The original RBI Baseball is a classic. It was simple, quick, and used real Major League Baseball players from eight different teams. Despite not having official backing from the MLB to use official team names and logos, teams were listed by city. However, if you knew anything about baseball, you knew what team you chose even without the logos and team names, and that was just fine.
Two decades later, Major League Baseball decided to bring back the series, in the hopes that it would catch on with those who fondly remember the series, plus bring in a new audience and become a yearly baseball foundation once again. With simple controls, real players and teams, and a lightning-fast pace, it has the right pieces in place to catch on with those who want a simplified approach to their baseball experience.
RBI Baseball offers an exhibition mode, a full season mode (consisting of 52, 81, or 162 games), or the chance to go straight to the playoffs (I know that’s what Cubs fans have been wishing for over a century.) The controls are very simple whether you’re pitching or hoping to hit that game winning grand slam.
Pitchers have three pitches available to them: a fastball, changeup, and a sinker. Batters can either take a full swing at a pitch they like, or can bunt, which could prove to be very useful. When you’ve actually hit the ball, baserunning is done by swiping in the direction of the base you want to run to. On the field, you can throw directly to a base simply by tapping it on the screen. The controls do take a little getting used to, but with practice you’ll be turning double plays and stealing bases with ease.
One of the main ingredients that we found to be lacking within RBI Baseball were customization options. You don’t have the option to change a lineup before each game, you can’t use a pinch runner when you need someone faster than Prince Fielder on the basepaths, and with only three pitchers in the bullpen and three batters on your bench, you don’t have your team’s full roster of players to utilize when you see fit.
We also found it difficult to tell when to pull the pitcher. He might pitch well for the first 3 innings, but then ends up getting smacked around in the 4th. With no clear indicator that he’s tired, it’s one of those things that’s the difference between a win and a loss.
RBI Baseball is a fun game that will appeal to both casual gamers and baseball aficionados. Each game only lasts 15 minutes, so for those of you looking for a good pick-up-and-play baseball game, RBI Baseball is for you.