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 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.