Jul 18, 2014
After two straight days of no baseball whatsoever, you may finally be ready to accept it back into your life. And between the many games, you may find yourself wanting to play a game. Well, RBI Baseball 14, the MLB-published revival of the classic series, is finally on Android.
This is old-school baseball, for better or worse.
Seriously, this game isn’t just RBI Baseball in name only, it replicates the original game to a T. Pitchers can throw fastballs, mid-speed breaking balls, and knuckleballs that move erratically and slowly. Hitters can move around the box to try and hit the myriad pitches coming their way with just swing and bunt commands. Each team has 4 pitchers, with the starter tiring midway through the game. David Price relieving Alex Cobb a day after he started? Dr. James Andrews shrieked in horror. This game eschews realism, and any real gameplay advances of the past couple decades or so, in the name of replicating this classic.
And perhaps there are issues with the game being so retro that it doesn’t quite stand up to 2014’s baseball games. That’s not a huge problem. What RBI Baseball 14 gets right that other games fail at is making sure there’s an actual core game of baseball there to be played. MLB Perfect Inning seemed to be so obsessed with its card mechanic that it failed to emphasize its actually-strong core game. RBI Baseball 14 is for better or for worse, all about that baseball game.
Now, if you don’t have tolerance for the deliberately un-advanced gameplay and unrealism, especially if you don’t remember the original RBI games, then this may not be for you. There’s that whole wildly-off pitcher management thing. And their pitches are absurd too. The body types are all a bit ridiculous. And overly skinny for everyone. There’s no multiplayer, which hurts tremendously because this is most fun against others. And the pace of games are way too slow for a mobile session, and games don’t resume from where they left off if you quit. Why?
Really. RBI Baseball 14 is perhaps best left to those who can handle the unrealism of the RBI gameplay, whether it be because of love for the original series, a love of arcade sports, or because there’s just not a lot much better out there.