Review: Super Famista Retro 2018 (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, August 10, 2018

Review: Super Famista Retro 2018 (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

Old school baseball goodness fully realized thanks to M2.
When developer M2 takes on a retro project, they really do stick to the basics of what made the game fun to play in the first place. With their work with Bandai Namco on this free download for Pro Yakyū Famista Evolution on Switch, things are no different. The attention to detail is top notch, but that doesn’t mean this game isn’t without a couple of issues.

Super Famista Retro 2018 is a love letter to the retro Family Stadium titles, the first of which started the entire RBI Baseball franchise on the NES. This title is a re-imagining of the 1992 release of Super Famista (reworked and released as Super Batter Up in the US in 1992). Famista Retro includes all 12 Nippon Pro Baseball teams as well as the license for all of the current players. With the ball parks, however, gamers are relegated to only three stadiums to choose from - a dome, an outdoor stadium, and an ocean-side stadium. While it stays true to the classic baseball games of yesteryear, it would have been nice to see all of the professional stadiums fully realized in this old school aesthetic.
Super Famista Retro offers three modes of play - Exhibition Game, All-Star Game and a Draft Mode all available to play with one or two players. The first two modes are pretty self explanatory, but the draft mode needs a little bit of explanation. This isn’t like a mode that you find in modern sports games where you build up an entire team of players. Here, you have to try to bid on two top tier players in an effort to get them to join your team. The CPU (or second player) is also trying to pick up the best players here as well. If you select the same player as another team (up to four), you’ll have to blind pick an envelope and hope you get your desired player. If you don’t get that player, you have a chance to get another, probably lower tier player. After two rounds of the draft, you can play a game with your star rookie. A single game. Just one. Then you’re booted back out to the menu. With all of these modes, there is no continuous play. It’s just a one and done affair.

The controls here are exactly how they should be - simple. Batting is all about timing and where you make contact with the ball. It’s fast, responsive and feels great. Fielding is also consistent. This aspect of the game is extremely old school and has no on-field radar with the players a bit on the slow side. If you played a lot of RBI Baesball/Famista back in the day, this is something that you will be familiar with. However, if you’re used to faster paced games of the NES or SNES era, you might be a little disappointed.
The visuals are faithful to old school Famista games. Colors are bright and vibrant, and the players retain their rotund figures. Subtle animations, such as batters slightly wiggling their bats, pitchers sweating when they’re tired, look fantastic. “Cut scenes,” such as ones that appear after hitting a home run or when you enter the “lucky” inning (the seventh inning in a standard game), are cute, colorful and look great. M2 even included a handful of screen filters that can be switched on the fly.

Super Famista Retro 2018 is a nice free title that would even be worth picking up if a price was attached to it. If you really dig old school Famicom/NES era baseball titles, this will be right up your alley. The fielding aspect of the game is a little slow compared to other retro baseball titles and the ability to play some kind of season/series of games would have been nice. However developer M2 shows that they have the chops to deliver a quality retro title.

Note on Japanese and How to Get this Title
For those of you out there who speak little or no Japanese, menu navigation and understanding of the language isn't really necessary to enjoy this game. Some Japanese knowledge would be helpful for the draft mode. Again, this game is a special bonus to those who purchase Pro Yakyū Famista Evolution. After purchasing the title digitally, you'll get a download code for Famista Retro on your digital receipt. It's also available with the physical version.

Note: With all of our retro or retro related reviews, there will be no final scores. Hopefully the content alone is enough to inform you whether or not this title is worth your time. - Danny

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