Sep 28, 2012
Release Date: 2012
Baseball Superstars is one of the longest-running sports series on iOS, and arguably the best baseball experience available on the platform. For the 2012 season, publisher Gamevil has added a clever new motion control system, making the game feel like a unique experience that wouldn’t be possible on a computer or traditional console. Although the pressure to make in-app purchases is near constant, downloading Baseball Superstars 2012 is a must for anyone who enjoys arcade-style sports games. Baseball Superstars 2012 is easily a game that could cost $20 or more if it were released for a console.
Motion and Gesture Control
The most exciting new addition in Baseball Superstars 2012 is the new motion- and gesture-based control scheme that makes playing the game feel like a completely unique experience. To pitch, you’ll swipe a finger across an outline representing the strike zone. The direction indicates the type of pitch, while the location of the gesture indicates the desired position within the strike zone.
Hitting is even better; while up to bat, you’ll hold your iPhone or iPad like a game controller and tap a button in the lower-right corner of the screen to swing. Tilting the device moves a circular marker within the strike zone, indicating where you’d like to aim. The motion-based control for batting is a large part of what gives Baseball Superstars 2012 its charm, although you may find hitting easier if you switch back to the classic control scheme which just requires you to tap where you want to swing.
A Baseball RPG
The most compelling game modes in Baseball Superstars 2012 are perhaps the My Batter, My Pitcher and My Team modes. These unique baseball RPGs allow you to play through the ten-year career of a batter, pitcher or manager, performing only your role on the team while other players’ roles are simulated. This takes only a couple of seconds, so the action is constant. As you play, your player slowly gains in stats such as hitting, power, defense, running and popularity. It’s very fun to watch your player evolve from a .250 singles hitter in his first season to a massive .700 hitting powerhouse in his tenth year — remember, we did say it was an arcade game.
Between games, your player will shop for items, practice his skills, earn spare money, answer trivia questions about baseball and romance one of three anime-style women. Sadly, the option to play as a female character and romance one of the game’s male characters is not available. Although opinions may differ as to whether this feature is warranted in a baseball game, it’s beneficial to go through all of these event sequences as each one gives your player a much larger bonus than he’d get by training. After completing a few actions, your action meter will be empty and you’ll need to play some more games to refill it.
Grinding in Baseball Superstars 2012
Console-style RPGs are often grind fests, and Baseball Superstars 2012 is no exception. Your player can have a maximum of around 1,000 points in any single skill and can never gain more than about five points in any single skill between games by training. Train too hard and your player’s physical condition will decline, potentially leading to injuries and poorer performance in games.
In the game, you’ll earn two currencies: money and G points. Money is your player’s salary, and it’s used to buy items such as new helmets and bats or training aids. If you’re running My Pitcher and My Batter careers simultaneously, for example, money isn’t shared between players.
G points are shared across all of your active careers in Baseball Superstars 2012. You earn them primarily by performing well in games and answering trivia questions correctly. You can use G points to buy power-ups such as Hawk Eye, which allows you to time incoming pitches and see their position in the strike zone. You can also buy an item called Mom’s Lunch, which increases all of your player’s stats by seven points. Each of these items costs 300 G points, though, and in the beginning you’ll be lucky if you get more than five G points per game.
G points are available to purchase in-game, starting at $.99 for 800. The temptation to purchase them becomes strong when you realize how slowly your career is progressing and only gets stronger when you receive your first debuff. If you aren’t training often enough — which will typically be the case during your first career because of the amount of resting you’ll need to do to recover from your poor performance in games — your coach will chide you for not training and give you a debuff that lowers your hitting, power or running ability by 10 percent.
When you receive a debuff, you can remove it by training constantly. However, this will be more difficult than ever because your player will perform horribly during games. This will require you to rest more frequently between games rather than training to keep your player’s physical condition up. This cycle can cause you to struggle through an entire season to remove a debuff, during which time you’ll probably receive a dubuff on another stat, because you’re not varying your training. Constantly, Baseball Superstars 2012 will remind you that you can purchase an item to remove all debuffs instantly, at a cost of — you guessed it — 800 G points.
Playing Baseball Superstars 2012 for Free
You can remove the grinding aspect of Baseball Superstars 2012 and make the entire game easier by paying real money. In fact, some items aren’t available at all for in-game currency or G points, you may quickly come to the conclusion that this game is horribly skewed against free players. If you’re willing to do the work, though, you can have a great career without spending a dime. Simply play through a career or two, muddling through as well as you can and not spending any G points. Reset your player data between careers, and you’ll be able to keep the G points you’ve earned. Once you’ve reached around 10,000 G points — which is easy to do in a career or two — start a new career off by buying 20 or so Mom’s Lunches. Doing this generally requires more than ten hours per career, but you’ll have a blast at the end.
If you aren’t interested in the RPG aspects of Baseball Superstars 2012, you can also play exhibition games online or against the computer. Although you’ll be missing out on some of the game’s charm, you won’t have to worry at all about grinding or being pressured to spend money.