In a world with top of line sports games such as NBA 2K19 and EA Sports’ FIFA 19, it’s interesting to see a game take more of a casual approach to things. In an effort to get more casual baseball fans a game with them in mind, the MLB came up with R.B.I. Baseball. This year’s R.B.I Baseball 19 gives the normal fan a medium to get a baseball gaming experience.
Getting into the game, fans of the MLB: The Show series will notice significant differences, and maybe restrictions for some, that may be a bit awkward to get used to. For a casual fan however, the controls are easy to pick up in no time, as tutorials and even in game “practice modes” let players learn the game more from the start. The game features five different modes including exhibition, home run derby, online multiplayer, postseason, and franchise mode.
Franchise mode to me was one of the games highlights, giving me a much more simplified platform to be a General Manager and try to build the best roster possible. On MLB: The Show, more factors like salary cap, arbitration, and contracts are factored into its franchise mode, which is great for the fan that wants an authentic franchise simulation. R.B.I Baseball however, just takes the most basic features present in The Show. This allows fans to mess around with rosters and see what they can come up with.
The Home Run Derby however, is the game’s
best feature. I personally found it fun just trying to launch balls into the
stands of various stadiums with different players. The mode is even more fun
when competing against other people in the same room as you. If the game
allowed online play for Home Run Derby I would have likely found myself playing
it even more.
In terms of actual gameplay, there was a bit left to be desired. While the simple approach is perfectly fine, there were some aspects that may leave some frustrated. For example, the strike zone is very inconsistent from pitch to pitch. I would throw pitches in the exact same location and the call of either ball or strike varied too often. Pitches thrown well outside the plate would also get called as a strike from time to time. I also noticed that it’s very difficult to tag out runners with the ball in an infielders hand or by running to a base.
Overall, R.B.I Baseball 19 is a perfect pickup for fans who don’t need hyper-realistic gameplay and advanced controls. At $29.99 MSRP, the game is a great buy for those who are into baseball. Just don’t expect it to be a full $60 experience like MLB The Show.