Super Mega Baseball 2 comes in swinging at the sport of baseball against the likes of MLB The Show. While not a huge baseball game fan myself, it offers a very welcoming hand into the game to get started as well as offering something for avid fans of the sport.
From the start, there are a few different modes of gameplay such as, exhibition, pennant race, elimination, season, and customize. Each mode offers local play for 2-4 players other than pennant since that is a ranked online mode. Starting exhibition leads you through a basic tutorial mode that was easy to grasp, even for myself who is not used to baseball games. Customize mode allows you to create your characters, teams, logos, etc. You can create yourself a Sandlot team!
Super Mega Baseball 2 has a difficulty slider known as ‘Ego’ which lets you adjust how easy or hard you want your games to be. Moreso, you can adjust it for individual settings or for different accounts. If you wanted to play with your children, you can adjust it so they have an easier time with the game, alternatively, you can set it so the CPU presents a real challenge. Setting it lower will let you strikeout more opponents as well as making it easier to pull off some amazing hits.
Pitching and batting in Super Mega Baseball 2 takes the form of a reticle on the screen for your aim. While pitching, you have the options of the character’s different pitching abilities as well as normal and power moves. Batting allows you to perform either normal or power moves. Doing both were really easy to get the hang of, which is always a good thing in games like this. When the CPU scores a hit, your defence team will rush to catch it and from there, it’s up to the player as to where they want to throw the ball. There’s a bit of a learning curve for the jumps and dives though. The game will slow down briefly and you need to press R1 or R2 to grab the ball as it comes towards your character – however, quite often I would press them too early and the ball would end up flying past me.
Audio-wise, there isn’t any commentary during the games nor is there really any music. The only sounds that are frequent are the crowds or the blips of catches and scores going off. Due to the frequency of sound bites going off I ended up muting my tv in favour of listening to a podcast instead.
When it comes to trophies, the list is divided between stuff that will come naturally and some that are luck-based. One trophy requires you to hit a single, double, triple, and a home run with the same player in a season – while that may sound easy, the game’s CPU made it fairly hard to ever score a triple. Another trophy requires four home runs in a row. I came close to this, to my surprise, but the fourth hit ended up being a foul rather than a single. This is the type of game that you won’t get a quick and easy platinum for.
The main issue I had with the game was that the difficulty and AI would sometimes become inconsistent and not ‘play ball’, so to speak. In my first run-through of season mode, at a fairly easy ‘Ego’, I was scoring 15 or higher then suddenly the opponent would catch every hit and score home run after home run. The next match, I would be back to scoring high, when suddenly my defence would start missing the ball and letting it fly right by them, whereas the AI opponent would catch them all with ease. The frustration of this was eased by the 9th inning when I discovered you can hit the ball so hard it knocks out the pitcher. If only I knew about this sooner!
There are also many statistics in Super Mega Baseball 2 that weren’t really explained, statistics which are likely to be useful information that a fan of baseball would understand. For instance, there is a statistic for the players called ‘junk’, which I assume is for terrible throws. However, I never figured out what it actually was during my playthrough as players with either low or high statistics ended up pitching the same, regardless of their ‘junk’ level.
Despite some fierce competition and the genre not being my general cup of tea, every time I was away from playing Super Mega Baseball 2, I was very eager to get back to my team and win another game.