Title: Super Mega Baseball 2: Ultimate Edition
Developer: Metalhead Software
Publisher: Metalhead Software
Genre: Arcade, Multiplayer, Simulation,Sports
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: Everyone
Release Date: 25/07/19
Price: £23.89 – Rapid Reviews were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Super Mega Baseball 2 is the pinnacle of baseball on the Nintendo Switch. Although an easy title to win after the abysmal offerings on the Switch to date, it is a title I think SMB2 will hold for quite some time. Developers, Metalhead, have spotted an opportunity to capitalise on the misdemeanours of baseball games before it and ported their 2018 hard-hitter to the Switch.
Well-received by other console owners in May of last year, SMB2 launches with ‘Ultimate Edition’ branding. It offers a plethora of game modes, cross-platform multiplayer and a comprehensive campaign. Not only that, but it has editing options rivalling the best in the sporting world.
Rookie or baseball purist, SMB2 packs a mode for everyone. Compete in ranked matchmaking (1v1), dominate friends in arranged matches (1v1, 2v1, 2v2), take on the AI (solo, local co-op, online co-op), and make it your own with deep team and league customization – all kept fair by Ego, the genre’s most flexible difficulty system.https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/super-mega-baseball-2-ultimate-edition-switch/
The art style is funky and fresh, creating an atmosphere very much in-tune with the fanfare and appeal of baseball as a sport. Whilst it could lead you to believe this is an arcade title, Super Mega Baseball 2 is the closest we will get to a true baseball experience on the Nintendo Switch, maybe ever.
Following the rules of baseball, each match consists of an innings as the batting team, and another as the fielders. This is repeated for a period of time set at the start of the game, and the points are tallied on a scorecard before declaring a winner at the end. The controls, whilst a little fiddly at first, blend seamlessly to create an engaging and immersive experience. You pitch the ball by targeting a spot within a small square and then need to use the right stick to move a cursor as close to your pre-determined spot as possible. The same applies when hitting the ball, only this time the spot where the ball is to land is randomly generated by the pitcher.
The similarities between the two elements of the game meant it was easy to switch between the two, and careful assignment of other key functions – ZR to dive to the right as a fielder, for example – ensure that the game is easy to pick up and play.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with AAA or officially sponsored sports games, Super Mega Baseball 2 is missing the oft-considered, all-important rubber stamp for player and team licensing. For the casual gamer, like myself, this is not a concern but for veterans of the sport, this could prove costly. Personally, I believe it would be a travesty for this game to be overlooked for the sake of a few naming conventions – something which can be edited using the very comprehensive editing tools available.
The editing options are nothing short of fantastic, and allow the creative freedom that other sporting titles don’t, due in part to the aforementioned licensing constraints. You can change everything from the team name, logo and colours to their uniform. Delving deeper, you can individually change each player in the team, including but not limited to their: name, physique, preferred hand for both batting and throwing, gender, and even their personality. It is an excellent inclusion and one that would be sorely missed had it not been included.
One inclusion which is sorely missed is that of a training mode or detailed tutorial. Alluded to already, this is much more than your average arcade hitter and as such, it has a variety of different ways to play and tactics to consider. By sharing text prompts to inform you of the controls and options at your disposal, it can very quickly become overwhelming and unforgiving. A safe space to practice both pitching and fielding would have been ideal, as doing so in-game can prove to be frustrating. It is a shame that this wasn’t included in the ultimate edition, especially a year after its initial release on other consoles.
All comparisons aside, SMB2 is a fantastic sporting simulator that die-hard fans and casual gamers alike should not confuse with a shallow arcade experience. Although the visuals may suggest otherwise, there is a level of depth and detail to SMB2 that Metalhead has done extremely well to create. A lack of depth to the tutorial could alienate some gamers, and the licensing may do too, but SMB2 is undeniably good fun, be it in the single-player career mode or with the online functionality that, again, allows it to stand out from the crowd.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Super Mega Baseball 2: Ultimate Edition from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Super-Mega-Baseball-2-Ultimate-Edition-1603136.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.