Tremendous Mega Baseball 2 seems rather a lot totally different from the unique, however I’ve by no means performed a sports activities online game whose sequel felt as acquainted as its predecessor. That’s good. For a style the place year-to-year sameness is a kiss of dying for the licensed large boys, Tremendous Mega Baseball 2 has the freedom of celebrating its recognizable attraction quite than piling on additional particulars like so many burger condiments.
When Tremendous Mega Baseball stole my coronary heart on the finish of 2014, I ended up logging greater than 150 video games with one staff, the Wideloads. If there’s a Nationwide Tremendous Mega Baseball Corridor of Fame, I’m going into it with that hippopotamus brand on my cap. There are two new faces on the squad, and some modifications that appear to acknowledge what I’d realized concerning the ’Masses over the course of my time with them. However I’m choosing up proper the place I left off.
Within the new roster, Chugg Burbony has taken over because the employees ace, the function he claimed in season one. The nearer, Rogan Balls, has been relegated to setup obligation, the place he at all times belonged. Janus Friedman continues to be a moping waste of time. Masha Donga continues to be the ssh-don’t-tell weapon at leadoff. It feels just like the sequel to a sports activities film, a lovable ensemble again with everybody in character.
Tremendous Mega Baseball 2 arrives at this familiarity by subtraction, not addition. There are new techniques to take care of, reminiscent of accidents and common put on and tear, which deepen the intrigue. There’s on-line multiplayer, which the unique recreation agonizingly lacked, and limitless customization choices for uniforms and league alignments (together with a slew of out-of-the-box new groups to inventory a customized league). However in my preliminary play of the season mode, I discovered that I’d lament the absence of one thing I actually preferred within the first Tremendous Mega Baseball. Then, after about 4 video games, I’d uncover that I didn’t really want it to take pleasure in what’s, at its core, a fantastic-playing recreation of baseball.
Take Mojo, the franchise’s defining trait, which may enhance (or decrease) a participant past their attributes. Within the first recreation, gamers had particular person Mojo rankings, which most notably affected them in high-pressure conditions. Concord Straus, for instance, would go tremendous saiyan in any excessive circumstance, maxing all of her batting rankings due to her Mojo attribute. That’s now gone. She gained quite a few video games for me in late innings due to the previous Mojo system, and with out that I virtually thought-about benching her for Clutch Cormen, who has larger batting abilities.
Tremendous Mega Baseball 2 is healthier by subtraction, not addition.
However I caught with Straus out of loyalty — she additionally seems cool as hell within the sequel’s up to date visible model, with these shades beneath her catcher’s masks — and I used to be rewarded. Mojo continues to be there; it’s simply pushed fully by in-game efficiency. Within the third matchup towards our nemeses, the ridiculous Crocodons, she hammered a two-run blast within the high of the ninth to knot the rating. Furthermore, it bought her to “locked-in” Mojo standing for the subsequent recreation. Mojo in Tremendous Mega Baseball 2 makes me take note of what my gamers are doing greater than I needed to earlier than.
Pitching, likewise, has plenty of cushion taken out of it now that pitchers have a extra sensible repertoire of three to 5 pitches as a substitute of entry to all eight varieties. Within the first Tremendous Mega Baseball, Burbony had nice velocity and first rate junk rankings. He might do all of it, however he appeared to don’t have any actual persona on the mound. Burbony might whip out a forkball in a pinch, and it was completely unfair. (It will be much more unfair in on-line multiplayer.) I went scratching for the forkball like a phantom limb after I had a runner on within the seventh inning towards the Platypi. Chugg now has a five-pitch make-up, which could be very beneficiant, however it includes the slider, a cutter, a change, a two-seam fastball and the four-seamer. I labored to Burbony’s strengths and backdoored the hitter on a 2-2 rely.
The expertise stored me conscious that pitchers now have extra of a “kind” than they did in Tremendous Mega Baseball. In the event that they throw a pitch that’s outdoors of their energy, and it’s poorly rated or poorly positioned, it is going to be hit a mile, particularly at larger difficulties. Junkballers who attempt to sneak fastballs in will routinely get them pounded in methods they didn’t within the first recreation. I’m not pleased that decently thrown low strikes appear to launch out of the park with virtually unreasonable frequency; the chance of throwing there successfully makes a 3rd of the strike zone unavailable to me in strain conditions. Nonetheless, pitching is now a extra considerate and threatening part of the sport, and the pitching mechanism continues to be the most effective one I’ve ever utilized in any baseball online game.
After which there’s the staff employees from Tremendous Mega Baseball. It’s no extra. This had me agonizing after I couldn’t discover the season mode’s employees menu, and its billboard of buff slots for my roster. The employees, the place I employed trainers, brokers and coaches on a contractual foundation, getting this or that enhance and dealing it out to a participant within the course of, was one of many authentic recreation’s most novel approaches. I even known as for R.B.I. Baseball’s makers to add one thing prefer it to their subsequent recreation, and now it’s gone.
However it’s compensated by a extra risky Mojo in the course of the sport, and Mojo’s carry-over to succeeding video games. As a substitute of managing my gamers by doling out treats, I’m paying extra consideration to their streaks and slumps. Hack Liner, with the most effective mixture of hitting attributes, went right into a stoop early in my first season. In the meantime, Wade Hobbes, who had underperformed for me in Tremendous Mega Baseball, opened at a livid .700 clip within the seventh spot. I swapped their positions within the batting order to provide Liner an opportunity to hit his means out of distress. We gained seven video games to begin the season, and by the tip it was exceptional to see opposing pitchers doing all the pieces they might to keep away from Hobbes within the third spot. Because of Tremendous Mega Baseball 2’s hitting system, I might sit on excessive pitches outdoors the zone and nonetheless smash them for base hits.
This isn’t to say Tremendous Mega Baseball 2 provides nothing, even in gameplay. The damage and health system combines with the present Mojo, temper and situational notices (excessive strain, low, and so on.) to essentially draw out the supervisor in me as a lot because it does my interior participant. Accidents, which I didn’t count on, provide you with a short discover, and that’s it. I used to be not taken to a lineup web page, and even given a suggestion that I substitute the participant. I might have left Chimo Gaspar in with a dislocated shoulder if I didn’t see the tiny flag on the play display screen. (I additionally noticed a CPU pitcher, whom I hit within the head with a line drive, linger within the recreation in an excessive injured state for 4 batters earlier than he was eliminated.) Catchers put on down recreation to recreation, that means I needed to give Straus a day without work about 10 video games into the season. Little touches like this push on the “arcade recreation” label given to the Tremendous Mega Baseball franchise. At any charge, it’s far more of a simulation than R.B.I. Baseball 18.
There are contemporary faces on my staff (a brand new nearer, if I wished to take that job away from Molly Pops, and a left fielder with a Reggie Jackson smile) who genuinely really feel like newcomers to the tight staff chemistry I’ve constructed up on the ’Masses. The usual league options 4 extra groups, one for every division, they usually all have bananas nicknames and wild logos supplementing them. Once more, for this reason Tremendous Mega Baseball 2 seems like a real sequel: identical forged of heroes and villains (lookin’ at you, Andre Candela), some new threats and interlopers, and a brand new journey to take pleasure in.