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Pro Yakyuu Spirits Baseball 19 Review

Pro Yakyuu Spirits 19

Pro Yakyuu Spirits Baseball 19 Review

 

Baseball is back! Well, at least Pro Yakyuu Spirits is back with Pro Yakyuu Spirits 19 on the PlayStation 4. It has been four long years since Konami, developer of the PYS series, has released a console version of their highly acclaimed series, and the first on the current-generation hardware. It has been a long wait for fans of the series, so now we find out if the wait was worth it.

What I Like

Hitting Mechanics/Options

Regardless of what type of baseball game you play, the importance of the ball and bat interaction plays a large part in the success and enjoyment of that game. Thankfully, PYS ’19 does a beautiful job of not only delivering realistic physics when it comes to hitting, but also provides multiple types of options and mechanics for the user to choose from and enjoy.

For me, I went with self-adjust hitting on hard difficulty, which allows the user to self-adjust the ball cursor when making contact with the ball. I love this style as it replicates zone-hitting options of other baseball games from the current and past. The game also allows the use of timed hitting, and a type of gravitational hitting in which, depending on the level the user chooses, the cursor will moderately to strongly gravitate towards the ball as it comes towards the plate.

No matter what style you feel is right for you, the physics and reaction of the ball coming off the bat are exceptionally well done, and the higher the difficulty the more hit variety you will see throughout the game.

Animations/Graphics

There are many ways to approach the game of baseball when it comes to presentation and graphics, and Konami has chosen a natural look that adheres to the standard “baseball simulation” style. The animations are fluid for the most part but seem to shine a bit more at the plate than in the field. That’s not to say the fielding and throwing animations are bad because they’re not, but the amount of animations seems a bit more limited and repetitive in the field when compared to what I see at the plate.

Graphically, PYS ’19 delivers in almost every aspect of the game. The ballparks are alive with fans reacting to the game and moving around throughout, and the player models are just as well done. On top of the ballparks and player models, the facial scans for most players are beautiful to look at and have a very realistic tone to them. The overall graphics and animations are not what I would consider genre-defining and may struggle as a whole against the best of the best in the world of sports video games, but overall the look of PYS ’19 is a clean, realistic approach that is immersive.

Sound

For me, the sound of a baseball game is every bit important as the physics and look of that title, and PYS ’19 once again delivers on that front. From the sound of the ball making contact with the bat, the ball “popping” into the glove, to the reactionary celebrations and devastation of the crowd, the ambiance of PYS ’19 delivers an experience that consistently reminds us we are at the ballpark.

The commentary of PYS ‘19 is in Japanese so I understood very little of it. Regardless, it was fluid, emotional and felt timely, and the call of the umpire was emphatic and timely. Overall, PYS ’19 does an excellent job of replicating a day at the ballpark, whether those seats be behind home plate, section 407 in the upper-deck or standing in the on-deck circle.

Game Mode Options

Konami has delivered an excellent set of modes for the user to choose from, and that is never a bad thing. Want to create a high-school player and see where your career goes? Go for it. Want to take over one of the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball teams and fight for a championship? Have at it. From batting practice to home run derby to manager-only mode and online head-to-head play, PYS’19 comes through with a mode for just about anything you could want to play.

That said, some of these modes are extremely deep and immersive, and the language barrier for many can be a huge detraction — one I will get into a little bit later. Overall though, PYS ’19 offers some excellent depth for a baseball title, and multiple options and ways for people to enjoy it.

What I Don’t Like

Language Barrier

If you can’t tell yet, I love what Konami has delivered this year with PYS ’19, and it holds up very well against most other sports titles that are available to play today. The biggest issue, and it’s a big one, is the language barrier. Most of the game is delivered and presented in Japanese, and this barrier can create a huge fluctuation in how enjoyable PYS ’19 is for someone. So, modes like Dream League, Sokuho Play and Pennant Chase can require a lot of translation if one is trying to understand every aspect of these game options.

Thankfully, you can go to spiritstranslation.com, as a go-to source for quick translation and guidance. The site offers a basic breakdown of the game for free, or for a small $10 donation. The site also provides a full analysis and screen translation of every option and mode. Now, the translation is not fully completed at the time of this review, but a large percentage of it is available now to utilize and is a tremendous asset to have in your corner.

Final Thoughts

If Konami were willing to include an English translation, then suggesting you find a spot in your rotation for PYS ’19 would be stunningly simple. The game plays beautifully on the field, offers up a tremendous amount of depth and delivers on almost every front. The issue is and always will be are you willing to take the time to learn the game, navigate the game screens and options, and do it enough to where it becomes an afterthought? Once again, Spirits Translation does an excellent job of breaking down each screen and mode, but it still requires you to absorb that information and continuously use the site as a reference.

If you are willing to utilize the translations site, you know Japanese already or are eager to put in the effort to use screen translations, then PYS ’19 is a must-purchase for any baseball fan with a PS4.

31 Comments

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  1. oldmanonsilvercreek
    Is this game available for purchase in the USA? If so is it region free? Seeing that it's on the PS, I assume it will but??????

