It's the best hand-held game ever, but not on the best hand-held
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Baseball is one of those sports where the thought of watching a real game would only be marginally more appealing than watching a Justin Bieber concert. Yet in videogame form, it’s something I really enjoy and actively seek out to play.
The iOS format is already home to host of baseball games ranging in many styles and directions. From the simulation orientated, to arcade and even slug-fests where you just keep on hitting balls, you’ve probably tried at least one at some point.
Big Hit Baseball has been designed by Beautiful Game Studios (of recent iOS Championship Manager fame) to be a simple representation of the sport. Much like the baseball on Wii Sports for instance with a quick pick up and play feel to proceedings.
Controls for the three aspects of the sport are all controlled with swipes. When batting a longer swipe hits the ball harder, when pitching a curving motion adds an arc to your delivery and fielding consists of swiping a player in the general direction of the ball. Batting works fine and you’ll be hitting home runs with gay abandon without too much hassle once you’ve had a few practice swings. In fact, batting is a little too easy and you can expect to smash tens of runs per innings. Pitching is more of a lottery and strikes are very tough to come by. This means you’ll be relying heavily on not missing any fly balls in order to stop your opponents turning in an equally huge score.
Graphically, again everything is very simple with cartoon style players in one or two colour uniforms and a basic crowd. Home runs are greeted with an enthusiastic on screen comment, but other than that the whole thing feels a bit flat. Thankfully, the crowd applauds along with keyboard music and a commentator declares strikes, outs, etc which does bring events more to life.
The meat of Big Hit Baseball comes with competing in the 3 difficulty level tournaments. You can also take part in individual series and try to gain medals in the practice mode. There are also achievements to unlock along the way.
I did have a lot of fun playing Big Hit Baseball and it’s great in short blasts. However the simplicity aspect has probably been taken a little too far and leaves you hankering for something a little more considered. After all, there are only so many times you can get excited about a 50-25 baseball game score.