Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
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.