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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (221)

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R.B.I. Baseball 14   PlayStation Network 

Classic Retro Baseball That's Majorly Flawed    2/5 stars

While R.B.I. Baseball 14 does bring back the retro-style gameplay from the NES days, this game has too many flaws and issues for it to be considered worthwhile.

One of the problems I've had with the baseball games of the last couple generations is that it takes way too long to play a game. RBI does a good job of bringing back the ability to play games quickly and you can actually have some fun with another player who hasn't played it before.

If you've played RBI way back on the NES, this game is very similar. The pitcher is at the top of the screen pitching towards the bottom of the screen to the batter in a 2D format. You can move the ball left and right with the D-pad and can also make it a breaking ball by holding up. Swinging is just one button. You pick the position you want to be in the batter's box and swing. If the ball crosses the plate, it's a strike, there's no high or low balls.

The game contains every team from MLB. But, the rosters aren't complete. This is another aspect taken from the old game. There are only 4 pitchers on each team (3 starters and a closer). Also, there are only a few hitters on the bench. The players are current to the 2014 season which is nice. Pitchers don't last the whole game, usually after 4 or 5 innings their stuff lessens considerably.

The basic concept of the game is great. I loved played the old school RBI on the NES and this seemed like it would be a home run. But, there are flaws. First of all, whenever there's a ball put into play, especially flyballs, there's a fixed perspective on the field which causes you to easily misplay balls. RBI on the NES did this too, but the perspective was much wider and much better. Hitting seems even more uneven then the NES version too. I've pitched the computer as far inside off the plate as possible and still they manage to hit the ball on a line to the opposite field. You'd think swinging at pitches off the plate would cause you to get more outs but it's still somewhat easy to hit the ball hard. If you want to make sure they can't hit the ball you have to pitch way off the plate.

There are other major flaws. I've caused the game to crash multiple times which might be the first time I've actually frozen my PS3. The computer is stupid. In rundown situations on the base paths, the computer will not run with their personnel. They just stand at each bag, throwing back and forth until you commit to a base. If you have any skill, you can always get back the original base you ran from without getting out. That's pretty sad considering RBI on the NES could do that right.

There's multiplayer, but no online play. I know this game is retro, but that's going too far. It's the same thing with Season Mode. The game doesn't keep track of statistics for your players. The game does keep a cumulative tally of your average, HRs, ERA, etc. but that's not very useful. These simple things wouldn't take away from the retro aspect of the game, MLB.com should realize that.

I want to say this is a good and fun game to buy because I'm in favor of the concept of it but the game was so poorly developed and has so many flaws it's not really worth the effort. I did have some fun playing this, but just not enough to warrant a recommendation. Hopefully MLB.com makes another attempt at this and the game is much improved next season.

2/5

 

 


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