David Ortiz may be an MLB legend, but today he’s got nothing on Nacho Crisp. Star player for the Moose, Crisp had 2 RBIs in a 6-4 win against Ortiz and the other MLB legends on the Mammotanks. Ortiz went 0-4. Pick up your peanuts and Cracker Jack Big Papi, it’s time to go home. In Super Mega Baseball 4 the rules are different.
Unlike other sports titles these days, it isn’t focused on a hyper-realistic recreation of the national pastime. Instead of causing your PS5 to make jet engine sounds as it renders individual blades of Fenway grass, Super Mega Baseball 4 focuses on a fast-but-casual arcade approach that manages to be both instantly approachable and incredibly deep. If you ever played any of the old SNES or Genesis baseball franchises like R.B.I. Baseball, but soured on the stats-heavy sim turn sports games have taken since then, you’ll feel right at home.
Super Mega Baseball 4 does so many things right. Probably its most useful feature is its Ego Mode, a difficulty slider that goes from 0-100 for a custom experience designed to get right in your sweet spot. I played at a very chill 20, a medium difficulty, and was impressed at how balanced the whole thing felt. I’m used to sports games feeling a little cheap, where players seem to make the exact right play at the exact right time. Here I felt in control, thanks in large part to a great pitching system.
In addition to the usual mechanics of picking a pitch and aiming it at the batter's box, Super Mega Baseball 4 adds a timing mechanic while the ball is in the air. You’ll see two different cursors and you need to quickly align them for maximum accuracy. Easier said than done, but it didn’t take long to get the hang of it. It made pitching into an active, almost combative experience.
The hitting mechanic functions how you’d expect, with players trying to time their swings to make contact at the perfect moment. There’s an added layer here too, with power swings requiring you to charge up and release instead of simply swinging wildly. It’s not required for big hits — I had two home runs using standard swings — but adds another layer for players who want to go deep.
There are loads of game modes too, including a few multiplayer ones. Ego Mode affects multiplayer too so no worries if you suck and your friends are awesome, the handicap will help level the playing field so everyone can have fun. It’s got goony cartoony characters, a range of difficulties and modes to fit any player, and a bite-sized approach to baseball so you can play a couple games in under an hour by yourself or with some friends. Just remember to call dibs on Nacho.
Super Mega Baseball 4 is out now for Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.