Super Mega Baseball 3 | Review | Switch - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, June 19, 2020

Super Mega Baseball 3 | Review | Switch

by Danny Bivens

The best baseball game on the platform?
The Super Mega Baseball series has a reputation - and a good one at that. 2019’s Super Mega Baseball 2 was regarded not only as the best baseball game of the year, but also as potentially one of the best baseball games of all-time. With a lot to live up to, developer Metalhead Software has pulled out all stops on the sequel, Super Mega Baseball 3, but is it worth your cash?

Super Mega Baseball offers over the top character designs that are playing the game of baseball in a pretty realistic setting. It’s a call back to unlicensed games of yesteryear. The character models themselves are detailed and have a lot of difference animations. From pitchers scratching their rear ends between pitches to slouching after striking out, the variety here gives the game a lot of character.
There are quite a few modes on offer in Super Mega Baseball 3 - Exhibition, Penant Race, Franchise, Season and Elimination. Franchise is where most players will probably spend a lot of their time with SMB3. You can play for multiple years doing things like resigning players, develop them and more. It’s pretty robust and will definitely provide lots of play time for fans.

The visuals in the Switch version of SMB3 are pretty good. The ball parks are believable, the players animate and look well, and things like the umpires and crowd help bring in a sense of realism. In my time with the game, I rarely (if ever) ran into any slowdown. I will say that there are times that you MIGHT notice that some of the smaller details, such as grass or logos on player helmets, look a little bit low resolution. You probably won’t notice this at a quick glance, but if you are on the lookout for it, you won’t be able to unsee it. That’s not to say that the visuals here are bad in the Switch version of the game - far from it. These are just a few nitpicks that I had overall. Audio on the other hand, is one of the strong points in of the game, as every sound of the bat, gloves, crowd and the umpire help bring SMB3 to life.
Pitching in Super Mega Baseball 3 feels pretty good. After selecting your pitch with the right analog stick, you hit the A button to fire it in. During the brief wind-up, you will have to control the exact location of the ball as it won’t go directly where you want it. Here, you’re trying to get it as close to an on screen cursor as you can. The further away from that you are, the chances of performing a wild pitch increases. I really like this pitching system. It’s fun and provides a little bit more interactivity with this aspect of the gameplay.

Fielding is simple and by default, the CPU assists where your fielders run, though you can take control at any time. Honestly, I left this on during my time with the game. It seems like judging pop-ups would be a little bit difficult without it. Dives and jumps are also a part of your repertoire here and can be activated with the shoulder buttons. Timing these perfectly are paramount for stopping incoming balls. The mechanics of throwing to the bases are simple enough, with the four face buttons representing the bases. In an interesting and somewhat realistic twist, after pressing the desired base, a slider appears on the screen. If you time it correctly, the ball will go exactly where you need to for an easy out. If you make a mistake you increase the chance of a wild throw. Again, as with the pitching, this simple addition is great. Unlike other baseball games that usually do this at random, mistakes fall more on the player themselves rather than the will of CPU randomness.
Batting is also easy to get the hang of. You can bunt, perform a regular swing as well as a power swing with the Y button. A cursor is in place and can be moved around to improve contact with the ball. Like the CPU assisted fielding, the default controls have the AI assisting you to make hits. This makes the game immediately accessible to even novice fans of the sport and honestly feels pretty good.

One thing you will notice when playing is this - the whole experience feels a little bit slow when compared to other baseball games. Whether this is good or bad is kind of dependent on what you want from a game in the genre. It takes some getting used to and overall feels good, though. The intentional slowdown after hits is a cool effect and really helps you decide what you want to do on defense. Even if you find it kind of annoying, it’s definitely worth giving the game a chance with every aspect of gameplay being spot on.
Finding the right difficulty might be a little bit annoying, however, the slider provides an easy way make adjustments. If you find yourself tearing apart other teams, a quick boost up a few levels will do the trick. It’s not just relegated to an overall difficulty, you can even switch to a mode that has you controlling the difficulty of various aspects of the gameplay. This level of customization allows you to adjust the game to suit pretty much any level desired.

I’ll be perfectly honest - I’m usually not a huge fan of non-licensed sports games. You may be wondering to yourself why that is. Well, as opposed to licensed games with teams and players that I’m familiar with, I find there to be a bit of a barrier of entry given the fact that I have no affinity for any of the players or teams coming in. At least initially. I’m sure there are others out there like that as well. While I don’t think I’ve bought completely in just yet, some of the names of the characters (Junior Young Jr., and Junior Young Sr. come to mind), team names and stadiums do grow on you. I realize that this might seem like a pretty minor thing to bring up, but I surely can’t be the only one to think that way. Even with that said, don’t let that be the only reason to keep you from trying out this game.
Super Mega Baseball 3 is an easy game to get into for gamers of all levels. The ability to adjust the difficulty and the general ease of play ensures that almost anyone can jump in and get used to it. The game might seem a bit slow-paced at first glance when compared to other baseball titles, but the solid gameplay mechanics make this a complete non-issue. If you can “buy in” to the crafted league and players here, you will definitely find yourself having a good time with the game. Even if you can’t do that, you really shouldn’t sleep on this game. There are tons of features and modes that will make it well worth the money.

Final Score: 9.0

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