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April 9th 2014 2:36 pm

RBI Baseball '14 is here!

Fans of old school gaming consoles and baseball know there's always been one baseball game that stands out in terms of sheer fun: RBI Baseball on Nintendo. Released in North America way back in 1988, it became one of the most popular baseball games at the time.


More recently, the game gained notoriety when someone recreated Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, famous for the Mets come from behind victory when Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner misplayed a grounder and it rolled through his legs. The Mets would ultimately go on to win the World Series in Game 7 and Boston's curse would continue until 2004.

Here is a gameplay video overlaid with original audio from the game: https:­/­/www.youtube.com­/watch­?v­=a­-GgbP9C9Zk

And for fairness, here is the original video: youtu.be­/l3UXgwqlDAo­?t­=1m7s

Anyway, today MLB Advanced Media announced the release of RBI Baseball '14 -- a modern take on the classic video game. It's available for download on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and iOS devices. Support for Android devices is coming later this spring.

I love me some baseball, so I put on my batting gloves and anxiously downloaded the game on my iPhone 5. First impression: holy cow does this thing take a long time to load up. I guess the iPhone 5's processor is probably pretty pokey nowadays.

In order to properly test this out, I chose teams from the greatest-rivalry-in-all-of-sports-history-I-don't-care-what-you-say-nananana: the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the San Francisco Giants.

Second impression: holy crap, this game is hard.

Here's the scenario: let's just say that I was playing for the Good Guys™. The first pitch I threw (some consider this gentleman to be the Best Pitcher in Baseball™) was promptly sent over the left field fence by the bad guys. THE FIRST PITCH.

That's fine. Let's see what happens. Second batter, blooper to second. It should be an easy out, but the touch targets on this screen are so small that it didn't register. So, safe at first!

Third batter! It's a bunt! Quickly grab it and mash on the first base button. It's overthrown. Runners now on second and third. Oh, look! A simple fly ball. Wait! There's no field markers on where it's going to land?! Another 2 runs score. Repeat this ad infinitum.

By the time I got out of the first inning, the score was 10 - 0 in favor of the Bad Guys™.

I'm sure there are some growing pains to go through -- for both the developers of this game and myself as a player. It's is a fun take at baseball, even if there are some, ermm, frustrations. And probably represents one of the better attempts at a baseball game on mobile devices.

But at the end of the day, can we just agree that on screen joysticks absolutely suck.

At the end of the day, we're faced with a simple question. For all its quirks, does RBI Baseball '14 offer a somewhat unique and accurate perspective on America's favorite past time? It turns out, it does. Because it's not like the above scenerio is all that implausible: www.fangraphs.com­/boxscore.aspx­?date­=2014­-04­-04­&am...

Download info here: www.rbigame.com/

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I have nothing productive to contribute to this one.

Go Blue Jays
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I played it on my train ride home yesterday and I came to the same conclusion: this game is terrible on the iPhone. It's also too simple to the point that it is not engaging enough.
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