Konami’s long-running Power Pros franchise – perhaps better known by its Japanese names PawaParu or Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu – has received Western releases in the past, but has generally remained exclusive to Asian territories over the years. The release of WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros is noteworthy because it’s available worldwide, then – and it also costs just £0.79/$0.99.
That’s not a typing error by the way: the game costs less than a dollar, and has no microtransactions either. Presumably this is because the publisher is trying to test the waters to see if the international market may be interested in a full release; whatever the reason behind the business decision, it’s a great arcade sports title that we’d recommend for the price.
Now there are very obvious compromises given the low price point: the series’ staple Success mode, which sees you take a rookie to the big leagues in an RPG-style life simulation setting, is missing – and in fact, there aren’t any real single player modes at all. You can play offline against the CPU and there’s a practice option, but outside of that, there’s not really much to do solo.
Where the title shines is in online competition, with rotating tournaments testing your team building skills and pitting you against the rest of the world. We’ve only played against Japanese players thus far, but the net code is surprisingly sturdy, and there’s some decent depth to the arcade action – despite its underlying accessibility.
As we alluded to above, you’ll need to assemble a roster from a pool of pre-made players, all of which have unique attributes and skills. Some cost more to add to your team than others, so you’ll need to make tough decisions about whether you opt for a fierce starting pitcher or a more rounded bullpen. Customisation is deep, too, allowing you to create uniforms, logos, and much more.
While it does feel quite scrappy, and you will have to spend a bit of time setting the title up to your tastes, we reckon this is a fair trade given the ridiculously low price point. There is local multiplayer if you want to play with family and friends, which extends to a nifty little tournament mode, too. So, if you’re in the mood for some multiplayer baseball, you really can’t go wrong here.
A buck? Have you moved your offices to America? We don't give a buck over here 😊
I guess they're testing the water and trying to make it a...World Series😎
The only problem I can think of with releasing this so cheap to test the water is that people are going to buy it because of the price and not necessarily because they are interested in the series. I don’t think the sales numbers for this game are going to be an accurate representation of interest.
I got nothing to lose for a buck.
Japanese players are way too good is my only issue!
@Bentleyma Fair point. I’m guessing Konami will have tracking mechanisms in place to analytically verify users’ play time, and the data will be parsed to determine the feasibility of future releases in the west.
I remember seeing a YouTube video some years ago on the Dreamcast version of this game, and it was really solid then. I can’t imagine it’d be crap now.
It seems silly that Konami never made an English version of it until now. I mean, it’s a BASEBALL game. Of course folks in the west will play it! Philippines? No, they like basketball, not baseball. But, in the US? You betcha. (Go Twins!)
Konami’s just gotta change some text from Japanese to English for player names and in-game menus. It’s not as though it’s a story-heavy JRPG with 100 hours of Japanese story content that needs translation. Easy money…get our buy in for .99 now, and you’ll likely get our $9.99 or $14.99 next season and beyond.
I love the visual style of aggressively Japanese games like this. Functional and cute.
I got it on a dollar sale and I'm hopelessly hooked. I recommend this if you like baseball. I don't know if it will hook people who don't know baseball though, but I'm not exactly an expert either and I'm having a blast.
Use the dedicated practice mode and learn to bat properly. You aim using the right stick, and only swing if the incoming ball is in the square box (strike zone). Hit R1 at the same time as the swing if you think you will strike it bulls-eye for power batting. Remember that the ball often swerves, so watch closer to the strike zone to predict where it will arrive.
For pitching, I think the best throw in this game is when you throw at outside the box, but it swerves into the box as it arrives. Again you can practice this in its dedicated practice mode which shows you where the ball will start and end.
Get those 2 things down, and it gets sooooo good, so addictive.
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