9 Innings Pro Baseball 2013 Review

9 Innings Pro Baseball 2013 Review

Aug 2, 2012

Com2uS’ other baseball franchise is back for the 2012 season with 9 Innings Pro Baseball 2013. Yes, 2013. Unlike Homerun Derby, this is a more standard baseball simulation. Batting is simple enough: just tap on the screen to swing, with the ability to influence ground balls and flyballs by swiping down and up. Pitching involves just selecting the pitch and aiming where to throw it. It’s a no-frills interface that’s simple to pick up on.

The game features real MLB players, but not real MLB teams, as evidenced by the blatant editing out of team names of the players on the title screen. However, all the players are on teams that correspond to the real MLB team locations. Gee, what a happy accident! The rosters are not perfect – I have my nitpicks about them, but I’m a bit obsessive about baseball – but they’re accurate enough. Fan of the Astros? Well, good news: the card system is a way to build an awesome team that isn’t a pit of misery and despair (aka the Astros).

The problem is that the card system feels just kind of random and there for the purpose of generating IAP revenue. While at its heart, the card upgrade system is an interesting way to create teams and to make players better, having to spend a lot of points on a slim chance for an upgrade is just bad form. The system feels hyper-caffeinated as well – it never takes any time to sit back, and explain just what exactly is going on. This has been a problem since the “2011” version of the game, which never seemed to make sense either.

I get the whole in-app purchase thing, I really do. But I think that the game feels like it just uses baseball as an excuse to make money – the production values are barely improved from the 2011 version released in 2010 – and there’s a market for a good baseball game on iOS that isn’t just about profitability. The core baseball game is entertaining enough, but far more could be build around it to make it the baseball game that we truly need.

9 Innings Pro Baseball 2013 Review Rundown

6
Graphics/Sound - Lots of 2D graphics here, some low-resolution artwork used. There's really no reason why it couldn't look a lot better.
6
Controls - Hitting is easy enough, almost too easy. Pitching is simple enough as well. The menus are a disaster.
6
Gameplay - The core game is mostly unchanged from a few years ago, and it's largely unspectacular.
6
Replay Value - Sure, there's a season mode and player upgrades, but they're also there to help push the IAP system.
6
Overall - A middling baseball game that could have been better. A whole lot better.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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