Posts tagged baseball
So, I got sent a promo code for this game on my birthday. (I would have bought it had it been available in the UK store.) I’d been resisting setting up a US iTunes account, but this pushed me over the edge. Had to look up instructions on the web to avoid having to give a payment method, but used my in-laws’ address in Idaho and everything was fine.
Was it worth the hassle? Why, yes. Indeed it was. It’s a brilliant baseball game where you make up a team using baseball cards you earn in games or buy with points.
It’s not perfect. The interface is pretty shocking, but I’m learning it. The “tutorial” is just a link to some videos on the web and instructions are very skimpy. It’s odd that the game features real players, but not real teams. (I guess they could only afford one of the licences and, in my opinion, went with the right one.)
Still, though, the baseball is great and getting new cards is a thrill. I’m very much enjoying it.
So, I was watching the Home Run Derby the other night – well done Big Papi! – and fancied some home run action of my own. I knew I hadn’t played this game in a while – not since it was called Baseball Slugger – but I hadn’t realised that I wouldn’t have a save file. Seems that I’ve not played it since getting my replacement iPhone nearly a year ago.
Still, it holds up well. It’s not as revelatory as it once was and doesn’t stand out quite so brightly, but it’s as fun and addictive as it ever was. (And it’s still getting updates, too. One came through just a few days ago.)
Well, it’s free. That’s a good thing. The mechanics for batting and, to a lesser extent, pitching are quite nice. I only have one real complaint, but it’s a big one. It’s the fielding. Way, way too often balls run along the ground past fielders who just stand there and do nothing. It’s probably just that the game has decided that they won’t get to the ball, so doesn’t animate them, but it’s completely infuriating to watch it happen. I won’t be deleting the game from my iPhone yet, but I’m not going to upgrade to the full, unsponsored version, even now it’s on sale for 59p.
Decent baseball game. Bit light on features, but includes real teams and players. (What I think I might really like is the officially licensed MLB Power Pros game, but that’s only out on the US App Store. Grrr.) Good pitching and batting controls, which are what really matters, but it’s sometimes hard to tell what just happened and why you’re suddenly two runs down.
I only played a single Exhibition game last night, as the Astros against the Phillies. I started reasonably well, but ended up losing 16-5. Ouch. Still, doesn’t seem that far removed from reality.
The Astros really aren’t doing very well at all this season.
Started a season yesterday as the Panthers. I’ve changed the difficulty to Normal and set fielding to Semi-Auto, so I need to throw to bases, which makes for a much better game. At this level I’m always in danger of losing, but know that I can win.
It’s definitely an arcade representation of the sport, but it feels right, though it’s very reliant on home runs for scoring. The vast majority of runs the AI and I score are from homers, with very few scored by getting people round the bases a little at a time.
Still, it’s really good stuff, now, even I don’t know what half the stuff on the menu screens mean.
I guess the faces show happiness/moral and affect performance and the colours under the player names seem to show the positions they can play. I think. Shame there’s not more help for that side of things.
When playing ball, though, it’s absolutely great and I think it’s my favourite baseball game on the iPhone. I find that the best way to judge a baseball game is by how enjoyable the pitching is compared to the batting. In many games, pitching seems to be a chore to get through before you can bat again, but Power Pros has an excellent, quick pitching interface that means I rather enjoy that side of things.
I’m even manually selecting my pitchers and making substitutions during a game, which shows I must be getting into it.
Big day for baseball fans yesterday, as spring training started with a win for the Mets (boo!) over the Braves (yay!). Not the best possible start, then, but it’s always very exciting when the baseball comes back. The new release of MLB At Bat came out yesterday, costing a whopping £8.99. However, it’s a brilliant app, including audio streaming of all regular season games, video streaming of some, push notifications of events, video highlights of every game, etc. If you’re a baseball fan with an iPhone it’s a necessary expense, rather than a luxury.
Anyway, I decided I need to play some baseball, so dug out Power Pros, which I’d bought in some 99p sale and never really touched.
All I did was a three-inning Exhibition match on the default settings, so I haven’t got much of an opinion yet. It certainly seems good, but I need to investigate further.
It was very, very easy – I won by miles – but that may have been a fluke. If not, I’ll just have to play with the difficulty settings until I hit the sweet spot.
What I do know is that it looks nice, runs smoothly, controls well and is easy to play as it’s all done in portrait mode. I think I like it rather a lot, but we’ll have to wait and see if I can get a decent challenge out of it.
This is the sequel to one of my favourite games, but I haven’t bought the full version. Mostly because it didn’t look like it was enough of an upgrade to be worth the vast sum of £3.49.
Luckily, there’s now a demo version, which I played for a while last night. As expected, it’s rather unexciting. It’s better, don’t get me wrong. The graphics are nicer, I like choosing a goal at the start of a season and it’s good to have touchscreen menus. It just doesn’t quite feel different enough. As soon as they drop the price I’ll probably jump on it, but for now I’ll stick with the 2009 version, unless further play of the demo brings out any hidden depths.
Things are going better now after the disaster of the previous season. My batting average is up, my team, though seemingly doomed to mid-table obscurity, are at least doing better than last season and my coach even tells me I’m awesome now and again.
There’s no way on earth my popularity is going to be high enough to let me continue to play after the end of the tenth season, so I’ll probably just delete my player and start again. I suppose it’s possible I may play some actual full games of baseball sometime, but I just love this mode so much that I never seem to want to.
Oh dear. The sixth season of my quest to become a star baseball player isn’t going well. I’m not doing too badly myself, pretty much keeping my batting average at the .278 level. I know that’s actually really rubbish, but by my standards, I’m happy. I’m building up my stats when I can and I seem to be getting better.
The trouble is, I’m not able to build stats a lot of the time because I have to waste training time by going on dates to raise my morale. You see, your morale is based on your team’s performance – and my team, the Dragons, are doing incredibly badly this season, sitting one place off the bottom of the league with only four games to go. It’s a problem – I can’t be a great player in this team right now, but I can’t change teams either. Loyalty’s a bitch.
A tale of great loss and woe. Not about my fifth season, specifically. That went very well. My batting average went up, my team won the league and the post-season stuff, my popularity went over 150 so I could buy new shoes. That was all really good.
No, the loss and woe came when I hit my first home run. Yes, in four seasons I’d not hit a homer, but then near the beginning of the fifth season I sent the ball sailing out of the park. Unfortunately, in my rush to try and take a screenshot I managed to quit the game – and the game only saves at the end of each game. So when I restarted the game my home run was lost. I’ve not scored another one since. Sigh.
It’s still not as exciting as a picture of a home run would have been, though.