PSX 2016 – Super Mega Baseball 2 Preview – Tricky Curveballs (PS4)
We all know MLB The Show is the King of the Diamond when it comes to simulation baseball games. But what if you want to have a more laid-back virtual baseball experience? While MLB The Show 17 is going to come with a Retro Mode, Metalhead Software hopes to woo you over with Super Mega Baseball 2. Announced back in September, we were able to get some hands-on time with the game during Sony’s annual PlayStation Experience. Take a read to learn more about this arcade title.
Streamlining is the name of the game with Super Mega Baseball 2. Controls are pretty easy to figure out, even if you don’t have a controller diagram in front of you. Batting consists of moving your reticle to approximately where the ball is coming, and pressing a button to hit for contact, hit for power, or bunt. It all basically comes down to timing when you’re batting. Pitching involves using the left analog stick to choose pitch location, and the right analog stick for pitch type. Base running and fielding use the left analog stick and face buttons. Super Mega Baseball 2 has a very simple control scheme which should prove to be accessible to casual players, but also has enough options to keep veteran baseball gamers happy.
The original Super Mega Baseball featured players with bombastic proportions, such as gigantic, caricaturized heads. They’ve toned that down a bit this time around, but the result is still appropriately lightweight. Everything is bright and colorful, with a cel-shaded look that really makes the action pop. It’s amusing to see America’s pastime conveyed in such a refreshing way, and it’ll be great to see all the different stadiums on offer in this game when the developer isn’t so tied down with realism.
Looks can be deceiving. While Super Mega Baseball 2 may appear arcade-like, there is plenty of depth to the game. Even though you may know where your opponent is pitching the ball, what type of pitch is being thrown is a bit harder to tell. You see, if you’re looking at the pitch location, you might not see what pitch was selected, since that selection disappears as soon as the wind-up begins. All information is available for all players, but this may be an intentional case of information overload – what you choose to look at is key.
If you’re lucky enough to be playing with four people as we were at PSX, then things really start to get hectic. Teams are split, and roles rotate per batter (between batting and base running) on offense, and per inning on defense (pitching and fielding). That means you have to pay attention! If you are the batter, for instance, the only thing you can do if you manage to hit the ball in play is to yell at your teammate to hurry up and send your runner to second, or wallow in despair as they are caught off-guard and you only net a single, or worse. Part of the fun of our demo was being thrown into the game and having to learn the controls on-the-fly.
Super Mega Baseball 2 has all the makings of being a party game. Yet don’t let that description fool you – there is absolutely depth to this game. It’s rewarding to pick the right pitch type, and in such a way that minimizes the chances that your opponent knows what’s coming. There there’s the unexpected turmoil of constantly changing roles, which practically ensures a fun time. Super Mega Baseball 2 is currently scheduled for a 2017 release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.