Super Mega Baseball 4
Super Mega Baseball 4 brings a big personality to an even bigger game. Lots of game modes, fantastic presentation and a simple control system make for the best game in the series.
Super Mega Baseball 4 is packed with great gameplay, impressive visuals, and a host of new features, it hits a home run when it comes to providing hours of entertainment on the virtual diamond.
This is the first time the game has been published by EA and you can tell straight away thanks to the visuals. It’s the best looking Super Mega Baseball yet, with excellent stadium crowds, characters, the stadiums themselves, and visual effects. There are six brand-new stadiums. Game cameras and cutscene animations have also been overhauled for the first time since the original Super Mega Baseball, with new variations and perspectives. It’s crisp and technically impressive without losing the cartoon charm the series is known for. The superb caricature characters come in every shape and size. Superbly placed sound effects and commentary play on the humour and enhance the immersion, as well as tremendously lively animations bringing a smile to your face.
Super Mega Baseball 4 is highly accessible. Batting and fielding have retained their arcade style meaning anyone can pick up and play through a regular exhibition match in no time at all. However if you really want to dig deeper into some of the more complicated play styles there are whole host of controls to remember to make the game more of a simulation. Difficulty can be tweaked to any level with the ego scale the small increments mean you can find the perfect level depending on your experience.
There are a huge amount of game modes to take part in. From standard exhibitions to pennant races, seasons, shuffle drafts and elimination.
In Pennant Race players choose a team to compete and face a series of randomized online opponents to compete for the top of the rankings. Players can choose to play cross-platform or same-platform, but they are then placed into a Division of up to 15 players based on their general skill level. It’s a great way to play random opponents.
Franchise mode adds a new player loyalty system which give you interesting decision to make to keep players happy, build their loyalty and keep them on your team, but it’s not the most satisfying mechanic: you always leave someone on your team upset and this black and white decision making reveals its limitations quickly.
The player development opportunities provide interesting decisions that can grant improvements or reduce a player’s skills. The risk verse reward aspect of this keeps you on your toes, and there’s an impressive number of different opportunities that crop up.
My favourite mode so far is Shuffle Draft, where you get repopulate the entire league. You have a choice of starting a Franchise, Season, Elimination or Online League season with your draft. You’ll start with a bank team and go through 22 rounds of each team picking a player. You’ll be given a choice of 8 players each round and its up to you to ensure you get the right balance of finding strong players and optimising your teams chemistry. It’s great fun a and keeps the game fresh.
Another huge area of fun comes from the awesome customisation menu. SMB4 has multiple options for both character and team customisation. In terms of players, you name it, you can customise it. All of the characters physical features can be changed as well as their stances and skills. Teams can have all sorts of visual and audio features changed, including the sounds that are made when they hit a home as well the logos.
The online experience is excellent too, especially now that game supports cross-play between all the major platforms. Sending invites is simple and you are in a game before you know it.
Super Mega Baseball 4 is the best in the series, with so many teams and legends to play as you will always find something different to play with someone different. Its the most accessible version I’ve played and the fantastic presentation is a real highlight.