Super Mega Baseball 2: Ultimate Edition (Switch eShop) Review
I’ve never laughed harder playing a sports game than when playing Super Mega Baseball 2. Encapsulating the larger-than-life tone this arcade baseball game adopts is the ability to knock out the pitcher with a line-drive hit. I’m not even joking. By timing your hit to perfection as a batter, you can scone the hapless pitcher in the schnozz with the ball at lightning speed. Anything else Super Mega Baseball 2 does is null and void – like Man Getting Hit By Football, it just works on so many levels.
— Chris Button (@BibbyBhoy) September 17, 2019
Oh, and it’s a pretty good baseball game, too.
Immediately impressive is Super Mega Baseball 2’s approachability. Normally, I begin most games by navigating to the controls menu to figure out the basics, but doing so here I was prompted to start playing an exhibition game. Super Mega Baseball 2 teaches you as you go, acting like a capable coach in the dugout taking you through practice. In using this approach, I felt comfortable building up to using more advanced techniques in a shorter space of time than many other sports games. It also helps that everything from batting, pitching, through to fielding feels incredibly intuitive to control. To wheel out the tired-but-true cliche: Super Mega Baseball 2 is easy to pick up, but the challenge is in the mastery.
In fact, the only foul ball Super Mega Baseball 2 hits from an approachability standpoint is in its difficulty system, referred to in-game as “Ego”. From a scale of 1-100, higher numbers correspond to greater challenge and vice versa. Even here, while Ego is highly modular in that you can either change the level for each individual component (batting, pitching, etc.) or as a blanket setting, it’s not immediately obvious how it works.
For starters, Ego is tucked away on the bottom of the screen, as a small UI element under each user. Great that it can be changed for each player, yeah? However, it took me a while to figure out how to navigate to the Ego section in the first place. Following some trial and error, I worked out that pressing “x”, navigating to the right, and then another button input allows you to tweak Ego as you see fit – a couple of steps too involved for such a setting. Additionally, there’s little explanation for how much each Ego increment alters the play experience beyond trial-and-error. It’s a suitable, highly customisable setting, but more clarity on how much Ego tinkers with the various assists would make it excellent.
As mentioned earlier, all of Super Mega Baseball 2’s baseball elements feel great to control. Hitting a home run is immensely satisfying while suckering in an opponent with a deceptive curveball never loses its appeal. Even throwing between bases in the field feels fluid and is extremely easy to do, as the face buttons correspond with each base on the diamond.
While deceivingly arcade-like in appearance, Super Mega Baseball 2 packs some serious punch in its depiction of baseball. Although not on the same simulation level or depth of game modes as Sony’s MLB The Show series, Super Mega Baseball 2 includes plenty of modes to keep you busy. I’m very much a career mode player when it comes to sports games, so no individual game mode held my attention for overly long, but the likes of season, elimination, ranked and unranked online variants cover plenty of bases.
Arguably one of Super Mega Baseball 2’s best features is its rich level of customisation. Although there are no official MLB players or licences to be seen, there’s nothing stopping creative folks from creating their own teams packed with custom-made stars. Honestly, I was totally content playing as the default brandless teams, considering they’re filled with such goofily-named characters.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much success in finding games online, even with platform cross-play enabled. However, Super Mega Baseball 2 lets you queue for games online, and then gives you the freedom to play any offline mode while you wait. The best part? Once connected to an online game, the offline game you were playing is suspended and can be picked up from wherever you left off. There’s local multiplayer, too, which is an absolute blast. My brother and I played several games, including one where he overcame a massive deficit to win against the odds – I went easy on him, promise.
Swinging for the fences, Super Mega Baseball 2 captures the fun of America’s pastime. Those looking for a highly customisable baseball experience will find plenty to sate their creativity. While Super Mega Baseball 2 isn’t as deep as MLB The Show, does it really matter when you can drop players like a sack of spuds with a beanball?
+ Knocking out pitchers and batters alike
+ Easy to play with intuitive controls
+ Highly customisable
- Ego systems lacks clarity
- Difficult to find online games