Baseball Slugger: Home Run Race 3D Review- Hit Like Albert Pujols
Baseball Slugger Home Run Race 3D is the only place where hitting 50 consecutive home runs will not lead to suspicions of performance enhancing drugs. But what it does lead to is a finely crafted game by developer Com2uS Corp. Whether or not you are a baseball fan really does not matter. This game can be enjoyed by anyone willing to pick it up at the App Store and begin playing. Once you do, you’ll find simple controls to master and online play that’ll have you fighting for bragging rights over your friends or strangers from across the world.
Breaking it Down:
In golf, there is the hole-in-one. In basketball, the last-second game-winning shot. In baseball, it’s the home run. As sports fans can attest, these acts of greatness never get old. Every experience is unique and as good as the one before. Thus, with Baseball Sluggers your ultimate goal is to hit a boatload of home runs. How is that accomplished? No, don’t say steroids. A simple tilt of your iDevice to properly locate your bat and finally, a tap of a finger on the screen is all it takes. As you hopefully get better, you will fulfill achievements that will garner you not a $150 million contract, but “gold balls.” With these gold balls available at your disposal, you can purchase upgrades (better shoes, bat, uniform, etc) that boost your power and/or contact rate. Don’t like the appearance of your player? No problem! You can also purchase a new hairdo or even some new eyewear.
Baseball Sluggers features four game modes. My favorite by far is Matchup mode. Here, you’ll be able to play online with friends and strangers if you like. During a match your opponents’ progress is displayed at the top-right of your screen. Though it can be very distracting, it definitely adds to the thrill and excitement of playing online. Playing with a buddy is simple. Just add his player name and voila! Hours will pass you by in the wink of an eye and the dreaded pop-up message, “Low-battery 20% of battery remaining,” will help bring you back to the real world. I’m not exaggerating when I say this. This game is really addicting. Among the many games I have played on the iDevice so far, Baseball Slugger surpasses everyone in the amount of time I’ve spent playing it.
Arcade Mode is where you try to accumulate the highest point total possible with a combination of homeruns and base-hits. Fouls and strikes equal one out and reaching ten ends the game. Once in a while, a “special” ball will be thrown. If they are hit for home runs, you earn rewards in the form of a multiplied score or a reduction to the number of outs you currently have. Each home run can earn you varying amounts of points. Hitting poles and billboards, consecutive home runs, 500+ feet bombs, home runs to all three sections of the outfield, and calling your shots can really add up points quickly to your score. But be prepared! The level of difficulty progressively gets much tougher, with the pitcher throwing faster and with a wider array of pitches. A 75-mph knuckle ball after seeing a 99-mph fastball? Almost impossible to hit.
Thirdly, there is Classic Mode which follows the conventions of a standard home-run derby. Only home runs count and you still have ten outs to work with. The pitches are entirely fastballs making it quite easy to make consistent contact. The only special balls that will be thrown are the gold balls and come when there are nine outs remaining. Classic is less challenging than Arcade but not as thrilling.
Last of the four, is Training Mode. With no pressure to hit all the pitches you see for home runs, you have the opportunity to specify the type of pitcher to practice against. That side arm pitcher got you completely lost? No, problem. That knuckle ball is giving you trouble? Have a couple of whacks at it. Training Mode will likely be played very infrequently as the game’s learning curve makes it possible for you to simply jump right in and start playing. If at first you don’t get the hang of it, it will always be there for you to try out.
With the recent update, a major user interface change was put in place. The words are clearer and the main menu was completely rearranged. The colors seem much darker and bolder than the previous version. The actual gameplay footage itself does not appear to have changed much, though they are pretty stellar already. There is also a link to a website which resembles a forum dedicated solely to the game.
One of my major complaints about the game is the in-game music. The cheering crowd can quickly become rather repetitive. Luckily, you have the option to listen to your iDevice’s music if you wish. Similarly, there is only one stadium to hit in. Besides changing the time of the day, there is no option to switch to an alternative location. Playing in parks with the outfield fences being farther or closer can make the game more enjoyable. Another area that needs to be polished up is the customizability options for your player. There is no option to use a female player nor is it possible to bat left-handed. Lastly, earning gold balls can be quite difficult. For example, one achievement requires you to reach 5,000 home runs and another 10,000. By the time you even hit 5,000 home runs, the likelihood of continued gameplay is not so long-lasting.
At the current price of $0.99, Baseball Slugger is one hell of a great value. You should expect to play the game for hours into the night as the intensity of its addiction is omnipresent. Frustration from an inability to grasp how to handle the controls is an unlikely case. With online play, you will then lose count of the number of times you recharge your battery after extended periods of gameplay. With future updates likely to come soon, the minor wrinkles in this splendid game will be ironed out until few are left around. If you haven’t gotten the game by now, I would advise you to do so.
- Addictive/High replay value
- Intuitive Controls
- Online Play
- Music is always the same
- Two environments only (Day and night)
- Questionable scoring system
Developer: Com2uS Corp.
Release Date: June 17, 2009
Size: 27.6 MB
Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Price at time of review: $0.99
Buy or Avoid?
At the current price of 99 cents at press time, this game is “the steal of the century.” Often, when you are looking for a good game, you want long-term value. This game delivers. You want simplicity. This game delivers. You need to buy this game.