If there is one genre of game that has been missing from Xbox over the last few years it’s Baseball. All the other American sports have been catered for multiple times and thankfully developers Metalhead Software have brought us Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings.
SMB doesn’t have any official licensed MLB teams, which is a shame for fans looking for a fully licensed game, but what Metalhead have done is create a set of custom teams, like the sirloins, and allowed you to customise then to your heart’s content. The cartoony big-headed characters look great, and you could spend hours creating a team of your own quite easily.
There are a huge amount of buttons to remember to press, and if you are new to baseball that will be quite a challenge on top of learning the rules of the game. Thankfully the developers have thought about this and beginners can just use the A button to play. At the beginning there are loads of screens to look through as you play your first matches and it’s a lot to take in, I found it easier to try new controls in small stages until I was more comfortable.
On the pitch you’ll spend more time perfecting your batting than the fielding, as the computer is a huge help in that area, most catches are completed by the AI, unless you really ramp up the ego level, there is still plenty to do though. Players can throw themselves at all ball going wide of them and it’s up to you to throw the ball to the bases to try to out the other team. It takes some getting used to but the control scheme lends itself well to the Xbox One controller.
Managing your team from a batting perspective is another thing that needs getting used to, like the throwing, A,X,Y and B represent a different base, so as you player runs between them you can tell them how far to go. I often found myself sending a player to run to a base when all I was trying to do was move on to the next pitch!
On top of this, the difficulty levels are handled really well. You can increase and decrease Ego to make the game more or less difficult, I started higher than I should have but I brought the ego level down and as I began to feel more confident I increased it gradually.
The cartoony look to the game shouldn’t hide the fact that this is quite an involved game. There are only two game modes, Exhibition and Season, during season mode you can earn upgrades for your players as well as earning coaches and equipment that will further boost your teams stats. During the game, depending on how individual players perform, their ‘mojo’ will increase or decrease causing a boost or reduction on stats. The coaches you employ work well with certain players more efficiently than others so it’s worth taking the time to work out which coaches work best for your team.
Super Mega Baseball had me hooked within minutes and I haven’t been able to put it down, the customisation of the players is excellent and I have had a great time playing my way to victory. Yes, the fielding could do with being a bit more difficult and serious baseball fans may not enjoy the game as much, but there are plenty of reasons to have fun with the game – there’s even a free trial, so you have no reason not to batter up and give Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings a go.
Thanks to Xbox and Metalhead Software for their support
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