App Reviewed on: iPad 2
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Pretty much every adolescent boy can remember back to summer afternoons spent in the backyard, recreating the moment when they hit the home run, to win the World Series. Sadly, most will never get the opportunity to take a big league at bat. Thank goodness there are video games to fill this niche void. While there are plenty of long ball simulators, Homerun Battle 2 promises to be one of the best. Does it manage to clear the fence, or is it just a pop fly?
On the surface Homerun Battle 2 looks to be a baseball game. However, by virtue of players only batting it is actually fits more in the rhythm/timing genre. This isn't a bad thing, but I mention it to curb the expectations of the audience. If this is known going in, the first few playthroughs will be far less frustrating.
The core of the game boils down to a head-to-head matchup between the batter and the pitcher, where the goal is to hit as many home runs as possible, before using all of the outs. As more pitches are thrown the more difficult they will become to hit. Players use the gyroscope controls to position the bat for each swing, and then touch the screen to actually swing the bat. This combination of position coordination and good timing can lead to success, as long as patience is exercised.
There are many different ways of approaching this core gameplay mechanic, but everything boils down to see ball, hit ball, watch fireworks go off. On this level the game is very satisfying and in many cases downright addictive. The scoreboard chasing and slight variations in between mode further aid in keeping things fresh. Players can also choose to cash in money that they earn throughout gameplay to personalize player appearance or equip items that can improve a batter's abilities.
If there were one stumbling block from Homerun Battle 2 being an instant recommendation, it would be the price tag. Though the game is extremely fun, it is certainly not worth its current $4.99 price. When you top that off with the additional lure of microtransactions within the game itself, it makes me wonder why it even costs anything to begin with. If you are flush with cash, this could be a home run; if money is a concern, it may be best to bunt on this purchase.