    Its region free, but you have to create a Japanese PSN account, if I recall correctly.
    It is region free, correct. You either have to create a JP PSN account and buy from there (plenty of videos on how to do the account)  or you can try some of the import sites, like play-asia. The game will cost you around 80-90 plus to import and it usually takes a week + for it to arrive to the states.
    Why can't we have another baseball game like this in NA???
    Too bad about the language barrier, but I'm glad to hear there is a site dedicated to translating the language in English and there is guidance to playing the game.
    We need Konami to make a MLB game! Now that would be incredible...
    Sorry if this is a dumb question but if I bought this game off of eBay and downloaded to my PlayStation, I wouldn’t be able to play the actual game without having a Japanese PSN account? Even though I already have a US PSN, am I understanding that correctly?
    Cdubb4
    Sorry if this is a dumb question but if I bought this game off of eBay and downloaded to my PlayStation, I wouldn’t be able to play the actual game without having a Japanese PSN account? Even though I already have a US PSN, am I understanding that correctly?

    You would need a JPN account for any digital version of the game, because you'd need one to access the JPN PSN store you'll be downloading the game from (whether you do it by a redeemed code or by an actual store transaction). I'm fairly certain (but not 100% sure) entering a redeemable JPN game code into the US store would only give an error - they are seperate stores.
    Once the game is on your system, you can play it on either type of account - US or JPN.
    I have it, it destroys the show in terms of gameplay....the language barrier isn’t that bad when you have translators on your phone, or can use the website 
    Cdubb4
    What if I buy the physical copy of the game? Do I still need a Japanese PSN? I’m looking at buying it off eBay*

    That, I'm even less sure of than the digital process because I bought mine digitally. I know some people have bought physical on this board though, so you might get an answer from them.
    That said, my guess would be that you don't need a JPN account for physical, since you have the game itself already and it's not region locked. Again, I'd make sure of that before you order, though.
    Cdubb4
    What if I buy the physical copy of the game? Do I still need a Japanese PSN? I’m looking at buying it off eBay*

    No you do not need Japanese PSN if you get a physical copy, only thing you need a Japanese PSN for a physical copy is to get the crowd songs DLC.
    Thanks for all the info guys, still too expensive i think for me but is this a yearly release? If so I thought maybe like Madden and 2k basketball ect,ect, the price will come down for past years versions? I am not familiar at all with the asian website that sells it but perhaps they have sales as well? I love the screen shots and someone mentioned they like it even better than the show, this game really intrigues me.
    That looks sick as hell!!!!
    the translation part is scaring me a little but I may have to try it. 
    Makes me think that konami should make a MLB game for Xbox and PC. 
    I saw some people talking about this on Twitter so I decided to buy it. Wow, what a game. Most of the kanji I understand so that doesn’t bother me but the gameplay is simply fluid and responsive. Ever since playing this, I barely play the show now. I wish we had another option other than the Show for baseball here in the states. 
    Watched a youtube video of gameplay it looked nice! I admit there is a language barrier. But some of the animations were pretty awesome! Most notable watching runners cross home plate and giving teammates high fives on non home run events. Been waiting for MLB The Show to have this for years so much so that this year I finally gave up! Maybe not important to them but definitely a default immersion feature of baseball :(
    Just got my copy and its fun as hell. Played imported games all my life and this looks great on the ps4. took a couple years but gameplay is awesome. Highly recommend
    This is now popping up at pretty reasonable prices on eBay. I just paid $54.20 before shipping and taxes for a brand new copy shipping from Australia. Those shipping and tax charges brought it up to around $72 total (wasn't expecting tax on an international order :brickwall) but that's still $10 less than Yes Asia wants and about $20 less than Play Asia. An Australian could have gotten this release dirt cheap had they jumped on the listing. Fortunately I don't think there are many Australian baseball fans. :D
    Big Bankhead
    I saw some people talking about this on Twitter so I decided to buy it. Wow, what a game. Most of the kanji I understand so that doesn’t bother me but the gameplay is simply fluid and responsive. Ever since playing this, I barely play the show now. I wish we had another option other than the Show for baseball here in the states.*

    Dude how...I'm decent at Hiragana and Katakana, but I've never understood how people get good at kanji. So many characters lol.
    Game looks amazing. I've seen people talking about it before. Much of what I love about baseball games is the ability to play with my favorite team, but I just might have to grab this. I remember buying a jersey from some player on the Yomiuri Giants back in college. Can't remember who, but I'm guessing they aren't in the league anymore.
    Bought this a few weeks after release from Amazon Japan but finally played my first game last night. VERY pleasantly surprised.
    The attention to detail is simply tremendous. It reminds me of the staggering amount of "little things" that The Show introduced with their 08 and 09 editions on PS3.
    However, I can't help but feel that The Show now trails Pro Yakyuu in terms of visual authenticity --- its player models, face scans and lighting are some of the most realistic I've ever seen in a sports game.
    The language barrier is the biggest obstacle to overcome. I almost think Konami would do well to include an English menu option, much like Sega included on the Japanese version of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (that I also recently imported from Amazon Japan). Spirits Translation's help has been invaluable, but I can't help but feel like a menu language option (or eventual patch) would help a ton --- especially since the menu music and certain words are already in English.
    It's been REALLY fun so far, and a welcome alternative from the regular baseball we usually get stateside. I also own Pro Yaykuu Spirits 6 (with the '09 World Baseball Classic teams) and PYS 2012 for PS3, so I already knew what I was expecting heading in. Knowing that, it was totally worth the extra import cost. Amazon Japan may be the way to go in terms of value --- it took a ridiculously short time to arrive.
    jada855
    I admit there is a language barrier.

    I'm in denial, myself. How can you say such things?
    If what TanR says is correct though, I'm glad to hear they'll continue pumping this one out. I wish more sports games did the two-year cycle with a roster update in between (even if they only work say 16 months, that's much better than 9).

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