It's been a couple of years since the previous installment but Super Mega Baseball 3 is finally here and it knocks it out of the park.
If you've played previous Super Mega Baseball games then you'll generally know what to expect with Super Mega Baseball 3. For the unfamiliar, its gameplay easily appeals to both casual arcade baseball fans and hardcore simulation enthusiasts alike. It does so by allowing gamers to dive right in and use simple controls if they wish while simultaneously letting them customize teams and players with a surprising amount of depth before utilizing complex mechanics if they so desire. Whether it's baseball, a fighter, or whatever; I've never played a game with such a wide range of appeal. Little kids can have a blast simply timing their bat swings and aiming pitches while seasoned baseball veterans will find themselves throwing curveballs, stealing bases, and getting grand slams after fine-tuning their batting skills.
Believe it or not, Super Mega Baseball 3 adds a layer of authenticity to the formula by offering new gameplay mechanics. Some of them include being able to utilize designated hitters, steal bases with more deliberate controls, take advantage of player traits that are used in various circumstances, and deploy plenty of new pitching options. Although all of these additions make each game more exciting, it should be said that mastering these mechanics will likely take quite some time since there are a lot of controls to memorize and become accustomed to. That being said, if you're willing to do so then you'll find that it will pay off, especially once you play a game online or with local friends then show off your mastered skills. Pro tip: just don't win too much as no one will want to play with you anymore.
Super Mega Baseball 3 is the best-looking and sounding game in the series so far. For starters, the stadiums all look very unique and are impressively detailed with various conditions in each such as time of day and weather. The players also look more impressive complete with their expressive animations and generally hulking statures. There are a ton of different character models and playing a game while observing everyone will make you feel like you're enjoying baseball with friends even while you're in the middle of a solo match. The audio is also improved with a lot more satisfying effects, colour commentary, crowd noise, and short musical interludes. However, I find that the music is too scarce which makes the overall audio come across as a bit flat which was an issue I had with the previous games.
Finally, there is a solid amount of modes to enjoy in Super Mega Baseball 3 such as Exhibition, Pennant Race, Franchise, Season, and Elimination. Franchise mode is new and it involves following and growing your team over multiple seasons and you can even witness your team improve, age, and players will even retire eventually. Anyway, up to 4 local or online players can simultaneously cooperate and compete in different modes which is great. With that in mind; while playing solo, I noticed that the AI can be extremely unpredictable. Sometimes, they'll be downright awful and in other games, simply getting to first base might be a huge challenge as you watch the opposing team rack up run after run. Instead, I wish the AI adapted to your skill level in order to create more excitement.
Super Mega Baseball 3 proves that arcade baseball can be authentic while also catering to casual fans of the sport. From its plentiful customization options and in-depth mechanics that you can either choose to master or not; this is truly a baseball game for everyone.
- + Tight gameplay that's as deep or as arcade-like as you'd like it to be
- + Plenty of new gameplay elements
- + Graphics and sound are better than ever
- - Could use additional variations and modes
- - AI opponents are all over the map
- - Audio feels a bit hollow without regular music