Developer: Eidos Interactive/Square Enix
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
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As far as baseball goes, I generally like my American Pastime presented in a traditional format. I like picking pitches to throw, choosing whether or not I want to swing for the fences or just for a single, and catching the ball by simply stepping under it. I am extremely open minded though, and that is an absolute must while playing Big Hit Baseball.
The idea behind Big Hit Baseball, as far as I can tell, was to create a simple baseball game that could easily be played on a mobile device. Square went a bit manic on the simplification though and decided that Big Hit should just play by its own rules. Stealing bases, base running, and substitutions are all out, and pitch selection and batting is simplified to a point to where they have become reflex movements. There are no stats, no power ups, and no meaningful crowd support, so all you have to do is play the game. This truly is the evolution of the battery operated portable games of the late 80's.
Pitching, batting, and fielding in Big Hit Baseball is all done by sliding your finger on the screen. Slide your finger faster to pitch faster, slide further to hit further, and slide towards the ball to field. None of the controls are a science, but with enough coordination you should get to where hitting and fielding becomes almost second nature (fielding is a bit wonky, but practice does help). Pitching *shakes head*. Pitching in big hit baseball is a disaster. No matter what you do in Big HIt Baseball, you probably won't get a strikeout. All games are won by fielding, which means that it is the sole responsibility of your pitching to not give up home runs. Even that is a crapshoot at times, so I've learned from experience that you'll make up for your defensive holes with massive offensive outbursts.
When I say offensive outbursts, I mean that you'll be scoring 17-20 runs a game (on medium difficulty) after a game or two of practice... and that is with the games shortened 5 inning showdowns. By the 5th or 6th 20+ run game, you'll be worn out by all the excitement. You'll be worn out by the big hits and the dinky errors, and you'll be especially worn out by your lack of defensive/base running control. You'll never really get attached to your players either as their stats aren't shown from game to game and you can't even substitute them when they are playing bad.
Arcade baseball fans will get a kick out of Big Hit Baseball for a little while, but the game as a whole just doesn't invoke memories of Cracker Jacks at the ball game... it feels like sitting through a bad little league game with pitchers who can't pitch and fielders who can't field. Square desperately needs to bring some meat to this baseball title, but I fear that the damage is already done.