There is nothing like going to a baseball game. The atmosphere of the stadium, drinking with fellow fans, and singing and hootin’ & hollerin’ just make for a great experience. I miss those times, especially watching Japanese baseball games in Tokyo (Go, Swallows!). But thankfully, we have a new baseball game on the Switch in the form of Super Mega Baseball 3 to scratch that itch and give us some classic American pastime to enjoy. But is this a baseball game worth playing? Or is this a foul ball destined for the bargain bin? Well, let’s find out!
(This review originally published on May 12, 2020)
Super Mega Baseball 3 is a game that took a lot of notes from previous sports games and did a fantastic job of creating their own world and avoiding paying any licensing fees whatsoever.
Super Mega Baseball 3 does so many things right that it actually makes itself a better baseball video game than any Major League Baseball licensed game before it. You are able to not only create your own team, but you can make multiple, create your own leagues, and add as many of your custom teams to them as possible. Not only that, the editor for team logos is quite extensive which helps to make your own team so much more yours.
On top of that, there are loads and loads of modes to enjoy that help give your custom teams more importance. They can participate in pennant races, enjoy long and exhilarating seasons, or even take your favorite team through multiple seasons in franchise mode as you learn the ins-and-outs of trading and management.
Another thing that Super Mega Baseball 3 does is include women in the roster like it is no big deal, and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy this. It allows the teams to be even more diverse and loads more fun! I love the wide assortment of body types, styles, and personalities each player has. It genuinely made each game more fun just seeing what roster you were going up against, and I yearn for an MLB game to do the same because of it. Genuinely excellent stuff.
Super Mega Baseball 3 may not sound like it would be a great baseball game at its core, but let me nip that one in the bud. This is a great baseball game, and something I would put on par with Bases Loaded on the NES. For those unfamiliar with the NES franchise, it just somehow prided itself in being a great baseball without needing to be connected to any real-world league. Super Mega Baseball 3 does the same thing.
Games are honestly just fun to play. The amount of entertainment I received from Exhibition mode alone blew my mind, and there is so much more to do.
Once you get used to them, the controls are quite simple. Both defensive and offensive positions provide enough ease to understand quickly but also have a lot of depth for players interested in a more dynamic and exciting form of baseball. This gives Super Mega Baseball 3 many layers and allows for enough flexibility where novice players can jump in without problem and expert players can get the real challenge they desire. Simply put, the difficulty system is excellent, as it can be adjusted easily.
To make it even easier, instructions for gameplay are always in the settings, so if you forget how to do something, like stealing bases, you can quickly access these instructions and get right back into the action without a bump.
As with any sports simulator, the game allows you to enjoy longer modes of play, like Season and Franchise mode. Both are deep and provide a ton of gameplay for the most hardcore of baseball fans.
Fielding and batting both feel great, and it is interesting how the game changes between solo play and local multiplayer. In solo play, things are a lot more hidden, which makes the experience more realistic, but in local multiplayer, both sides can see each other’s pitching and batting icons. But in the multiplayer, the pitcher has the advantage, because they can customize the trajectory of their pitch after choosing what type of pitch and where to initially throw. In solo play, playing as the pitcher is a bit more difficult, as you need to move the cursor to the right position in order to perform better pitches.
When it comes to batting, though, there are lots of options to mix things up. Although there are only three buttons for batting, learning how to use them well is the difference between hitting a decent grounder infield and smacking a line drive down the foul line. Batters are able to do a normal swing, bunt, or power swing, and all of those can serve as check swings as well so you do not accidentally swing at a bad pitch.
Multiplayer is split into two options; locally for up to four players or online via Pennant Race. I was not able to get a whole lot of chance to play online because of limited players, but the couple games I did play were really competitive and fun! Local multiplayer, however, is a blast! Whether it is two, three, or four players, the game balances things quite well to make the experience entertaining for everyone. We found ourselves playing a lot of four player Exhibition games, and after each game, we would all look at each other and say, “One more?”
Simply put, this is just an excellent baseball simulator, and I would easily say that the gameplay is on par with any licensed MLB game, if not better.
The soundtrack in Super Mega Baseball 3 is a fun mix of rock and hard rock tracks that make the game of baseball feel a bit more metal than usual. For me, I would have preferred a more broad mix of genres, like some casual sing-alongs, but it is still fine.
In regards to the sound effects, the game sounds like an authentic baseball experience with a bit of a cartoon-flavor. From the crack of the bat to the umpires’ calls, it really did feel like the real thing in many ways. But my favorite part by a long shot is the crowd reaction. When the game is boring, they are quiet. When the game is building up, they start making more noise. When something significant happens, like a home run or a beamball, they lose their collective minds, and it is awesome. I love when sports simulators give the fans a lot of life, and surprisingly, Super Mega Baseball 3 does this so well.
Super Mega Baseball 3 has gone the unrealistic, cartoon-like route when it comes to visuals, and honestly, I love it. I think the over-exaggeration of characteristics and features are a lot fun, and the actions players perform before batting, like grabbing their crotch, pointing like Babe Ruth, or spitting, always put a smile on my face. Certain animations like players being knocked out by beamballs to the head feel a lot like a Looney Tunes moment, and the animations when players strike out are all fantastic and accurate gestures that real-life players express.
Unfortunately, I did experience some bizarre glitches in the form of players’ bodies disappearing and some issues with swings not counting as strikes, but these issues only happened a couple times and did not affect major gameplay moments. The game did, however, crash on me a couple different times when I was loading up games in franchise mode, which I found a little concerning. But considering I played dozens and dozens of games in franchise mode, two crashes was not a lot and I did not lose any progress.
Super Mega Baseball 3 is going to cost you $44.99 in the US, and I honestly think that is more than a fair price for the amount of content you are getting. This is a serious baseball package for fans of the genre that do not mind playing something that is not Major League Baseball-licensed. You get loads of modes with hundreds of hours in potential gameplay, particularly in Franchise mode. The customization options are incredible, and the ability to use your custom team(s) in Season and Franchise mode makes it that much more sweet.
I would even say that a full price tag would be justified considering all that you are getting. As a fan of baseball, this is a game I will find myself playing for months and months, and I believe you will, too… that is, if you are a fan of America’s pastime as well.
NOTE: As of December 16, 2020, I am still playing this on occasion with my son, so that last paragraph is even more accurate.
Tons to do
Great baseball simulator
Really fun multiplayer both locally and online
Not MLB, no known players
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.