Super Mega Baseball review for PS4, PS3

Platform: PS4
Also On: PS3
Publisher: Metalhead Software
Developer: Metalhead Software
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: No

I love MLB The Show. It’s been one of the primary causes of me jumping into the last three generations of Sony’s home consoles and both of their handhelds, and I’ve probably spent more time on Road To The Show careers than I have in any other game, ever. That said, I’d be lying if part of me didn’t kind of miss the baseball video games of my youth, when there were (quite literally) dozens of them and the focus was less on realism and more on simply having fun.

Super Mega Baseball 1

Because of that, Super Mega Baseball really strikes a chord with me. It’s a throwback to those earlier days, when games like Extra Innings and Little League Baseball simply sought to recreate baseball in spirit, if not quite in graphical approximation. All the teams are fake, all the players are made-up, and basically, if you’ve ever wondered how RBI Baseball would look with current technology (while ignoring that abomination that released earlier this year), now you know.

That’s not to say, however, that Super Mega Baseball will only appeal to ’80s kids and people who can’t wait four months for the next MLB The Show to get their baseball fix. I mean, being a baseball fan will definitely help, but it’s clear that this is a game designed to appeal to anyone who just wants a fun game, without all the hassle of learning all the intricacies of…well, MLB The Show.

Super Mega Baseball 3

There are more complex aspects if you want them, of course. If you’re the kind of person who adores how much dexterity Sony’s baseball flagship can call for, then you can adjust the controls here accordingly, making it so that you hit and pitch by sliding and pushing around your Dualshock’s various buttons and thumbsticks. For me, though, being able to play a baseball game where it’s X to hit and X to throw brings me back to a state of childlike happiness.

Likewise, freed of the constraints of realism, it’s fun to go into a game and not worry about how closely a pixelated player resembles his real-life counterpart. Because they didn’t have to be true-to-life, developers Metalhead Software were able to make the players all caricatures and cartoons, which makes them seem, in every possible way, larger than life. (And sometimes female too, which is pretty neat evolution, all things considered.) Likewise, the stadiums all have crazy dimensions and look unique, which a welcome diversion from how same-y all these modern retro parks can feel nowadays.

Super Mega Baseball 2

Best of all, though, thanks to ways that technology has evolved over the last 25 years or so, Super Mega Baseball allows you to play full seasons. I’m pretty sure that the teenage me — who kept detailed books full of player stats and lengthy save codes — would’ve been blown away by the option of having a cartoon-y baseball game that saved everything. Heck, I’m in my 30s now, and I’m still kind of blown away by that. Again, as with the players’ looks, it’s neat to play a baseball game free of expectations of how players and teams should perform, and simply watch it all unfold organically over the course of a season.

Or several seasons, for that matter. Because really, Super Mega Baseball is the sort of fun, easy to pick up diversion that video game baseball was at the very beginning of its lifespan — and if it’s as great as it is here, there’s every reason to believe it can still fulfill that function.

Grade: A