Tag Archives: Baseball

Homerun Battle 2 Review: A Pathetic Excuse for a Sequel

Com2us has been one of my favorite developers in the App Store, especially with how they’re very interactive in the community along with coming out with great games.  Chronicles of Inotia 2 was one of my favorite games, and others such as Homerun Battle 3D, the first of the series, was a lot of fun to play.

So when they released Homerun Battle 2, I was quite excited, given my previous enjoyment with Homerun Battle 3D.  But when I opened up the “sequel,” I felt almost cheated, ripped off in a way.  And do you want to know why?  It’s the EXACT SAME GAME.  There’s nothing in here, from what I remember, that’s different.  It’s still the same online play and the same offline play; the user interface is a little different, and there’s a new mode on the offline play, but other than that, the elements are the same.

What’s even worse is that now they’re starting to make you buy outfits and such through in-app purchase.  There are so many bats, gloves, hats, etc. that are accessible only through in-app purchase that it almost makes me feel like the game is won by anyone who has the most money.  From what I’ve seen, there’s no way to earn stars except through buying them, and the outfits that they do have for gold balls are outrageously priced.

All in all, this is one pathetic excuse for a sequel.


UI Improvements: I’ll have to hand it to Com2us: the user interface improvements do look nice.  While it is a bit slight, it looks a lot better.

Universal and GameCenter: This was something that was missing in the first one, and I’m a huge fan of any developer who is willing to make an app universal along with adding some GameCenter achievements.  No matter how much I hate this game (which I’ll get to soon), I have to put this in the like section.


Advertisements: It’s great that you’re having a fire sale and all, but you don’t have to have the news banners take up nearly a quarter of my screen.  While I was provided a promo code to review this game, if I was a user and paid five bucks for it, I’d be furious.  There are a lot of games that have that little news banner, but it only shows up when you press on it, and it doesn’t take up a large portion of the screen.  It’s just an annoyance that shouldn’t be in a $4.99 game.

SAME EXACT THING: This is the part that makes me nearly furious.  You can’t call a game a sequel when there’s literally nothing that has changed.  There’s one new game mode in the offline play, but other than that, the online play is nearly exactly the same, the outfits and such are the same, and even some of the UI elements are exactly the same.  You’re basically paying $4.99 for GameCenter achievements and new main menu buttons, which is inexcusable given the fact that other sequels, such as Zombieville 2, provide complete UI overhauls, gameplay changes, and stylistic changes.  To see that Com2us named this “Homerun Battle 2” and have it be nothing close to even being a sequel makes me quite mad, and they’re basically ripping off people by selling the same game but marketing it as a sequel so that more people buy it.

I’m sorry Com2us, but this is the type of thing that is the difference between good developers and bad developers.  When you’re cheating buyers by saying that it’s a sequel when it’s actually just the same game, I take offense to that.

In-app purchases: In-app purchases… in a $4.99 game?  Now I understand when those in-app purchases don’t really matter to the game, such as Modern Combat 3, which has in-app purchases but doesn’t force you to purchase them in anyway.  But Com2us has implemented a sort of freemium model to an already premium-priced game by putting in “stars,” which can only be earned through buying them with real-world money.  I shouldn’t have to pay in order to completely unlock all of the accesses to the game.  Along with that, online play should be fair in that all players have the same chance to win: it shouldn’t be predicated on who has the most money to spend on in-app purchases.  Basically, whoever is willing to spend a lot of money on this game is going to be the best, and whoever doesn’t have money to spend is left out and will always be milling around the lower level players.

Homerun Battle 2, as you can see, makes me quite furious.  And disappointed.  And shocked.  I’ve beta-tested a lot of Com2us’s games before, and they used to be all about the consumer and how they can make their games more appealing to the consumer.  But when they put in absurd in-app purchases, sell a game that’s nearly the same thing as the one before it, and even have banners of their own news take up a large portion of the screen, I can’t help but be disappointed.  Com2us, I have lost all respect for you, as this “sequel” is, as the title suggests, pathetic.

The game itself is fun though, so go on and pick up the first one.  It’s on sale for $0.99 and doesn’t have such an absurd in-app purchase system in it.

Homerun Battle 2 was developed by Com2us, and I played through version 1.0.1 on my iPhone 4s and iPad 2.  The price is $4.99.

