Don’t pay too much mind to the freakish aesthetics of Super Mega Baseball 3’s fictional stars: this cartoony sports sequel has all the trappings of a true simulation, but it’s all packed up in an alarmingly accessible wrapper. It means that practically anyone can step up to the plate and knock out a Home Run or three, but there’s more than enough depth to keep baseball fans in the bullpen once the initial novelty wears thin.
The highlight addition to this, er, edition is the new multi-season Franchise mode, which sees you balancing your salary cap and developing players in order to build a virtual dynasty of your own. The management aspects are more straightforward than what you’ll find in MLB The Show 20 but are no less pleasing, tasking you with balancing a salary cap and investing in player development in order to build the ultimate team.
There’s no trading here, so you’re mainly required to work with a pool of free agents, releasing players from your roster who you feel are overpaid in favour of picking up some gems that you can train. After each match, you’ll gain access to surplus funds, which you can then invest into your team. For example, you can put your fielders on a high protein diet, which could improve their throwing arm – but may also reduce their running speed.
The title has a genuinely amusing sense of humour, and it’s these little stories surrounding player development which add character to what are effectively statistics sliders. Traits add further personality, meaning your starting pitcher may fade when down in the count, while your star batter may buckle when put under pressure. As with the previous game, you can adjust the difficulty dynamically, allowing you to find just the right level of challenge for you.
Everything can be customised, too. Whether it's rosters, logos, uniforms, teams, leagues – you name it, you can fiddle with it. There’s a default array of teams for you to take to the field, but if you want to build a squad inspired by your extended family – well, you can do that, too. We’re not particularly enamoured with the caricature aesthetics, though it’s neat that you can have a mix of men and women on the same team. Stadiums are detailed, though loading times can be long.
The online pennant race mode returns with optional cross-console play, although we weren’t able to find many matches while playing in a pre-release environment. Still, we were able to appreciate the under-the-hood improvements to the overall gameplay, with base stealing requiring much more precise timing than ever before, and power swings and pitches adding an additional layer of depth to battles at the plate.
Super Mega Baseball 3 is a refinement done right. The series’ accessible action remains easy to pick up and play, but teensy tweaks to systems such as base stealing add immeasurable depth to the overall experience. It’s the multi-season Franchise mode that’s the real star of the show here, though, adding just enough economical depth to keep you engaged in the storyline of your squad, while still ensuring that you spend more time out on the field than in spreadsheets.
Loved the first 2 games but I'll wait for a sale. $60 CAD is a bit too pricey for me.
Absolutely love this series!
@Jeevz Yeah it’s quite a pricey game, but I think it mostly justifies the asking fee.
Nothing wrong with waiting for a sale though!
I’m playing way too much of The Show cause of lockdown but I’ll keep an eye out for this. The Show 20 is an absolute mess with the fielding and pitching being pretty much broken so competition is definitely a good thing.
Looks like a Mobile game - should not be more than $19. Another good reason to own a PS4, imagine being a MLB fan and stuck with only this
You should see my logos for the 2nd game. I think they are super amazing. Don't know how to get them off the ps4 though. I guess I can.
@Jeevz WOW, 60 bucks?!!! This game used to be a 10 buck game when it first came out. Two editions later and it's now got a AAA price tag?? It's a hard swerve for me then. A sensible price would have been 15-20 bucks surely?
@tomassi It's $45 in the US.
@PSfan4Life22 thats still a lot of money for a game I wouldn't consider having AAA production values. Hey, I'm from the UK though so have no interest in baseball so may be I'm looking at it through that lens!
@Agramonte It's not a mobile game.
being that I've never played the first 2, I would have liked to hear something about the gameplay. I mean... this is a game and what do we do with it? We play it right? Seems like gameplay should be the main focus of a review. Just my 2 cents.
$45 is a bit too steep for me. Under $40 and I would have pulled the trigger immediately.
@Agramonte looks can be deceiving. The SMB series of baseball games are fantastic. I suggest not judging a book by it's cover and give em a try.
@tweakin_frostyz It's a baseball game. Batting is fairly simplistic: you can do normal hits (with better contact) or power hits (worse contact/more distance). Pitching is executed by moving a cursor for accuracy. Again you can opt for power.
Fielding works largely the same as The Show.
There are no power-ups or anything like that, it's a simulation with a cutesy wrapper. But it's definitely more accessible than The Show.
I own this and the Show. I played the show twice then never again. SMB is the baseball game I play. Its worth the money just for the customization alone.
I completely disagree that the series has ugly aesthetics. The characters have an endearing cartoony quality that is unique and sets the game apart, and the stadiums, lighting, etc., are actually quite lovely.
I’ve been a fan of super mega baseball from the beginning I’ve been playing the third game and it is great. Since mlb baseball players can’t seem to get together and play some ball due to money issues and so many of us don’t even have jobs They can take a hike! I’ll just played super mega baseball.
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