Konami’s Power Pros baseball series remains one sleeper of a sports game. The 2023 iteration, WSBC eBaseball: Power Pros, is the first version localized in the English language in over 15 years. And it was worth the wait.
A joy to play, eBaseball features notes of Wii Sports and stitches together elegant strings of code to simulate baseball. In essence, Power Pros baseball is quintessential “simtendo sports,” a blend of simulation physics in a fictional world.
Konami made this specific iteration of the game available on the Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation 4. And while many developers create excellent sports games for next-gen, many fail to leverage their advanced game engines in the simtendo sports market space. Enter Konami. Konami develops a simulation baseball title of their own, with a realistic gameplay engine. Even more so, it appears Konami has leveraged its baseball game technology to build a fun, anime-style baseball game that is eBaseball Power Pros.
WSBC eBaseball Power Pros Review
eBaseball Power Pros: Gameplay
Konami’s hitting engine is uniquely simulated in a fictional realm. Moreover, I contend that Konami’s Power Pros baseball features one of the most fun baseball-hitting engines you can find. Whereas the game of baseball is heavily dependent on hand-eye coordination, Konami takes these points and delivers a mechanic that mimics real-life skill. I found the hits, and specifically line drives, to lend a sense of satisfaction. The sound of the bat crack is worth the effort.
Continuing, the engine features realistic nuances that keep it fresh throughout. For example, as the baseball is being pitched to home plate, the pitch location icon spins, clueing hitters in on the pitch type and spin. The spin information allows hitters to anticipate the baseball’s movement before the break – a tactful game design note.
The baseball itself takes flight with realistic physics – a point of contention in The Show. In addition, fielders will throw the ball at different trajectories with varying speeds. In all, the baseball’s physics play true and keep the game fresh.
Furthermore, eBaseball simulates player emotion represented with a suite of smiley face emojis that represent hot and cold players. Consequently, each pitch can impact emotion and player performance. In all, the emoji system is a simple and fun way to represent human emotion in a fantasy sports title.
When it all comes together, the learning curve in Power Pros is not too steep, making the game fun and accessible for those who may not normally take interest in sports gaming.
eBaseball Power Pros Champions Mode and the Olympics
Konami’s price point for Power Pros at $1 supports the notion that Konami wishes to get the game in the hands of as many players as possible. That is because Power Pros is an official eSport title in the 2023 Olympic Virtual Series. With that, players can jump into Olympic qualifiers as of March 2023, and test their skills against the world’s best. Many competitors are based in Japan, and so internet connections might be spotty at times, but the game performs well-enough overall on Switch and anecdotally, the PlayStation 4.
Continuing with Championship mode, Power Pros players will want to become familiar with each of the individual fictional ball players to build out a squad to compete online. Each baseballer has a number of attributes that impact his or her on-field outcomes. Hence, each attribute lends a bit of personality to each player and distinguishes ballplayers just as much as their hair colors do.
Aside from gaming online, players can hop into practice mode and hone their skills. Notably, eBaseball does not offer many modes to play, especially compared to its counterpart released in Japan, but that is okay. This version of the game can be thought of as a re-introduction of the Power Pro series in 2023.
eBaseball Power Pros: Performance and Graphics
Irrespective of which console players game on, eBaseball offers smooth playing experience offline. Moreover, the framerate and graphics are well-suited across both platforms in the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 hardware.
Ball players are customizable, adorable, and have no legs and it does not even matter. Stadiums feel alive, the colors are vibrant. Additionally, the lighting in day games is especially vibrant, adding depth of field and shadowed contours to the little digital ball players. eBaseball Power Pros is an accessible game to pick up and play in a neatly packed fantasy baseball world.
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WSBC eBaseball: Power Pros
eBaseball Power Pros is an accessible game to pick up and play in a neatly packed fantasy baseball world.