Flick Baseball Pro Review: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

After much anticipation and speculation, Flick Baseball Pro by Freeverse finally hit the App Store. An entry into their ever expanding Flick Sports library, Flick Baseball Pro is the perfect pick up and play baseball game for the iPod Touch and iPhone. Aimed at the more casual and mobile player, this game feels much more like an arcade game than an in-depth sports sim game. For those that enjoy sports games for the mere enjoyment of them, this is the baseball game to own.

The game takes a cue from Com2UsHomerun Battle 3D for its control scheme in both batting and pitching. Tilt the device to move your hot zone to line up with the pitch for success in batting. Line up the target into the strike zone for the perfect pitch.

But taking Homerun Battle 3D one step further, in Flick Baseball Pro you also run the bases and field the ball. If you are daring you can stretch a single into a double, or make a throw to get a runner. All of these actions are accomplished with a simple tap of the screen.

And if by chance you don’t enjoy one aspect of the game – fielding or batting – you have the option to skip that portion and it will be simulated for you. There seems to be an underlying player statistics that will control the outcome for you. In the few times I tested it, it seemed pretty accurate, meaning the AI didn’t kill my pitcher when I simulated a pitching half inning, nor did I just get three strike outs during my batting half inning.


Controls: The controls could not be more simple. Tilt to position your “bat” while tracking the pitch, tap to swing at the appropriate time. Tilt to position your choice of pitch, tap to throw. When a runner gets involved in the action, a small diamond appears with each base activated by touch. This is easy to control either stealing an extra base or throwing to a base after fielding. Otherwise everything is pretty automatic. But the most important aspects of the game are controlled by the player. It is nice that this is not cluttered by having to field ordinary ground balls and the like.

An interesting addition is what I call the “Fly Ball Mini Game.” If your opponent hits a fly ball four moving gloves appear on the screen, you must tap the screen when they overlap to successfully catch the fly ball.

Game length options: The ability to choose between a 3 or a 9 inning game is perfect for any situation. This allows the player to squeeze in a game of baseball for any amount of free time available.

Season option: Want to bring home the trophy? Compete in a full season that includes playoffs. Still want to bring home the trophy but don’t have the time and or patience to play through the choice of 11, 33, 66 or the full 165 game season, no worries. Flick Baseball Pro has the option to simulate from 1 to 20 games at a time using the same formula as skipping a half inning.

Teams: The game comes with 34 teams, not surprising many are from actual baseball cities, but some international teams are included as well. The ability to customize a team is possible and you can build a team from the ground up with your own special abilities, choice of a name and uniform. Play a few seasons with them and before you know it you will have your very own dynasty.

Realism: Its always the small touches that make or break a game, and this particular aspect I really like. It lends a strategy to being in the field. As the game progresses and your pitcher throws more pitches his stamina decreases. Just as in real life, his strike zone is harder to hit. The tilt to aim mechanism will become harder to control and soon, as a manager, you will need to decide when to make a pitching change. Of course that is as simple as a few taps of the screen, but nonetheless this brings a sense of realism and strategy to the game that is welcome in a casual arcade sports game.

Plus Social Network: With the addition of the Plus network, leaderboards and unlockable achievements are available.


Home vs Away Team: I seem to always be the away team in an exhibition single game. I am not sure if it is randomized and I happen to always be the away team or if it is set up that way. I don’t know why this really bothers me other than the home team has an advantage in having last at bat if they are behind in the score.

An additional title has also been released by Freeverse’s sister company Small Planet named Chevy Baseball.  It is a free lite version that keeps intact the core elements of gameplay but lacks the season mode and team customization. There are also only two unique teams to choose from in this version, aptly named the Camaros and the Silverados.

Sports games can run from extremely in depth as you would find on a console, to bare bones as you would find on a handheld. Flick Baseball Pro finds a suitable middle ground. It is not too complicated for a portable device, yet is not too simple either. If you like in depth 3D sports simulation games, this might not be the baseball title you are looking for. Flick Baseball Pro by Freeverse is the perfect pick up and play sports game that focuses on the fun aspects of the game without being too technical.

Flick Baseball Pro Version 1.0 by Freeverse was reviewed on an iPod Touch with OS 3.x. It is currently available at launch price of $2.99 in the app store.

Can It Be? Derek Jeter Real Baseball Now $0.99

Derek Jeter Real Baseball has dropped dramatically in price from the usual $4.99 all the way down to a mere $0.99.  We reviewed this game not too long ago and found it to be one of the better baseball sims in the App Store, and the controls and graphics seemed to be the strengths among all the other great things.

