Baseball season is in full swing, and now you can once again play a full baseball simulation on your iOS device. R.B.I. Baseball 15 is now available, building upon the first year effort we saw last year. For 2015, the baseball simulation returns, but accented with new lineups, enhanced ballparks, save and resume progress, multiple game modes, and new pitch settings. The heart of the game is an accessible game of baseball that is made for anyone to pick up and start playing. To hit you simply position your batter, and tap the swing button at the right time. To pitch, it’s practically the same, you just align the pitcher and tap the pitch button.
R.B.I. Baseball is made for novices, and yet there are subtle advanced options. As mentioned above, you can control the pitch from start to finish as well as throw one of three types of pitches. When hitting, you have the ability to move the control stick while the pitch is in the air to line up the barrel of the bat as best as possible. There’s no doubt it’s easy to play baseball in R.B.I. Baseball 15, but it’s not all perfect. The base running is the biggest problem as you can only advance all runners, or return all runners. That means you can’t just send the runner on third home, but instead have to advance everyone. Also, if you tap to advance runners, the
runners will keep going until you tap to retreat, rather than just stopping at the next base. You will run out of innings because of the poor base running controls, and it hampers the overall experience.
The highlight of R.B.I. Baseball 15 is the ability to play the full 2015 season of your favorite team right on your iOS device. The problem is that you have to play every single inning of every single game with no simulation option. Even if you pick a 41 game schedule of six innings rather than nine innings and 162 games, that’s still a lot to play. Simulation is key in any of these sports games, and the lack of it in R.B.I. Baseball is a detriment that is tough to overcome. It’s great that the glaring save omissions of 2014 has been rectified for 2015, but that’s not enough. Even with saving, the lack of simulation is especially problematic because the game is on the simple side. Player interaction isn’t the greatest as players move automatically to field, pitching is relatively easy, and hitting is just about timing. The baseball gameplay can grow quite repetitive due to simplicity making playing every inning very bland.
R.B.I. Baseball 15 ($4.99, Universal) has the promise of every MLB team at the start of the season, but like most teams falls out of contention quickly leaving a long bland stretch of games making it one to skip.