These two things are true: I have not watched a full nine innings of baseball in over ten years and I had not played more than an hour of Nintendo Switch outside of airplanes in 2019. Then I reviewed Super Mega Baseball 2 for Nintendo Switch, a game I had already played a lot on Xbox when it came to other platforms last year, and now I can’t keep my Switch charged enough to satisfy my desire to play it.

Simply put, one of this generation’s best baseball games is a dream come true for Nintendo’s hybrid console, and even if you don’t have a Switch, it’s totally worth playing for any sports gaming fans on any platform.

Despite wearing a Red Sox hat every day of my life, I haven’t been a fan of professional baseball in many years. The sport slowed down too much for me to enjoy it as a spectator, but I’ve always loved the games still. It’s just outside of PS4’s The Show, there has been an enormous gap in modern console baseball games, either sim or arcade.

Luckily, SMB2 is a mix of both. Like Forza Horizon, it can be the deepest, most challenging simulation or the breeziest, relaxing arcade experience, or anywhere in between. What it does so perfectly for the Game Together audience is how it allows for so much nuance in the difficulty settings. Using a system called Ego, the difficulty isn’t laid out as easy/medium/hard or the like. Instead, it’s placed on a scale of 1-100. The higher the number, the harder the game, and you choose where it goes, even adjusting it mid-game if desired.. It’s that simple. This allows for virtually anyone with an interest in the sport or this particular game to find their footing and have a great time.

The cartoonish presentation of the game, while great for kids, also belies the seriousness with which it considers it baseball strategy. Especially on higher difficulties, SMB2 expects your baseball IQ to be quite high, which in turn rewards those players who seek to truly simulate the sport.

A ridiculously deep customization suite allows you to adjust every inch of players, teams, and league makeup. I spent my first hour closely recreating adult versions of the old Backyard Baseball kids like Pablo Sanchez and Pete Wheeler, but the game’s default names and likenesses can be changed to whatever your heart desires, or kept as their often silly defaults. Metalhead Software knows baseball very well, and they give players the chance to make this great sports game feel like it is uniquely their own.

On the field, gameplay is tight and responsive too, which ties the whole experience together to become a supremely enjoyable sports game. Pitching and hitting uses a very active system where mistakes are costly and great timing delivers big moments. Fielding, while partly automated when it comes to fly balls, is otherwise exciting and skill-based, leaving it up to the user to make or break a throw, a dive, or a wall-climbing, home run-robbing leap. I can attest firsthand to the fact that you need not be a baseball fanatic to become a Super Mega Baseball fanatic.

SMB1.png

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Switch, Steam

Genre: Baseball sim/arcade

Price: $29.99

Multiplayer Modes: Two players local, two players online, custom league

ESRB Rating: E for everyone

Developer: Metalhead Software

Publisher: Metalhead Software

Summary

The combination of lighthearted aesthetics, the deepest customization suite, and awesome baseball mechanics makes Super Mega Baseball 2 one of the absolute best family games of the year and perhaps, very sneakily, the best baseball game of the generation. Online or local, co-op or competitive, multiplayer or solo, Super Mega Baseball 2 is a diamond. You can have your Zelda and Mario. For me, and I expect for other sports fans. This is the Nintendo Switch’s killer app.

 

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