Sports and RPGs are usually two genres that don’t get mixed, but there seems to be a lot of unseen potential in this virtually empty space. Gamevil’s sequel to their popular baseball game looks like it could be a pioneering effort for this cross-genre.
In Baseball Superstars 2010, there are six modes to play through. Some are story-driven, while others act as a way to quickly jump into the game or get some G-Points (more on these later). More importantly, all of them are intertwined. Players you create, items you buy, and trades you make in one mode will be the same in the next one. This seems gives the game a good sense of progression.
In My League, you choose to play a batter or a pitcher (you can be playing as both at the same time). Then, you follow him from his rookie years to going pro. Unlike the normal story-driven game, your success relies upon how well you are doing. Players who constantly lose games and improperly train their player will likely retire sooner, while those at the top of their game will keep at the sport for longer.
Once you reach the end of your career, you can enter your player into the ‘hall of fame’. This will allow you to keep playing with that character in other game modes. We think this welcome feature will bring a lot of customization to your teams.
The other story-driven mode is Season, which has you play through ten seasons with one of the ten available teams. Here, you must keep your teamwork stat up by winning games and attending social gatherings. You can also micromanage teams by trading players and playing every game in its entirety.
Both story modes have unique text depending on how you perform and occasional challenges from your coach, which if met earn you some extra money. Season goals, such as winning a certain number of games or attaining a certain status, are set at the start of every year. Every four games you can buy new items, train, and enter events.
Another included mode is Match Play, where you can take on the super team, your friend’s team (downloaded online), or the Gamevil staff. Homerun Race is much like a watered-down Homerun Battle 3D, and exhibition mode allows you to quickly play a match. Mission mode was also a great addition, taking your personal players and pitting them against 28 missions. Apparently more will be downloadable in the future, but at the time of this preview there were none.
Online leaderboards are included as well. Every mode has online scoring, and you can even download a friend’s team to play against. However, there is no direct multiplayer.
Control-wise, this game feels fully optimized for the iPhone. There are two options: the virtual d-pad from the original Baseball Superstars, and titling. Both of these allow you to position the player. Then, three methods of hitting the ball are available: a normal swing, bunting, and a player’s extra powerful special move.
Pitching is much the same, allowing you to use the d-pad or accelerometer to move the small circle to where you want to throw the ball. Running, sliding, and base stealing is all assigned to touch controls. You have control over virtually every aspect of the game.
Super Pitchers make a bold return in Baseball Superstars 2010. There are tons of new specialty pitchers to be bought with your G-Points, each with a special super throw that can devastate the opposing team. For example, the escaped convict throws a mean iron ball and a pitching machine throws a fast one that swerves in random directions before reaching you.
We could go on about the game, including its customization and intricacies, but instead we will allow you to give it a swing yourself. Baseball Superstars 2010 has been submitted, meaning it should be out within a month.