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Baseball Superstars 2013

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad
Summary Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  

It's a cowhide joyride

Product: Baseball Superstars 2013 | Publisher: Gamevil | Format: iPhone | Genre: Sports | Players: 1-2 | Version: US | App version: 1.0.0
 
Baseball Superstars 2013 iPhone, thumbnail 1
Since 2007, Gamevil has been on a quest to transform the great American pastime into an anime-RPG that happens to be set on a baseball diamond.

With the release of Baseball Superstars 2013, Gamevil has built upon what it's learned from its amassed 45 million Baseball Superstars downloads and struck the perfect balance between sports, management, anime stereotypes, and fun.

Batter up

The first thing you'll notice when you boot up Baseball Superstars 2013 are its gorgeous, HD graphics. (Actually, the first thing you'll notice is an obtrusive full-screen ad for Monster Warlord, but we'll politely ignore that.)

This may well set you to worrying about the freemium nature of the game and the IAPs that follow but, happily, Baseball Superstars 2013 can be played - and enjoyed - without the expenditure of a single cent.

Once you navigate past the ad, you'll be able to select your team jersey and logo (or create your own), select My Batter or My Pitcher mode, and get into the game itself.

Pop fly


Baseball Superstars 2013 dispenses with the Exhibition and League modes of previous installations and focuses instead on simply playing games as either a pitcher or a batter.

In the My Batter mode, you'll take three cracks at bat per game and watch as the innings progress automatically. In My Pitcher Mode, you'll hurl balls for two to three innings every other game. When you're not batting or pitching, you can only watch as the game unfolds around you.

IAPs explained
Despite having two in-game currencies (G Points and Charge Stars), you can only purchase Charge Stars with real-world money.

These Stars are used for costume purchases and higher-level power-ups, but they can also be used to purchase packs of G Points to spend on other upgrades.

40 Stars (about the amount you need for a basic costume) cost 99c/69p, 130 will set you back $2.99/£1.99, $4.99/£2.99 nets you 220 Stars, while $9.99/£6.99 will buy you 470.

For the truly invested, you can buy packs of 2400 or 5000 Stars for $49.99/£34.99 and $99.99/£69.99, respectively.
This happens at a frenetic pace, and before you know it the game's over. Sometimes you'll wind up winning despite a poor performance on your part. Other times you can crack three home runs and still wind up losing.

This randomisation is part of Baseball Superstars 2013's charm - and IAP structure. You don't need to win every game, but because so many conditions necessary to victory lie outside of your control you'll be tempted to buy team power-ups to help your batters and pitchers shine a bit brighter out on the field.

These power-ups aren't necessary, by any means, although they do certainly improve your odds for winning games and helping your characters level-up a bit faster.

Safe!

Refreshingly, Baseball Superstars 2013 avoids setting up paywalls to limit your playing time. While you might not win many games without power-ups, there's nothing stopping you from sitting down and playing for hours at a clip.

And, indeed, you'll need hours to invest in all the quests, missions, character customisations, training, and quizzes (yes, quizzes) that Baseball Superstars 2013 has to offer.

When the last pitch is thrown, Baseball Superstars 2013 might not improve on the core mechanics of its predecessors to any large extent, and it still relies on arcade-style baseball simulation to drive its action forward, but that's because both of these aspects of the game still work wonderfully.

When you mix in Retina display support and a competitive gameplay mode, Baseball Superstars 2013 is easily the brightest entry in the Superstars series to date.
 
Baseball Superstars 2013
Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener | 7 February 2013
Bright, bold, and casual-friendly, Gamevil will have a tough time topping this outing next year
 
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