Super Mega Baseball 2 from developer Meathead is not what it seems. Well, it seems like a baseball game, but that’s not what I meant. With the co-ed lineups and those giant cartoony heads, you might be expecting an over-the-top arcade game. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find a hefty baseball sim under the hood. Does the mix of arcade looks with a hardcore simulator make a solid connection, or is it a swing and a miss? Let’s find out.
Super Mega Baseball 2 doesn’t have an MLB license, so the teams, players, and ballparks are all fictitious. Ridiculously fictitious to be honest. You’ll play for teams such as the Platypi and the Moonstars. The team names and player names are two aspects where the developers really leaned into the arcade aesthetic. But for the most part, that is also where it ends.
The home runs don’t leave a vapor trail, and you don’t round the bases like the roadrunner. Instead, you have a fairly hardcore baseball game with solid baseball physics. When you’re at the plate, you’ll control a reticule that you’ll need to track the pitch with. If you track the ball cleanly and swing on time, you’ll make solid contact. If you swing too soon, you’ll probably pull the ball foul, and if your place your reticle too low and swing underneath the ball, you’ll pop it up. I could give you another example, but I think you get the picture. They also added a power swing option that ups the difficulty a bit. This tasks you with either holding down the square button and releasing it at the right time or pulling backing and flicking forward on the right stick.
Pitching uses a similar formula. Each pitcher has their own pitches, with the typical array of fastballs and offspeed pitches. Once you choose your pitch and start the motion, a small reticule with appear. Your job is to get that reticule as close to catcher’s mitt before the ball leaves the pitchers hand. The better you do, the more accurate and harder to hit, you’ll be. It’s not all that different from most other pitching mechanics, which is to say, it works pretty well. Beware serving up too many meatballs, however. At one point, I tossed a lifeless fastball down the middle and the hitter sent it back to me so fast, I was glad the game wasn’t in VR. The sound of the baseball hitting flesh coupled with the pitcher flopping across the infield was surprising and more than a little funny.
That last story notwithstanding, my favorite part of playing baseball in real life is also my favorite part of baseball video games. Chicks may dig the long ball, but I dig turning double plays. Playing defense in Super Mega Baseball 2 is a lot of fun, but it’s not without its frustrations. You can jump for a liner over your head, or dive at a hotshot down the line, but you’ll have to time them near perfectly. I believe my problem with the defense, is tied to the unique difficulty settings. The game uses a sliding difficulty meter called Ego that goes all the way up to a 100. The higher the number, the harder the game. On the defense, the higher the number, the more you have to control the players. Sometimes, it becomes unclear when the computer is taking over and when you need to step in. Directly lining up a catch on the warning track or tagging a runner or base can be difficult without a little assist from the AI. It didn’t feel like that was very consistent, but most of that was probably me jacking around too much with the Ego rating. With a slider up to a 100, it’s going to take some fine-tuning. In another cool touch, aside from the overall Ego rating, you can set an individual Ego rating for each phase of the game. So if you’re playing good defense, but can’t seem to “hit it where they ain’t”, simply drop the Ego on your hitting. It’s a simple but effective way to keep the game competitive and fun as you get better.
The game is full of customization. You can create players, teams, leagues, or you can use the teams that are already there. If you want to get started right away, there is the typical exhibition game. If you’re not afraid of commitment, you can jump right into the season. That’s what I did. After getting killed in the season opener at an Ego setting of 50, I dropped the ratings into the twenties on game number two and had a blast. I took a 6 to 1 lead into the eighth inning, before surrendering 3 runs in the final two frames. With two outs in the ninth, I ended up losing on a walk-off 2-run homer. My closer sucks, but it was still fun.
There is a feature called Mojo, which is a momentum tracking feature that has become fairly typical in sports games these days. Pick up a few hits, and that player will get hot and play above is skill level for a while. On the flipside, strike out a few times and you may find that player fall into the dreaded slump.
you can play online or with a friend at home. You can even play coop, and take turns hitting on offense. While pitching, one player handles playing the field, while the other one pitches.
The multiple stadiums are all unique and surprisingly charming. The players sport a cartoonish look that I don’t love, but that doesn’t really matter once the game starts and the balls start flying, which I believe is a testament to the game’s tight gameplay and real-life baseball physics. The sound effects are only okay, but I find it a bit odd that there is no play-by-play. I suppose no color commentary is better than gratingly bad commentary, so maybe that is a good thing.
In the end, if you’re looking for a good baseball game, that has a metric ton of customization, enough stat-keeping to satisfy the nerdiest accountant, but doesn’t take itself too seriously, then do I have some good news for you. Download Super Mega Baseball 2 and get grinding.
Super Mega Baseball 2 PS4 Review
A surprisingly satisfying baseball simulator wrapped up in an arcade package. If you don’t mind not having the official MLB license, and some slightly cartoony looking players, Super Mega Baseball 2 offers some authentic baseball action.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.