A downside for some fans of the game may be the fact that the game includes no licensed players or teams.  That means you’ll be playing as the Anaheim Diablos and some other random name made up by the crafty minds over at the Gameloft studios.

Anyhow, $0.99 is a steal for a game of this quality, and if you’re into sports games atleast a small bit, you’ll find yourself enjoying this one.  Not convinced?  Check out the gameplay video along with our review; maybe we can push you off that fence.

Homerun Battle 3D Update Adds DLC, Most Expensive Being $19.99

Over 100 new items have been added to the popular arcade baseball game Homerun Battle 3D, with the most expensive set costing you a hefty $19.99.  When I first saw the DLC, I didn’t think it would run for that much, but my iPhone does not lie.

Com2us, one of the leading developers on the iPhone and developer of the wonderful RPG Chronicles of Inotia, have released their 1.3 update just today adding new DeMarini uniforms in an all new feature in which you can buy full sets for a certain price.  The cheapest set it the Hero set which only runs for 1000 gold balls, and the most expensive is the DeMarini CF4 set, costing $19.99.

The introduction of DLC is starting to become more and more prominent as Tap Tap Revenge 3 and Rock Band have both released with considerable amounts of DLC.  Homerun Battle 3D is just another quality game that has entered the mix with even more costly content, but I’m guessing that more devoted fans of this game will pay to play.

Maybe DLC is the premium App Store everyone was talking about?  I don’t know, the world may never know.

Derek Jeter Real Baseball Review: America’s Pastime Becomes Yours

Baseball simulators are sorely lacking in the App Store, and we’ve seen more of the arcade type including Baseball Superstars 2010 and Baseball Sluggers.  The only real competitor to Derek Jeter would be MLB 2009, from no other than the MLB.  I found a lot of issues with MLB 2009, which ultimately lead to its deletion, but Derek Jeter seems to take this genre a step further and improves upon many of its predecessor’s flaws.


Graphics: I really liked the graphics in this one, and I must say that this has to be one of Gameloft’s more appealing games.  Yes, they’ve created visual wonders like Modern Combat and Gangstar, and Derek Jeter Real Baseball seems to be very close in graphical quality.  The player models were very detailed for a mobile phone, and I thought the animations were very well executed.  While the crowd was not very overwhelming, the actual players on the field were very well modeled.

Controls: Controls are a bit simple when it comes to batting and pitching, but they are definitely very responsive.  To swing the bat, either tap the screen or slide your finger up using the silver bar.  Pitching is accomplished by selecting a type of pitch, timing the power and accuracy, tilting the device to position the ball, then finally throwing it.  Both pitching and batting were well executed, and while the batting was a little bit too simple, the pitching controls were very well done.

Realism: The realism in Derek Jeter’s baseball game is very well done, and while there are some flaws here and there, the overall feel is very real.  When I’m batting, it feels like I’m actually batting and when I’m fielding the ball, it actually feels like I’m fielding the ball.  Pitching the ball also felt very realistic, and the overall game just felt like a baseball simulation game.  Baseball Superstars does what it does well, and Derek Jeter, in its own respects, does what it does well.


No Multiplayer: Almost all of Gameloft’s recent games include multiplayer modes, and Derek Jeter shouldn’t be an exception.  Just because it’s a baseball game does not mean multiplayer cannot be accomplished, and it would have been nice to play against my brother in a local Wi-Fi matchup.  Bluetooth multiplayer would have been fine also, and any option for just some type of multiplayer would have been fine.  Whether the time ran out or Gameloft wanted to release the game quickly, it still isn’t an excuse to not have multiplayer.

Players: It’s a shame that the players and teams names aren’t licensed, therefore, no real players or teams.  Currently, I’m playing with the Anaheim Diablos with many unfamiliar players.  While this wasn’t a huge deal-breaker for me, it may be for some baseball junkies looking forward to playing their team in this game.  The team licenses should have been made as it is a “real” baseball game, but I guess it is understandable.

Derek Jeter Real Baseball is a very good baseball simulator that I enjoyed thoroughly.  If you’re a fan of baseball at all, you’ll love this game to the death even without multiplayer and real player names.  It was fun, well executed, well designed, and consists of some very high production values we’ve seen Gameloft produce time after time.  I found this game to be a lot better than MLB 2009, and I’m sure you will too.


Derek Jeter Real Baseball was developed by Gameloft, and I played through version 1.0.6 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is $4.99.

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