Developer: Gamevil
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3G, iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Sadly, another baseball season has just recently come to an end. If you miss the sport already, Gamevil has a fix for you in Baseball Superstars 2011. While iPad owners just recently got their hands on the 2010 model, iPhone and iPod touch owners (as well as those iPad owners willing to play in 2X mode, as this is not universal, nor is there an HD version available yet) get to play the brand new version of the game.

Baseball Superstars 2011 features a very similar feature list to the previous incarnation of the game: you have the standard exhibition and season modes, as well as the My League mode where you create a custom player and upgrade your stats by training every few games. Collect G points by completing events in-game and by completing missions, and now by purchasing them via in-app purchase. My main complaint about the first game, that the pitching was too easy, has been resolved in this one. Pitches come in at more realistic velocities and movements, and you can’t just strikeout 20 batters a game as easy as you could in the 2010 version. Leveling up is a lot harder as well, as you can’t just spam easily-completed pitching missions to rack up massive amounts of G points to get to max stats quickly. Now you can earn them by playing other game modes and doing things like getting strikeouts and home runs. Otherwise, the game is largely structured the same as it was in the 2010 version, for better or for worse.

The good news is that the game is still as addictive as ever, especially with the continuous character progression the My League mode provides. As well, the game’s increased challenge in pitching means you actually feel some satisfaction when you succeed, instead of it being assumed because pitching was so easy. Rewarding and addictive is a great combination for a baseball game to have, and it will take more time to master than 2010 did. The game also boasts a crisper visual look to it, and there are few if any occurrences of poor English in this game.

However, the documentation in Baseball Superstars 2011 is horrible. If an element isn’t immediately obvious through playing, it isn’t explained in the in-game help sections, or is only briefly explained in splash screen tips. Also, beyond the changed visual look, there isn’t really a lot changed from last year’s version. Also, it’s a shame that with Gamevil recently releasing an HD version of Baseball Superstars 2010 HD, that this couldn’t be a universal app, or that they couldn’t have held off releasing an iPad version of the franchise until the 2011 version released.

Baseball Superstars 2011 is still far from being a perfect game, and the changes in this year’s version are really only minor tweaks to the overall formula. But the minor tweaks add up to make this a better game, in some ways, even if the pitching is still far from perfect. Even everything else is at times an enigma, there’ still a fun arcade-style baseball game here. If you need another baseball fix, you could do a lot worse than Baseball Superstars 2011.

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