also, you can adjust it at any point in the game if it’s getting too easy or hard for you.
The aesthetics, as mentioned before, are cartoonish, but it looks very good. Each in-game Stadium, for example, leans heavily on a certain theme (IE One is very New York City, One is Hawaiian, One is so Japanese that Mt. Fuji is in the background beyond Center Field, etc.) All the players, and in this game they are both men and women, have cartoonish features. The whole aesthetic works for this game, as it’s supposed to be sort of an inexpensive and fun sort of deal.
The meat of the game, however, is in its Team/League customization.
The game comes with 16 standard and fairly balanced teams. If you want to show up on a sort of official leaderboard you have to play as one of these teams. However, you are not limited. You can create as many custom teams as you like with the in-game team creator. From a library of images, text, and shapes (which you can expand if you purchase some DLC, if you’re into that), you can set out to create your ideal baseball team and roster. The uniform and logo editors aren’t terribly difficult to use with a little practice, and you can really get into some nitty-gritty details if you can navigate layers of text and shapes and logos on top of each other.
The player editor let’s you customize the appearance of any player in a variety of ways. There are only a finite amount of variables you can edit on any player, but the amount of combinations means it’s pretty easy to get many unique players on your team. You can then make their attributes as high or low as you want.
In SMB2 you can create custom leagues that have up to 32 teams that can be as long as 200 games with whatever playoff format you want. These leagues will record multiple seasons and stats within those seasons for record keeping.
Super Mega Baseball 2 retails at $30 for PC/XBox One/Playstation 4. It doesn’t have the liscencing or depth of the twice-its-price The Show, but it’s a fun baseball sim for anyone that wants to pick it up on the cheaper. I would recommend it, if you wanted it.