Review: Super Mega Baseball 3
The 3rd instalment in Metalhead’s Super Mega Baseball franchise continues to improve the already highly enjoyable gameplay and customisation options that were a staple part of the previous 2 games.
If you’re a baseball fan then you’ve probably already enjoyed at least one of the previous “SMB” games. So does this warrant another purchase? In a word “yes”. In 2 words; “hell yes”. The improvements and additions across the game make this an essential purchase for any fan of the sport, whether you own previous versions or not.
But what if you’re not a baseball fan? Well SMB3 allows you to introduce the rules and game mechanics at your own pace, making sure that you feel confident in the essential things like pitching and batting (which is throwing the ball and hitting the ball for the uninitiated), before letting you explore deeper into the game…and this game has a lot of depth.
At first glance the caricatured players may well give an impression of a feature-lite arcade-style baseball game, but that is far from the truth, which you soon discover when going through all the options that are available to you.
Not having the MLB licence may well be a game changer for some, but the customisation options mean that you could change players and teams to ‘proper’ MLB franchises if you wanted too. However, I found the default teams and players very enjoyable to use (with some of the player names always raising a giggle),and with the ability to add friends names into the team as well as changing the team name and logo to that of our podcast all adding a little more spice at team selection while wanting that final win to get to the playoffs.
Customisation is key in SMB3 and Metalhead have given it to the player in bucketloads. From the aforementioned ability to change team/player names, right through to difficulty settings and ways in which you can change your games played/innings per game/etc, there are multiple ways in which you can set the game to suit you’re own particular gaming preferences.
The new franchise mode is sublime, allowing you to take your team through multiple seasons in a bid to dominate the baseball world…or in my case, to try and not have a losing season as “60MW’ swing and miss at the plate.
Players age and can leave your team for a variety of reasons, or you can choose to prune your current selection of players and pick from a ‘pot’ of them that is always available and always changing as the dynamic season unfolds and teams acquire new ones while discarding others.
Keep a close eye on your available funds though, as you only have so much to spend on all outgoings, with anything left over going towards player development opportunities, where tweaking players stats and personalised gameplay traits can make all the difference in a tight game.
Like all American sports there are a lot of stats to consume (which I love), but everything is laid out in a way that is easy to both quickly get to and digest. Want to see who is performing best at bat? Easy. Want to compare your pitchers? Easy. These can of course be ignored if you want and just dive into games and have some fun…and fun is something that SMB3 excels at. From it’s tongue in cheek player names, to the animations that include bat smashing and pitchers being hit full in the face by a wild swing and hit, the fun factor goes hand in hand with a deep, yet accessible game that gives back in equal measure as much as you want to put into it.
You can play a quick random game or lose yourself in the new franchise mode. Whatever your gameplay needs, SMB3 does its best to accommodate you.
Online gaming is something I dip my toe into occasionally, but then only with people on my friends list, so it was a treat to see how I fared against a human opponent (thank you Dave).
The customisation options available for online play are superb too. We started with PvP (where I naturally got beat), and then moved on to both being on the same team vs the CPU.
The way that the game accommodates your different ego levels (read that as “difficulty levels), even during online play, makes for a very enjoyable experience no matter what your skill level is with the game, and it was great to chat online while also picking up some tips from Dave. The upcoming release of a Custom Pennant Race mode is going to be great with a bunch of friends. It will allow up to 32 players to play together, along with your own custom settings, such as how long it lasts, how many innings per game, and much more.
There is so much to SMB3 that I could write pages worth about it, but the best way to discover all it has to offer is to play it. And play it you should.
Baseball fan or not, SMB3 gives you plenty of “bang for your buck” and tickles that “just one more go” place in your brain that will have you either playing another game to chase a Championship, studying your roster to see how you can fit in that red hot pitcher that has just come available, creating yet another custom team because you want a lineup of “All Star 80’s hair metal” players (doesn’t everyone?), or so much more.
Previous SMB games hit a home run with everything that they delivered, and for me SMB3 steps up to the plate and hits a Grand Slam…and if you don’t know what that is, buy this game and hopefully you’ll see one before too long…I was off my seat when I got my 1st to win a game.
Metalhead software is a small development team and should be applauded for delivering such an enjoyable and long-lasting game. Can we have Super Mega Football please? I’d love to see “60MW” in some pigskin action.
Super Mega Baseball 3 is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.