Graphics:
8.0
Gameplay:
8.8
Sound:
8.3
Control:
8.7
Replay Value:
8.4
Overall Rating:
8.5
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Metalhead Software
Developer:
Metalhead Software
Number Of Players:
1-4
Genre:
Sports
Release Date:
December 16, 2014


Once upon a time, video game developers produced sports games that weren’t simulators. In fact, due to the lack of technology, even games that proposed to be “realistic” were hardly that. These days, though, in our ceaseless drive to make everything more authentic, it seems like the good ol’ arcade-style sports productions have disappeared. We still get a few ( NBA Jam , for instance) but for the most part, the sims dominate. That’s why I was intrigued when I saw some really positive reviews for a game I’d never heard of: Super Mega Baseball .

And now I can’t stop playing it.

Beginning with the graphics, the game looks decent on PlayStation 4. It won’t compare to big-budget blockbusters but then again, such a title shouldn’t be compared to those games. For what it is, Metalhead’s super mega fun game has a charming, extremely likeable visage. Stadium design is especially good, and the character animations are another highlight. However, I was kind of hoping for a bit more flair and flash; arcade-style titles typically thrive on cracking special effects and SMB is a little light in that respect. Still, the lighting and detail is solid and the overall presentation is technically sound and visually appealing.

In regards to sound, I think I know why the developers call themselves “Metalhead Software.” The game’s audio is definitely metal-centric and even the gruff, borderline comical cries of the umpires are very…headbang-ery. Of course, gameplay takes center-stage throughout and being a metal fan is hardly a requirement. I’m just speaking of the obvious influences behind the sound. The audio effects are a little better than the graphical effects, in my estimation, as everything from the crowd noises to the crack of the bat enhances the experience. The balancing is a major plus, too, as the effects, voices, and music all blend together quite well.

Super Mega Baseball is accessible without being overly simplified, straightforward without being bland, and above all else, wildly entertaining. It’d be inaccurate to say there isn’t a learning curve – because there is – but instead of trying to master a bevy of intricate controls, you’re merely trying to master the timing of a few simple controls. And instead of sifting through dozens of menus and dealing with never-ending off-the-field maneuvers (training, trading, drafts, tweaking sliders, etc.), you spend the overwhelming majority of time playing . However, before I get to that, let me clarify:

One might assume there isn’t much to this game. Now, granted, I’d hoped for a bit more in the way of content; for instance, I wish we could create our own teams and players from scratch, or at least edit the existing teams. I also think the menu interface leaves a little something to be desired when hiring your staff, and I sometimes question the balancing. In other words, I think Mojo might be too big of a factor and I’ll explain in a moment. However, all this being said, this isn’t about stepping up to the plate and swinging for the fences. This isn’t about a couple of buttons and kiddie-like characters running around the field.

There’s a lot more going on here. Speaking of hiring staff, you can hire various professionals to give your team a boost; there are Coaches, Trainers, Gear Managers and Stylists, and they all come with three Modifiers that can be attached to your players. Those players have lots of relevant stats: There are stats for power, fielding, speed, and Mojo. Mojo is a player’s mental state, in a way. It works as momentum during the game, so if your player is performing well, his Mojo will rise; if he’s striking out at the plate, that Mojo will decrease. The higher your player’s Mojo entering a game, the better he’ll perform in pressure situations.