EA Sports Super Mega Baseball 4 (PS5) Review

Arcade Baseball That Hits For Average

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EA Sports Super Mega Baseball 4

It can be hard to get the formula right when it comes to sports games, especially the arcade variety. In my experience, an arcade-style sports game needs to have a few things to keep my interest: responsive gameplay, multiple game modes, and a sense of accomplishment. EA Sports Super Mega Baseball 4 showed up at my desk recently, so I hopped out of the dugout and onto the field for what was, at minimum, an interesting experience.  

I am totally behind the idea of Super Mega Baseball 4—it reminded me very much of NHL 3-On-3 Arcade, the hockey game from the PS3. It’s an arcade-style baseball game that you and your friends can jump into at a moment’s notice and just have some fun running up the score and enjoying the interesting characters and environments you’ll find. The latter is certainly true in this instance. The players are larger-than-life versions of a mixture of real-life players from yesteryear and a selection of made-up players that hold their own with the likes of David Ortiz and Chuck Knoblauch.  

Ea Sports Super Mega Baseball 4

Jumping into my first Exhibition game to get my bearings, I realized right away that this was going to be nothing like playing MLB The Show 23. The animation style in Super Mega Baseball 4 is remarkable. It feels as if The Show had the gameplay switched from simulation to arcade and the ego turned up to 11. Each player gives a big flex at the start of their at-bat and will slam the bat down or storm away if they strike out. Each player is animated in a very cartoony way but still resembles the real-life player they are modelled after (if we are talking about one of those players).  

Gameplay is about what you’d expect for a baseball game. You swing the bat with the buttons on the controller (although you also use the right thumbstick, if you so desire) and field the ball with the same buttons—and those buttons correspond to which base you want to throw the ball to. Pitching is a little different than what I am used to, with me selecting the pitch to throw using the right thumbstick and then holding either X or Square until the ideal moment and then releasing.  

“I am totally behind the idea of Super Mega Baseball 4.”

In terms of game modes, Super Mega Baseball 4 has a modest selection—everything from Exhibition to Season to Franchise and the all-new Shuffle Draft. As a solo player, I had a fair struggle staying motivated as all these modes don’t really change the gameplay in a meaningful way. Sure, in Shuffle Draft you can create whole teams that gel incredibly and give modest stat boosts, but the gameplay doesn’t change all that much. To be fair, however, this argument can be applied to almost any sports game.  

Ea Sports Super Mega Baseball 4

Where the difference comes into play is in the progression system—or lack thereof. During my time with Super Mega Baseball 4, I felt like something was missing, and after a couple of days, I figured it out. Unlike MLB The Show, there is a distinct lack of content to work towards. The Show has things like Player of the Month programs, Ranked Season rewards, and more, all that reward upgraded versions of player cards. There was nothing of the sort to be found here, though, and it soured the experience for me.  

“During my time with Super Mega Baseball 4, I felt like something was missing, and after a couple of days, I figured it out: there is nothing to work towards.”

I believe that Super Mega Baseball 4 was designed to be played online predominantly with your friends, as most of the core game modes revolve around 2v2 play. Since I was playing this prior to release, I was subsequently unable to put these game modes to the test as the servers were not open for use yet.

There have been a ton of new features added in to Super Mega Baseball 4 this time around. The Shuffle Draft game mode, where players are able to draft Legend players and other Super Mega All-Stars to create a world-beating roster, two-way players (a player that can both hit and pitch), automatic walks, and more. All these help to make the game better and more fun to play with your friends. 

Super Mega Baseball 4 has its merits and certainly has its place and audience, but I don’t know if it’s a sustainable model in the long-term. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun playing this game. The interface is easy to navigate, and everything you need is right there, but with no sense of progression and repetitive gameplay, I can’t say I’ll play it more than occasionally as a fleeting fancy. 

Final Thoughts

REVIEW SCORE

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