eBaseball Powerful Pro Yakyū 2022 | Review | Switch - TheFamicast.com: Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

eBaseball Powerful Pro Yakyū 2022 | Review | Switch

Here in 2022, there are now a decent amount of baseball tiles on the Nintendo Switch to choose from. Whether you want to go with arcade style ball or a game with more of a realistic look and feel, there is definitely something out there for you. Konami, believe it or not, has been one of the most aggressive companies when it comes to pumping out baseball games on the Switch. Starting in 2019 with Jikkyō Power Pro Baseball (2019) they followed things up with Power Pro 2020 and then in 2021 with Pro Baseball Spirits. eBaseball Power Pro Baseball 2022 marks the fourth game in the genre from the company. If you’re in the market for another baseball game on the Switch or are looking for your first Japanese baseball game on the platform, we’re here to tell you if this one’s worth it. Let’s get into it. 

The 2022 iteration of Power Pros offers the most modes that the series has ever seen. Of course, most of the previously introduced modes are there - Success, My Life, Pennant, Live Scenario and more. The previous 2020 version of the game was already packed to the gills with content, so it’s good to see that this hasn’t changed with this year’s version. 

The newest addition to Power Pros 2022 is Power Park. This is essentially a baseball amusement park with a variety of different attractions to try out. Before release, Konami went on to say that the mode would see more additions after release (more on that in a little bit). Sushi Survival is the one to kick everything off. Here, you are tasked with creating a team to take on other random (sometimes) user created teams and sometimes pro teams. After choosing from one of three opponents, you are taken into a game of baseball. You don’t play the whole game, but rather have the option to take control of your players in key game situations. You can also skip these and let the computer take control/simulate the action. If you win, you get to add a player to your roster and also gain points. The more times you win in a row (indicated by sushi plates stacking up) the more points you get and the more difficult your opponents are. This can be a pretty fun mode to play and the addition of Kaiten Sushi Dome is pretty funny. At the same time, I can see this being a bit confusing for some as there is quite a bit of text to go through. 
As it stands right now, Sushi Survival is the only mini-game available in Power Park. There are two other modes, Powerful Royale and Powerful Colosseum, that are currently being worked on with no solid release schedule announced. I think the initial messaging behind the mode seemed a little dishonest. Perhaps my expectations were just way too high as I took what they said to mean, “Hey, we’re going to adds tons of mini-games here!” Again, when it comes to content, there really isn’t a reason to complain. What’s available right now with Sushi Survival is fun and easy to drop in and out. 

Online Play
If you’re looking to test your baseball skills against the best* players in Japan, Konami has got you covered. The online hub for the game can be found in Championship. Here you can create your own lobby complete with in-game settings (how many innings, etc) or join one of the many that are already created by other users. I didn’t have enough time to try this out as of right now, but I would temper your expectations.

Don’t let cute visuals fool you. While the things do look very inviting, Power Pros is a simulation baseball game at heart. If you’ve played a game in the series or any other simulation style baseball game, you’ll know what to expect. While batting, you control an on-screen bat reticle and can press B for swings or A for bunts. If you press R, the reticle becomes significantly smaller, but your power increase dramatically. Pitching is also pretty easy to wrap your head around. All you have to do is choose your pitch with the analog stick and press B to fire away. Defense is also self explanatory here as well. Overall, as with Konami’s previous entries, things feel pretty good and really do give a great simulation feel to the game. The difficulty settings can be a bit unbalanced, though, with the switch from Normal to “Powerful” difficulties jumping a bit too much in my opinion. Sure, you can create a custom difficulty level to combat this, but I wish Konami would do a bit more tweaking here. 

Visuals, Audio & Performance
Not much has changed since the Power Pros series has hit the Switch back in 2019. I don’t think that’s much of a bad thing, though. In the Switch version of the game, you still get sharp visuals, cute representations of Japanese baseball players, great renderings of stadiums and more. There are some limitations, and if you’ve watched any of my videos or read any of my reviews before, you probably know what they are. Smaller details, such as logos on jerseys or signage throughout stadiums are bit low resolution. Not only that, but other things, like the crowd popping in occasionally are also noticeable. The engine, or maybe just the Switch in general, is starting to show its age. 
Even with that said, these small hit to the visuals make it possible for the game to run super smoothly on the platform. Of course, if you’re looking for visual fidelity, I’d suggest going with the PS4 version of the game. In term of sound, audio is still top notch, with full in-game commentary and authentic stadium sounds and cheers. You’re not getting licensed music or anything like that, but everything is presented pretty well and gives you the feeling of being at a Japanese baseball game. My only complaint here is with the commentary. As far as I can tell, not much has really changed since the series hit Switch in 2019 and maybe before (I have a gap in my Power Pro playing). Maybe changing things up by adding a color commentator would make things a bit more fresh. 

Note on Language & Accessibility
I think this goes without saying, but there is a lot of Japanese to wade through in this game. For some of the more story driven or text heavy modes, you might find some…challenges to get through it. If you’re looking for some quick play options, modes like Live Scenario are easy to get in and out of with minimal Japanese language ability. I’m trying to work on a few translations to offer, but I’m not making any promises! Keep check us out on our website, social media (@TheFamicast on Twitter) and/or sub on YouTube for updates on that. 
Power Pro Baseball 2022 is a solid game, albeit a bit of a re-hash of 2020. Power Park, the newest addition to the series, is fun, but I don’t know if it’s enough to warrant a purchase if you already have Power Pro 2020. On the other hand, if you’re interested in a bit of a refreshed Japanese baseball game or if you really like keeping up with current rosters, there’s still a lot to like. If you’re just looking to dip your toe into Power Pros, I’d suggest trying to find 2020 on sale somewhere. 

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