Review: Baseball Superstars 2011 – Another Grand Slam?
Baseball Superstars 2011 is Gamevil’s newest rendition in their popular arcade series of America’s favorite pastime. Building on the elements of the well-received 2010 version while retaining the fast-paced arcade gameplay style, this RPG-baseball mix takes a swing at becoming the smoothest and most exciting iOS sports experience.
The game has 6 game modes that allow you to play anything from full seasons to quick matches. Exhibition mode lets you pick any 2 teams and either pitch or bat through 9 innings of baseball. In season mode, you manage a team and attempt to achieve the best record after 45 games. My league mode, one of the most popular features in the series, lets you build a player and control their life while trying to change from an inexperienced rookie to a superstar. You get to hit as many balls out of the park as you can in home run derby mode. Missions create certain scenarios and criteria that you can play through for points. Online multiplayer is included in match play mode, where you can face people from all around the world.
Baseball Superstars 2011 is fueled largely by its RPG elements that allow you to upgrade your character by training, doing things in the city, and performing well in matches. After playing a game in any mode, you earn a number of G-points, which can be used to buy better equipment and upgrades. You can play for one of 10 included teams, as well as 5 others than can be unlocked after meeting certain requirements.
All the good stuff from BS 2010 returns, including all the robust game modes. You can play as one of many characters, including warriors, fairies, and a tiger. Purchasing more advanced equipment, such as bats and gloves, for your player will increase his stats and allow him to do better during all game modes. The online multiplayer is asynchronous and basically downloads the other player’s team stats and lets you play a match on your device.
BS 2011 is not simply a reskin of its predecessor and features many noticeable additions and improvements. When put together, these amass to an incredible amount of content that will provide you with hours of play time. My league and season modes include much more customization than they did before, and you can go on dates, attend school, visit the mall, and do other things outside of baseball games. Between every 2 matches, you have the option of performing one action, whether it be resting, going out, or training. The graphics are brighter and there is a slight improvement in the game’s sprites and in-game effects.
You can also upgrade the stadiums in the game and make more money for your team in season mode. If your player does very well, you’ll be invited to join the Superstars Tournament in which you compete against elite opponents. Your player is assigned a nickname based on his popularity and performance, so you can build a reputation as you get deeper into the game. There are many achievements that you can earn from doing things such as hitting consecutive homers and executing double plays. If you’re a generous person, you can gift any of your players to your friends as well.
One of the most significant improvements is that batting is now tougher than it was before. One of the downfalls in BS 2010 was that it was really easy to hit the ball. Striking out is much more common, and the game requires you to precisely predict the ball’s final location in order to hit it. However, you can still purchase eagle eyes and bigger bats with your G-points so that you have an advantage when at the plate. The batting angle has also changed and feels more authentic.
There really isn’t much to dislike about BS 2011 besides the fact the G-points are still somewhat difficult to earn. Especially with the overwhelming amount of items and upgrades to buy, you’ll feel like you never have enough. In-app purchases allow you to buy large amounts of these for some cash, but then again, it’s much more fun to earn them yourself. The game does not appear to have Retina Display support either, but hopefully that will be added in an update soon so that 4th gen gamers can hit home runs with crystal clear graphics.
A new king in iPhone baseball has been crowned, and this arcade RPG sports game definitely deserves the title. The game includes everything that you loved in BS 2010 plus numerous other features that make it feel complete. A ridiculous amount of content guarantees that you’ll spend many hours entertaining yourself with the game. For $4.99, Baseball Superstars 2011 is a must-buy, especially for fans of previous games in the series.