Take us out of this ball game.
The App Store and Google Play icons for Baseball Superstars 2013 mention that the series has been downloaded 45 million times. An impressive stat, no question, but the number doesn't guarantee anything about the latest installment to Gamevil's sports franchise. Clearly, you shouldn't download this free title under the impression that it plays like the hundreds of baseball games that have come before it. Otherwise, prepare for disappointment and even bewilderment.
The features certainly look good on paper. Baseball Superstars 2013 lets you choose a fictitious team (with names like the Dragons, Swallows and Dolphins) and experience the game as both a pitcher and batter, starting off as rookies and then retiring after presumably productive careers. You'll level up via training, acquire power-ups with virtual currency and even visit the hospital, where a large-breasted nurse cares ever so deeply about your anatomy. Now if that doesn't have you rushing to download the game, nothing will.
That said, it's important to note that Baseball Superstars 2013 doesn't work like traditional games based on America's favorite pastime. Yes, there are strikeouts and balls, singles and homeruns, but you don't have full control over games. Instead, the computer simulates much of the action, and you only receive a handful of chances to bat and pitch. In fact, you won't even have three at-bats in one inning. More often than not, you'll have one chance to win the game with runners in scoring position, or a single batter to strike out with the game on the line.
There's no denying the feeling of helplessness that eventually pushes its way into the experience. The A.I.-controlled team seemingly scores at will, and it's quite difficult to get base hits and homeruns without beefing up a player's abilities, most notably Power and Contact. This is even tougher if you don't spend G Points before a game on a variety of perks, from decreasing opposing batter stats by 10 percent to boosting your running skill 15 percent. Naturally, G Points run out, bringing in-app purchases into the equation.
Beyond that, we found Baseball Superstars 2013 to be too feature-packed and complex for its own good. There appears to be no shortage of icons to press on the main screen, junk to buy or places to visit. It's quite intimidating, and the fact that the game suffers from grammatical mistakes doesn't help. Ultimately, there's too much nonsense getting in the way of what we wanted to enjoy in the first place, a fun baseball game.
Throw in the required Wi-Fi connection to play and a Gamevil account to take part in PvP matches, and Baseball Superstars 2013 is a mess. To be fair, we didn't play past titles in the series and therefore have nothing to compare it too, but the goal is to delete this app off our smartphones and tablets post haste. In the end, just because you boast of having 45 million downloads doesn't mean you make quality games.
What's Hot:Attractive character designs, brightly colored visuals, simple pitching and batting controls, a variety of power-ups and items to buy, cool Super Players.
What's Not:Grammatical errors in dialogue, silly banter between characters, you never play through an entire baseball game, Wi-Fi connection required to play, intimidating number of options, annoying ads.