Let’s say it’s better late than never but baseball is finally back in full swing. This year it’s more of a nice distraction than it is the romanticized ushering of spring that we’re used to. As such, I developed an itch to play some baseball. As I alluded to in my previous editorial, the options are limited on the Nintendo Switch. But there’s one that stands out above the rest of the pack, and that’s Super Mega Baseball 3 by Metalhead Software.
It is currently the highest-rated sports game for the Switch on Metacritic. This game looks like an arcade-style game but it is a sim that’s more sophisticated than it looks, and is absolutely packed with cool features. For full disclosure, I didn’t get to play through everything so I’ve made this into a brief overview of the game. This is also my first time playing the series and the first baseball simulation that I’ve played at length since MVP Baseball 2005. With that out of the way, let’s dig in, shall we? Here’s a rundown of what you can expect from Super Mega Baseball 3.
Between innings in this Japanese stadium. Boston Crab, I see you!
When you first pick up the game, it will walk you through all the ways you can pitch, hit, run the bases, and play defense. Basically an in-game tutorial. For example, when you field your first line drive, the game will pause and explain to you what buttons you need to use at that moment.
There are various mechanics for each aspect of the game. When you’re pitching you can choose between multiple pitch types with your right analog stick, and you can use your left analog stick to aim where you want your pitch to go, and finally hold and release A to deliver the pitch. How long you hold it will determine the pitch’s accuracy, so you want to time it just right. If you hold and release Y it will use the power pitch but keep in mind it has an increased risk of a wild pitch and will drain your pitcher’s stamina faster. You can choose to have the computer AI help you on defense as well.
Every player’s attributes can be seen as you play. Pay close attention to your pitcher’s stamina.
Ego is what is used to determine the difficulty level. You can adjust it to a higher number the more comfortable you are with the game, and you can set a different level for different users. I stuck with 15 as a novice, as I’m still not good at hitting. There’s a ton of different controls at your disposal.
Teams, Players and Stadiums
There are 20 standard teams plus 3 extra custom teams available. All teams and players are fictional as this isn’t licensed by any existing professional leagues. The players come from all walks of life, young and old, male and female, even the umpires. Lots of representation. One of my favorites is Brick Towers, a middle reliever for the Sawteeth because I like to imagine WWE’s Sheamus dropping the hammer on a batter with his curveball. Another random thing is the mannerisms, such as one time when I saw my pitcher sneeze between pitches. You can play in any of 14 fictional stadiums, many of which have gorgeous scenery and take place in different countries around the globe.
Every stadium is a visual treat with unique backdrops.
You can choose between the following game modes:
Exhibition – A standalone game where up to 4 players can participate, head-to-head, or against the computer. You can play local and online against your friends or random people. You’ll need to be on the same console for online play. You can use standard or custom teams.
Pennant Race – This is Super Mega Baseball 3’s cross-platform mode. You play online against random people and try to finish with the best record in your assigned division within a certain period of time. You can’t use custom teams in this mode.
Franchise – An in-depth mode where you get to be player, coach, and GM all in one. Think Baseball Stars for NES, but better. You’ll be able to play multiple seasons as you oversee the development of your roster. You can choose Standard or Custom. If you choose Custom, you also have the ability to simulate games. This franchise mode is a popular feature among fans of the series as I’ve seen quite a few franchise videos posted online.
Season – Similar to franchise but for a single season, with the goal of reaching the playoffs and winning the championship. Note that with both Franchise and Season modes, you can do local and online party play, and you can customize how long you want your seasons and playoffs to be.
Elimination – Head right to the playoffs. Choose your team and pick how you want your series to be determined (best of 3, 5, or 7). You can play or simulate your games, and can also play online. If you choose Custom, you can control as many teams in the bracket as you wish.
Customize – You can have a lot of fun with this one. Super Mega Baseball 3 gives you the option to customize how you want your teams and leagues to look in almost every way imaginable. You can create and edit players, teams, and leagues. If you already have custom teams from Super Mega Baseball 2, you can import them into this year’s game as well. I really got a kick out of the custom teams section, where I counted 176 unique custom logos you can choose from! And it doesn’t stop there, because you can even modify all sorts of aspects of the logo, such as the colors, the placement of it on the uniform, how it looks for home versus road, etc. That’s on top of being able to modify the overall look of the uniform and the players, as well as their skills. Almost anything you can think of, it’s just insane.
If you want the #1 baseball game for the Nintendo Switch, look no further.
That’s a brief overview of what Super Mega Baseball 3 has to offer. If you want more information, I encourage you to check out the game’s dedicated subreddit, including the developer’s FAQ at this link. This is a fun baseball video game with a vast array of features, especially impressive coming from a small independent studio. There was a lot of love put into this game and it shows.
If you absolutely must have an MLB-licensed game, you’ll need a PlayStation, for now at least. Although if you get Super Mega Baseball 3 for Steam, you can search for online modding communities that can help with adding MLB teams and players into the game. But as for the best portable baseball game, Super Mega Baseball 3 sits comfortably atop the standings. If you’re ready to step up to the plate, Super Mega Baseball 3 is available now in digital format only for Switch, Steam, PS4, and Xbox One.
Thanks, everyone for reading and happy gaming!
This overview was written based on a digital review copy of Super Mega Baseball 3 for the Nintendo Switch provided by Metalhead Software.