Many baseball fans—not to mention non-fans—know the R.B.I. Baseball franchise fondly remembered by NES console gamers as the first baseball title to include real MLB players. Major League Baseball has acquired the rights and revived it as a true premium game, in which the $4.99 upfront cost gets you the full experience. Ahead of the coming weekend's Opening Day, the 2016 reboot has hit the Play Store.
While last year's revision was fairly substantial, with realistic MLB stadiums, full team rosters, and a season mode, this year, the changes are far more modest. Beyond the customary update to each team's players and their ratings, all we get are some improvements to fielding actions that include dives and home run robberies along with vague promises of enhanced AI, a "reworked batting engine," and "reworked pitching strategy."
Baseball games tend to veer on the side of "simulator" sports titles - they've been getting progressively more complex, and more technically taxing, since the 16-bit days when players stopped looking like a collection of squares. The latest high-profile game to hit NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV device bucks that trend with a setup tuned for quick play that emphasizes fun over everything else. Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings combines cartoony visuals and an unlicensed feel with surprisingly deep physics and a ton of options. It's available on the Play Store now for the high price of $20, and unfortunately, it's only compatible with the SHIELD TV.
You've probably heard of TuneIn. It's that app that some kids these days think of as the radio (not to be confused with the static that old people are still able to get their cars to produce). TuneIn lets you stream stations from all over the world, regardless of how far outside of their coverage area you may be.
Now the company is rolling out TuneIn Premium for $7.99 a month. For your money, you get access to over 40,000 audiobooks. You know, because paying for novels individually has apparently become old-school.
TuneIn Premium also comes with over 600 commercial-free music stations.
Baseball fans, are you ready for the All-Star Game?!? Probably. I mean, it comes every year, and unless it happens to come to your city, it all pretty much plays out the same. But if you're the kind of fan who subscribes to MLB.com At Bat so that you never miss a single game of your beloved Braves, it's probably a big deal - big enough that you're excited for the yearly update to the Android app in order to watch it. The latest incremental bump brings support for the 2015 All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.
What's more interesting on a technical level is that the app also adds support for Android Auto.
Baseball fans who recall more pixelated ages of gaming will remember R.B.I. Baseball as one of the more consistently good MLB franchises, and it's been revived for mobile platforms. Surprisingly, it's a true premium game - five bucks gets you the entire experience, complete with licensed teams, stadiums, and player likenesses, all without an in-app purchase in sight. It's an odd and happy thing to see come out of a pro sports license.
The 2015 edition of R.B.I. Baseball is more than just a roster update. This year's version includes 3D stadiums for each team that mirror their real-world counterparts, roster management in full simulation style or the 16-player lineup you may remember from the original games, "over 1000" pro ball players with accurately modeled statistics (and no BS leveling up), and the ability to save and resume full games.
Repeating a promotion offered last year, T-Mobile is giving a big gift to their baseball fan subscribers. MLB's excellent At Bat app has pretty desirable premium features, but they come at a steep price of $20. For T-Mobile subscribers, those premium features are going to be free.
The way it works is that you will have to download the app from T-Mobile's mobile network and complete the sign-up process. Once the app has recognized that you're a subscriber, the premium features should show up for free and you will have no restrictions through the end of the season. About those paid features, they include:
The smell of fresh cut grass is carried by a cool spring breeze. The sounds of birds chirping is punctuated by the crack of a bat and the ground trembles as a crowd comes to its feet with a roar. I smell it. I hear it. I feel it. Baseball is coming.
In two days time, the first pitch of the 2015 Major League Baseball season will be thrown in Chicago and the season will begin. Some people may find America’s favorite pastime to be a boring or slow paced sport. Those people can go read something else. This article is for the fans.
Football is a distant memory of a blown call. Basketball is stuck in the middle part of the season with playoffs months away. And hockey is... I actually don't know what hockey is doing, because I don't care. What was I talking about? Oh, right, Major League Baseball starts next month! While the players train, the organization is dusting off its various digital properties. MLB.com At Bat, the streaming app for the league's paid online service, has been updated with some new bells and whistles.
The most obvious change is the Material Design interface which... you know what, it actually looks pretty great.
Earlier today we posted on a new version of RBI Baseball for Android. You know what, I'm just going to recommend you read that story instead. Go ahead, close this tab and read the story about the premium baseball game with decades of history and no in-app purchases. It's OK. I won't feel bad. Just go.
Still with me? OK. MLB Perfect Inning is a high-end baseball sim from Gamevil. In addition to some very impressive graphics and and the licensed likenesses of over 200 Major League Baseball players, it features motion capture from real-life pitchers and catchers. Players and stadiums are rendered in detail, or at least enough detail that it's appealing while still being playable by most recent Android phones and tablets.
The last time an RBI Baseball game hit store shelves, it was for the Sega 32x. Even in its heyday, few people knew what that Genesis-era console add-on was, and even fewer owned one. Now, two decades later, the game has returned for Xbox and PlayStation consoles, along with mobile devices.
The original entry in the series was the first video game licensed by the MLB and the first use the names of real players. This time around, the game includes all 30 baseball teams and 480 athletes. The characters are all tweaked based on their real-world stats.
The game is designed to be quick and easy to play, with virtual athletes able to complete 9 innings in under twenty minutes.