Baseball Superstars 2009 Hands-On

Korean publisher Gamevil is about to release its first game on the US App Store–Baseball Superstars 2009–and we’ve got the exclusive preview!

Although we’ve got a lock on the World Series, the sport of baseball is hardly exclusive to the Americas. It’s also hugely popular in certain parts of East Asia, like Japan and Korea; in fact, there are about a dozen active Korean players in MLB right now. Gamevil’s Baseball Superstars mobile games are relatively unknown on this side of the Pacific, but they’ve sold 7 million copies worldwide since 2005, so this is a franchise that’s already enjoyed considerable success.

When we say that Baseball Superstars 2009 is a full-featured sports simulation, we mean it. After you mint a fresh player, gameplay extends from batting and pitching in league games all the way to off-field activities such as signing autographs, training, and going on dates; you have to carefully manage your fame and money along with your fitness to become a true superstar. Or, if you prefer, you can simply play one of the game’s less involved modes, like the quick home run derby event.

In any case, the game resembles something you might have played on SNES once you’re on the field–complete with a faux d-pad and four action buttons. Batting is a matter of timing your swing, while pitching gets a little more strategic, since there are many different kinds of pitches to throw.

Also, those players who appreciate quirky Far Eastern design flavor won’t be disappointed. For instance, you can call upon whimsical super-characters with special abilities, such as a dominatrix who struts up to the plate swinging a nightstick, or a schoolgirl who throws sine-wave curveballs. When you win a game, your player is flanked by girls flashing a double “V for Victory” sign. We love it!

Baseball Superstars 2009 will go on sale tomorrow for $4.99. Have a look at our preview video for an early taste of what’s in store.