Much has been made about the release of Baseball Superstars 2010, the sequel to the wildly successful Baseball Superstars 2009, and for good reason too. Baseball Superstars was an outstanding sports title that delivered an inspired brand of exaggerated baseball, fused with RPG progression elements. With Baseball Superstars 2010, we’re digging in to find out if this game is a worthy and necessary successor.
Baseball Superstars 2010 is not a simulation game by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, the game has all the rules and fundamentals found in real baseball, but it’s the concept of ‘super’ players that really differentiate this game from the crowd.
After selecting one of game’s 10 teams, you have to select a super batter and pitcher. These super players have attributes and special moves that are through the roof, and you get to strategically select when you want to use them. Trying to hold a slim lead late in a game? Substitute in Scufield to dominate with his Iron Ball Attack. Need instant offense? Bring in Joe Box to unleash his Golden Kick. All 12 super players have signature special moves, and the animations that accompany them look great.
Babe Ruth has a big head.
The control is in your hands to micromanage nearly every aspect of your baseball game. Using a series of onscreen buttons, playing both offense and defense is satisfying. Pitching in Baseball Superstars 2010 gets a UI upgrade, using a slicker and more spacious layout for selecting pitches. A virtual D-pad allows you to aim your pitches with precision, and putting the ball where you want is not a problem.
The original Baseball Superstars had a slew of onscreen buttons in the batting interface, but that’s been cleaned up to only show the selectable options. On the whole, batting feels responsive, but there were some questionable strikeouts we’d rack up even though we had perfect timing. With a runner on base, you can touch him in an attempt to steal a base, and it works perfectly. Fielding is automatically done by the AI, but we would have loved an option to control that aspect of the game as well.
Baseball Superstars 2010 is packed full of deep gameplay modes. Headlining the impressive list of modes are the ‘My League’ and ‘Season’ modes. In My League, you assume the role of a rookie batter and/or pitcher looking to earn respect and success, and eventually end up in the Hall of Fame.
Whether it’s hitting goals, training, or buying upgrades, it’s all about grinding RPG-style to level up your characters. The success of your team takes a complete backseat to the success of your individual player. While the mode’s script will not win any awards for storytelling, the execution is well done.
And the Lord of the Underworld steps up to the plate.
Season Mode puts its emphasis on team success. Outside of being successful on the field and having a winning record, there’s some interesting granular stuff to play with, too. You can trade away players, attend social events, and essentially tinker with your team just like a real skipper would. With the ability to play up to 10 seasons, this mode alone will easily account for several hours of gameplay.
Rounding out the modes are some cool peripheral extras that put an exclamation point on Baseball Superstars 2010′s value proposition. Homerun Race is great version of baseball’s Home Run Derby. Mission mode allows you to tackle up to 30 offensive and defensive situational scenarios to earn points. It’s all very addicting stuff.
There’s also Match Play, Baseball Superstars 2010′s version of playing against ghost teams made by real people. It’s not real online multiplayer, but it’s a decent consolation prize. Online-enabled leaderboards round out the awesome extras.
Visually, Baseball Superstars 2010 looks as good as its predecessor did. The cartoony art here is Japanese-inspired, with exaggerated big heads on little bodies (hate it or love it). One obvious upgrade in the graphics are in the special effects. Compare the celebratory ‘Home Run’ sequences from both games, and you’ll see what we mean. The UI and menus are noticeably easier to navigate, too. The original Baseball Superstars is still a looker, so getting a better looking game speaks to the incredible talent over at Gamevil.
Baseball Superstars 2010 isn’t an earth-shattering makeover from the original game. It’s a more refined and polished version of an excellent title that many regarded as the best baseball game on the iPhone. We had a blast with it, and we’re confident you will too.