Baseball ’09 in Review – A Whole Different Kind of Game

baseball09_spinfast2As one of the biggest fans of America’s past-time, I was indeed excited to try out Spinfast’s Baseball ’09. While Baseball ’09 does show glimpses of  potential, I can’t help but feel like I played an incomplete game with very different set of rules.

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Baseball ’09 Features:

  • Draw your swing
  • Authentic physics. Hit down on the ball to ground, under to fly and early or late to control left and right
  • Play 1 to 9 inning games (plus extra innings on a tie)
  • Select your own team color combinations
  • Tackle the online Hall of Fame and top categories including high score, home runs and batting average
  • Scorecard with batter stats including hits, RBI, base hits, home runs and batting average
  • 3D graphics, with big game TV-style look and feel
  • Three levels of difficulty, with dynamic scaling

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I did a hard reset right after installing, and was promptly greeted by a low memory detected screen; luckily I was able to continue despite the screen. Once in the game, things seemed to only go downhill from there. For one, the gameplay is not balanced. Baseball ’09 requires a lot of practice in order to get used to the hitting, while pitching is just too easy. The developer felt it was unnecessary to program this part and instead opted for random events. It can be very frustrating when it decides that you gave up five runs in an inning and you’re left with no control over it.

baseball09_spinfast4Beyond the lack of pitching there are major critical errors in the rules in the game. It seems common knowledge that every half inning ends when a team gets three outs; however, this is not the case with Spinfast’s offering. Many times I was given four or five outs, which allowed me to score runs that should not have scored. Another common rule in this favorite past-time is that a foul ball is not a playable ball when it hits the ground. In Baseball ’09, sometimes foul balls are played by the catcher when they hit the ground. Whenever this happened, my batter chose to stand at the plate with the bat in his hands and get thrown out at first base.

With some work, I believe this game could be transformed into a great “arcade” baseball title. Most of the arcade baseball games to this point feature only a button to swing, whereas Spinfast implemented system that has players drawing across the plate (or flicking)  to swing the bat. This unique control method works fairly well and one that could easily be preferred by gamers.

baseball09_spinfast5Baseball ’09 has the foundation to be a good baseball game; however, it’s  certainly not there yet. In fact, the title “Baseball” is somewhat misleading. It should have a name that implies a batting only game, maybe “Batter’s Eye” or something similar. I can’t recommend anyone purchase this game in its current state, as there are much better options available at the App Store (Gamevil’s Baseball Supertars and Com2uS’s 9 Innings). The rules need to be combed over, the hitting difficulty needs to be decreased and the pitching needs to be added in an update in order to get me to play this again. I would urge the developer to look at MLB World Series 09’s pitching. A similar method would integrate perfectly into this game.

At this point in time, I am giving Baseball ’09 a “Slap It”. It does has potential and doesn’t need to be completely scrapped and rebuilt; however, it’s a long way from being a worthwhile baseball game.

This game review was brought to you by TMA guest contributor JC

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App Summary
Title:Baseball ’09Developer:Spinfast Pty Ltd
Price:$0.99 (sale)App Size:18.4 mb
  • Low Price
  • Unique batting system
  • Incorrect Rules
  • High Learning Curve
  • No Pitching Control
  • False Memory Error

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