RBI Baseball 18 has tried to pick up the slack left by the MLB 2K series for Xbox. Since MLB 2K‘s demise, that community has dispersed into different directions. Some have long since moved on to MLB The Show for the PS4. Others stayed and either stopped playing baseball games or got acquainted with the RBI Baseball. With its fifth installment released on the PS4 and Xbox One, is RBI Baseball 18 finally good enough for baseball fans around the world?
RBI Baseball 18 Review
From the main menu, the usual modes you would expect are present. Exhibition, Online, Franchise, Post Season, Home Run Derby and the ability to check out the rosters.
Entering Franchise mode, you’ll encounter one of RBI Baseball 18’s glaring issues. It can have increasingly long load times. For games with much more content, long loading screens makes sense. However, after playing RBI Baseball for a while, you’d be hard pressed to figure out what takes RBI so long to load.
A huge positive for the franchise mode is its aesthetic. You’re greeted with a huge picture of a player from the team you choose, hovering in the background.
Unfortunately, Franchise mode isn’t exactly packed with content. As an example, the off-season is fairly short. You’re shown who retired, then free agency and before you know it it’s the next season. After simulating a season and checking the statistics, I was impressed just how far off the sim engine gets things. I would assume, since you aren’t going to be the best graphically, at least make sure your sim engine top notch. The players put up such ridiculous stats that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa would blush. If you’re a stickler for stats, I can see this being a major issue for you. As I said, the overlays and menus are good, but the stats their showing you within them have you scratching your head.
Despite the good looks, simple navigation like scrolling, isn’t all that intuitive. While incredibly difficult, RBI Baseball 18 breaks away from standard navigation control schemes with not a real reason as to why. The issues are easily adjustable. However, for its fifth installment, I feel it shouldn’t be an issue in the first place.
As soon as you enter a game, you might think you turned presentation off. There are no announcers in the game. All you get is a quick cut scene between the pitcher and leadoff hitter. Looking at the graphics and animations in the game, it honestly took me back to when I was playing High Heat Baseball 04 or All Star Baseball on PS2 just with next gen sort of realistic faces. It’s a weird combo for sure.
The controls are pretty simple. For pitching, you have the option of throwing two pitches, fast or slow. The wild part is you’re able to aim the pitch after the pitcher threw the ball. Hitting is what you would expect in a baseball game. You still aim with the left stick/d-pad and hit with the button.
If I was 10 years old again, I would actually enjoy this game. RBI Baseball 18 has the correct rosters with consistent updates. All the team logo’s and uniforms (with many alternates) are present as well. However, if you’re a fan of simulation baseball and or looking for a cheap alternative to MLB The Show 18, I would pass on this. RBI Baseball has an opportunity to fill the void left by MLB 2K for Xbox users and with this installment they still have a long way to go.
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