Major League Baseball fans and video game enthusiasts can rejoice as the MLB in conjunction with MLBPA has created the perfect game for you all; an official MLB.com Home Run Derby game you can play on your tablets and phones anywhere you go. It features really intuitive and responsive batting controls and an impressive player roster featuring MLB All-Stars from the past four years.
Two Modes of Fun
MLB.com Home Run Derby features two modes that you can play to get your fantasy home run fix. The first and more simple one is the classic arcade mode. This is where you have a minute to get as many home runs as you can with the furthest distance. In the arcade mode there are bonus powerup targets stationed around the stadium that if you hit increases your score by that amount (2x, 3x, or even 5x). Also note that if you get home runs and these bonuses you can add time to your running total to help you increase your score big time. The second mode is an actual mock up of a home run derby match. So it features eight or so players including you in a sort of tournament style matching where the player with the most home runs progresses. This mode, however, does require tickets to play in which you only get four per day but you can win in game green currency for placing first through forth.
Wish It Was That Easy
Now when I first saw MLB.com Home Run Derby I really thought the batting mechanics would have been screwed up. But honestly they work quite well, actually extremely well. It does take time to get used to the nuances of it all like in everything else but soon you’ll find your stride and be hitting home runs like you are Babe Ruth yourself. There are actually two control schemes for batting; the first you use one finger to move your bat in position and release to swing, the other is use one finger to aim and the other to swing. Either one works surprisingly well and makes home runs a piece of cake.
Challenge Your Friends
Like any good social game, MLB.com Home Run Derby features both singleplayer and multiplayer support. Singleplayer is what I already outlined and while that can be fun it may get old for you after a while, hence why multiplayer is offered. Now for multiplayer you can either challenge your Facebook friends to see who can hit the furthest home run or if you don’t have any Facebook friends who play the game you can also search online for players from all over the world to play. This way you’ll never be bored with just singleplayer and if you’re the only one in your friend group who has this game you can still have the perks of multiplayer as well.
It’s Like You’re There
Again, MLB.com Home Run Derby really surprised me with just how good the graphics and everything are. Of course they pumped in real high quality pictures of all the playable characters for cutscenes and the player roster but even actual gameplay is very good. In fact I feel like it is up there in terms of console quality of 3D sports game rendering. Combined with the nice crisp sounds of bat hitting ball and the crowd cheering and it really feels like you’re Prince Fielder up at bat surrounded by all his fans.
However, you know with all these great features like the perfect touch controls, the graphics and all the players (along with the customizable options) that there has to be a hidden catch for a free game like this. And of course there is. When you download you get 100 free “dollars” essentially which only covers you to purchase one player out of the whole lineup. From then extra players cost another 100, inventory slots another 100, better bats and other equipment…you guessed it…more money. I did mention earlier that you can win these dollars but very slowly and it is obvious they are pushing you to buy with real money. So if MLB.com Home Run Derby is your cup of tea the prices may be well worth it as it is a very high quality game. And even if you don’t want to pay extra the base functions are still good and will still give you loads of fun!