Microsoft

Super Mega Baseball 3 (Xbox One)

smb3

Teams in Super Mega Baseball 3 don’t have home cities, at least in their names. Much is suggested in the stadiums though. Some squads base their operations in lower rent districts – that’s evident by the advertisers lining the warning track. Say, a lawyer service called “Bogus Docs: Creative Bookkeeping” for fields in working class sectors. In more posh areas, where massive ornamental whales hover over centerfield, ads for boats and acting classes attract the upper class in a coastal zone.

Super Mega Baseball 3 is all fictional, of course. The Blowfish do not play in any real world league, and “Creative Bookkeeping” is more a thing advertised on Craigslist. It’s fun to think of this as Single A ball, a ragtag league of men and women hoping for their shot. Only here, the talent is already notable.

Akin to micro-budget, super minor leagues, this is a game of personalities. That’s perfect. Creative player names (editable, but some deserve their fame) and body types akin to retro sports games like NES Ice Hockey breathe life and creativity into this catchy affair.

While never serious on its surface, the play feels authentic, even satisfying with punishing sound as the bat makes contact, a sonic boom-like visual touch furthering the power. Strikeouts bring exaggerated pitcher smiles (and when a batter blasts one into the pitcher’s face, far less smiling).

It’s pure glee, and franchise play delivers the rudimentary depth that makes these fictional players likeable – enough to be disappointed when they retire or request a release. Good character design does that. Where pixels limited such potential in the 8 and 16-bit eras, Super Mega Baseball 3 carries on, using advancing tech to relive that past, but injected with added spunk. MLB’s own retro-focused RBI Baseball can’t manage a tenth of this charisma.

Here’s hoping the crowd can play their part, more than just standing and clapping, in the necessary Super Mega Baseball 4.

4/5

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