Baseball would normally be in full swing this time of year, but it’s the virtual ballfield that will have to satisfy our cravings for now. Super Mega Baseball 3 is the latest iteration in the Super Mega Baseball series, and the second to grace the Switch. Let’s see if the game can live up to the franchise’s already solid reputation.
The Super Mega Baseball series, for those who aren’t aware, skews a bit more towards the arcade style of baseball games. But don’t be fooled, it features impressive depth. The latest entry is testament to that fact, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a component of the game of baseball this game doesn’t simulate really well. Bats being broken on bad contact, the dropped third strike rule, and updated, realistic base-running mechanics showcase that this series has plenty for the baseball simulation fan, as well.
One of the biggest new features this year is the addition of a full Franchise mode. This allows players to create their own teams and foster players over the course of their careers. Players have skills, traits, and in-game ages. As a roster member ages in the game, he loses some speed running the bases; while young rookie players show maturity and bat discipline as they progress. The developers also promise that over the course of a franchise, players can opt out of their contracts to explore free agency. They can even set their own price and, if there aren’t any takers, they might retire or revise their asking price for a second chance at playing. Players can manage all aspects of their team’s growth in this mode.
One of the most compelling aspects of Super Mega Baseball 2 returns in SMB 3: the online Pennant Race mode. I particularly enjoyed this mode and am continuing to enjoy it! It allows you to play against opponents online in weekly pennant races. This mode even features cross-platform play like in SMB 2. All four major platforms are supported: PC (Steam), PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It’s really an excellent mode, and the game does a great job of matching you with opponents that fit your “ego” level (level of in-game experience, or the game’s version of a difficulty gauge). This ego level goes from 1 to 100 and allows you to tune every aspect of the game. Not that great at pitching? No problem, just tune your ego level down in that area. The more you play, the ego level will adjust ever so slightly each time you hit a home run or make a great play.
I really can’t say enough about the cross-platform play—this is an amazing feature. I don’t know of another baseball game, on the Switch at least, that features this capability. And, if that wasn’t enough, there is a planned, free update to the game that will allow you to play in “Custom” Pennant races. That same great online, cross-platform play will now allow you to customize the number of innings, lock the ego level, adjust the frequency of when you play, and more. Even without this great new mode, Super Mega Baseball 3 has something for every type of baseball player.
With the additions of four new ballparks (for a total of 14 parks), new day/night lighting options, new customization options for player models, and the all new Franchise mode, you’ll have plenty of content to dig through in SMB 3.
Up to four players can play locally. And there are a wealth of other multiplayer options for both online play and the Elimination (local tournament bracket) mode. I really can’t think of much that I didn’t enjoy with this iteration of the game. The pitching mechanics have improved, the base-stealing is light-years better than before (it actually takes good timing and skill to execute), and the game’s performance is excellent. There were only a couple hiccups I experienced, but that was in online play which could’ve just been connection related. If you’ve been looking for a great baseball game to play on the Switch, Super Mega Baseball 3 should be your first choice. They’re also offering a free demo that allows you to play the online Pennant Race mode, play the Exhibition games, and access to player customizations. Hope to see you in-game sometime soon!
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