RBI Baseball 2016 Review

RBI Baseball 16 was developed and published by MLB Advanced Media. It was released March 29th, 2016 for Xbox One at a price of $19.99. It is available for PlayStation 4, Steam, and mobile devices also. A press review copy was provided for The Hidden Levels.

After RBI Baseball’s relaunch several years ago the folks at MLB Advanced Media have churned out horrendous game after horrendous game. Coming into RBI Baseball 16 I wasn’t expecting much. My expectations turned out to be reality because this is a poor game. There are some shining spots here and there but ultimately it’s a rough game in its current state.

What I enjoyed:

Realistic-ish player animations: In the past releases of RBI players didn’t behave like human beings but in this release they seem more like real professional baseball players would. On a line out to the shortstop it’s apparent where the ball ended up and how the shortstop got there to make the play. This is totally dissimilar to previous iterations of the games in which I often questioned how and/or why the play was made. The player animations are nevertheless not great particularly when outfielders make a throw, catch the ball, or make an error.

Solid controls make for solid games?: The controls are for the most part pretty responsive and fluid. Turning a double play or making an amazing catch down the third base line has never been easier thanks to solid controls. With that being said, judging where a ball is going to land in both the infield and outfield is quite hard because the ball indicator is quite deceiving. It’s quite interesting that making a routine popup to the second baseman is as hard as making a diving catch. 

What I disliked:

A game without game play: RBI 16 just isn’t fun to play. It’s supposed to be a game that you can sit down and play for ten minutes but it gets boring after around two minutes. The game play is monotonous because there’s not the variety in what the virtual players do which is highly unlike real baseball. I played as both the White Sox and Braves and used their number five starters. There isn’t any control over what pitches you throw which is unbelievably confusing. You can make a fifth starter look like a staff ace. While the game is well-balanced in terms of difficulty the game play and the game as an experience isn’t very fun.

Glitches galore: The glitches in this game are abhorrent. In several instances an online game randomly stopped while I was in the middle of playing it. The opponent could do anything they wanted. The only thing I could do was pause and unpause the game. In a game by myself I experienced another appalling glitch. The opponent hit a single through the gap between the shortstop and second baseman. No big deal right? Wrong. After the hit I was unable to field the ball. I wasn’t able to move my players at all and was stuck watching the lifeless field before I quit the game. Many other glitches plague that game, almost making it unbearable to play.

What’s that I hear?: You hear nearly nothing. All that can be heard is a computerized voice that says “strike,” and “ball,” and “you’re out.” You can occasionally hear the crack of a bat, but the sound is very bare bones and ultimately quite poor.

It’s as bland as grannies week-old soup: Not only are the stadiums bland (for example, Angel stadium’s unique outfield isn’t as big and expansive as it is in real life), but the overall game experience is bland. I had little fun playing it, partially because the stadiums looked nothing like they did in real life but mostly because the gameplay (as well as the glitches, sound, and just about ev everything else) is atrocious. To put it bluntly: RBI 16 is a contemptuous and characterless game worthy of all scorn it receives.

I don’t want last years players on this year’s game: I was confused when I first loaded up RBI 16 a day or so after it was released to find that the rosters weren’t current. You’d figure that a company putting out an expensive game would take the time to update the rosters up to the date of release by way of a patch or something. But no. My beloved White Sox had players that are on their Triple and Double A ball clubs on the major league team (one player on the initial major league roster isn’t even in the organization anymore if I recall). People don’t deserve to play with last years players on this year’s game, especially given the game’s price on console. 

It’s a wonder why this game was released in it’s current state. It’s a game with so many problems that under no circumstances anyone should buy it unless it is patched and improved heavily. It seems like the folks over at MLB Advanced Media are not dedicated to creating a working solid baseball experience which is a great disappointment. The game is that bad and should for that reason be left out of your library.

Score: Skip it

 

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