Super Mega Baseball 2 : Ultimate Edition
Developed By : Metalhead Software
Published By : Metalhead Software
Category : Sports, Arcade, Multiplayer
Release Date : July 25, 2019
One thing that has always been tough about being a Nintendo platform owner in the last couple of generations, is being a sports fan on top of it. After the GameCube, Nintendo didn’t really see very many of the yeared sports titles from EA. The Wii and Wii U each saw a handful of things in an attempt to bring some unique motion controls to the mix, but it never got a lot of light. Sure, we had plenty of indie and knock-off like titles that could count as sports game, but they always felt lackluster and dry after a few games. So far on the Switch, we’ve seen a FIFA release for the major titles, and a bunch of the indie and indie-like approaches. Enter : Super Mega Baseball 2 on the Switch, and this just might be the non-official sports title that brings a lot of comfort and solace to those Nintendo fans with a sports-ball shaped hole in their hearts…er libraries.
At a first glance, this game doesn’t appear to offer much. From the main menu you can choose from four different game modes : Exhibition, Pennant Race, Elimination and Season. While each offers it’s own bit of gameplay, but once you get on the field it’s all going to feel the same. Exhibition is naturally just a one-off game. You pick a team, your opponent picks (or you do it for them if its a CPU) and then go play ball. Elimination gives you a knockout, playoff style bracket to see who can be the best, and Season gives you an opportunity to pick one team and see how great you can be with them over a seasons of 40+ games. We will discuss the Pennant Race in a little bit.
Once you’ve selected your team, which by the way a lot of the names and logo combinations are absolutely amazing. If you don’t enjoy yourself playing as the Platypi or the Beewolves, then I’m not sure what you’d enjoy. Anyways, once you’ve donned your jersey, you’ll step onto the field and begin to master the controls for the three areas you’ll be playing : pitching, hitting, and fielding.
The latter two are probably the easiest and least complex. As a pitcher, you’ll have a selection of pitches that can be chosen with the right thumbstick. Each pitch will have an image of the ball over homeplate, and a series of arrows to indicate which direction the ball will break in. After you start the throw, you’ll have to react quick, because initiating the throw will bring up a circle of dots that will shrink the longer you hold the pitch button for strength. There will also another dot that is going to be completely stationary…this is your target. As the circle tightens up, you’ll need to try and make sure it ends up surrounding that stationary dot to make sure you have the most accurate pitch possible. You can choose between throwing the ball “normal” or a harder throw, the only difference being a risk/reward in that the dot-circle is harder to control, but offers increased precision if you can master it.
Fielding is much simpler, since the game does a lot of the work for you. Whether it’s hit on the ground or in the air, the fielder you’ll need will be auto selected, and even start moving in the direction they need to. You can speed this up by holding the left thumbstick in the appropriate direction, and if you’d like to change the fielder you have, simply release the thumbstick for a second and it will move to the next closest fielder. Once the ball is in hand, use the A, X, Y, B buttons to throw to any of the bases (buttons correspond to the respective base position). Be careful though, you’ll want to hold for a stronger throw, but holding it too long will cause the throw to go over-strength and lose accuracy.
Batting at it’s essence is just as easy as the other positions, but it’s timing is what can make it a little harder to get used to. All you’re responsible for is setting up your hit reticle for where you think the ball will end up. Whether you’re right or wrong, once the ball is on it’s way the reticle will move to that spot on it’s own, the only downside being if you’re really wrong in your guess, you won’t have much accuracy if you go for a swing. Speaking of swings, you have the choice for two : normal and power. The difference between these two is a little more than the pitch difference. A normal swing is just that, press it when you want to swing. The power swing operates more on a hold-and-release. As you hold it you’ll see inside of the aiming reticle, a meter filling up to 99. Whatever you release it on is the power of your swing, but much like the fielding if you hold it too long this will decrease and you’ll lose power.
Lastly, with the batting comes baserunning, which is extremely easy. You can use the left thumbstick to select individual runners, commanding them to a certain base with the same A, X, Y, B layout for throwing from the field, or use the L and R buttons to send everyone forward or backwards together.
Mechanically, nothing changes between the modes, this is baseball through and through, and it works. No matter what mode you choose, you can play them either against the CPU, or online against other opponents. And then there’s the Pennant Race. This mode is a ranked tournament that recycles every week, and can only be played against other people online. You’ll play three games to get ranked and placed in a division, and you’ll pick a team before going into your first game. This team is who you are committed to representing for the entire tournament, but you can change this the following week when things reset.
Through and through, Super Mega Baseball 2 is a fun baseball game. It has a bit more of an arcadey feel than simulation, but it doesn’t detract from anything. But, what truly sets this one apart from other games is its Ego difficulty system. Most other games only give you a few levels to choose from, typically ranging from easy to hard, pro, and all-star type levels. Here, though, you’ll have a slider from 0-99, representing your Ego and how good you think you are. This allows so much of a dynamic feeling from your opponents and let’s you really find the sweet spot of where you want to be. This was personally my favorite thing about it. I always struggled keeping up with the yearly baseball games because the difficulty was always so inconsistent, I either felt like I was playing against a newly formed little league team, or I felt like I was the newly formed little league team.
Purchasing the Ultimate Edition of this game gets you the base game as well as some extra parks to play in, and a ton of extra customization options for your players. If the team and names of the players aren’t enough to get you cracking smiles, all the things you can do to dress them up certainly will. It’s a really fun game, and it offers so much for you to do, so if you want to dig into the Pennant Race or just chill doing some Exhibitions, it doesn’t matter, you’re going to have a great time, so add this one to your library today!