Six installments after its revival, RBI Baseball has given fans an outlet for those seeking a more casual type of baseball experience than the flagship baseball simulation MLB The Show series.
For Xbox One baseball fans specifically, it’s a game to simply quench their baseball thirst. With RBI Baseball 19, does MLBAM accomplish what they set out to do for players? Let’s find out.
Once you hit the Main Menu, you’re greeted with the same standard modes that were in last year’s game. You can play an Exhibition game, jump online against other people across the world, take part in the MLB postseason, Home Run Derby, and enjoy a 10-season Franchise mode.
Entering Franchise Mode, the loading times have been greatly improved and I was impressed with how fast I was able to simulate a full season. But looking at the stats players would come up with, it made total sense why it was able to simulate so fast because it seems like the engine literally spit out random numbers and pasted them to different players without any kind of logic. I had this issue with last year’s game, but when you know you’re lacking in other areas, getting the sim engine correct would be something I would want to get right. Or maybe it’s just not that high up on their list of priorities which I can understand.
The crowd they want to get probably won’t care that Mike Trout has a .325 on-base percentage. The offseason once again is fairly short. You’re shown who retired, then some low-level free agents to sign and then you’re off to the next season.
Once again the presentation is pretty bare bones. When you load into the game you’re greeted with the umpire yelling play ball, a quick glimpse of the stadium, pitcher, and hitter and you’re off.
There are no announcers again and the only voice you will hear is from the umpire when you strikeout or get yourself out. Although for a game that’s targeted for the casual fan I was a bit surprised when I hit a home run they busted out the exit velocity and launch angle stats for me. Cool for sure, but something I didn’t expect.
The controls are straight forward, and nothing has changed from last year either. As far as pitching, you’re able to throw a fast or slow(breaking ball-esque pitch). I’m still getting used to the fact you’re able to aim where the pitch finishes after you throw the ball though.
As for hitting, you’re able to move your batter around in the batter’s box to reach outside pitches and get around on inside ones. And with the almost top-down camera view you’re forced to use, you just have to make sure your timing is right to hit the ball, and you’re able to reach it. Fielding is quite an adventure as because you’re never too sure what’s going on and how your fielder will react.
While this isn’t the game you play to expect a top-notch simulation of a baseball game, I feel there are certain things RBI Baseball 19 can touch upon in that department to help the crowd they’re trying to attract with this series.
With basic gameplay, real player photos, team logos, and stadiums there is enough here for kids to enjoy and for the casual baseball gamer to get their fix with. With the minimal improvement between 18 and 19 who knows if they will improve upon that, but the potential is there.
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RBI Baseball 19 Review
While this isn’t the game you play to expect a top-notch simulation of a baseball game, I feel there are certain things RBI Baseball 19 can touch up on in that department to help the crowd their trying to attract with this series.