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R.B.I. Baseball 18 Looks to Take It A Bit More Serious

R.B.I. Baseball 18

R.B.I. Baseball 18 Looks to Take It A Bit More Serious

Let’s just have a brutally honest moment here: R.B.I. Baseball, Major League Baseball’s in-house attempt at game development, has been on the bad end of bad each year since launching.

While the game has come a long way since its initial launch, the series hasn’t yet released a title that creeps into the ‘this game is actually pretty good’ camp just yet.

In a crowded gaming marketplace, being anything less than pretty good is a really fine way to lose a lot of potential customers.

So this year, R.B.I. Baseball 18 looks to change the perception of the series in a big way per Polygon:

As the only instance of a professional sports league producing its own console video game, R.B.I. Baseball was already a unique product. Now MLBAM is going further, hoping to cement the game’s place in the market by responding to feedback from critics and consumers with a major expansion in its scope.

Room for Improvement

Despite people like us (Critics) thinking the game wasn’t all that great, sales have continued to rise with each successive edition — sparking Major League Baseball dedicating more resources to this year’s game.

This year, MLBAM is no longer outsourcing the development of R.B.I. Baseball and instead developing the entire game in house.

More than 30 people are now working on R.B.I. Baseball 18, and the improvements promise to be substantial.

What’s New (The Bullet List)

  • Visuals have improved significantly over previous years.
  • New character models (you can see them in the screenshots) along with new animations are present.
  • Hundreds of face scans along with player specific animations.
  • New presentation elements, including a more dynamic camera system.
  • Better sound effects and music snippets.
  • New menus.
  • New modes, including Home Run Derby and Franchise.
  • Franchise mode will run up to 10 seasons, will rate the player’s performance with a letter grade.
  • A weighted randomness in player progression will be the norm.
  • Trades and injuries will be in the game, though the A.I. isn’t yet capable of initiating trades.
  • 100 MLB “Legends” will be available in the Free Agent Pool.
  • Users can import roster updates after they’ve started playing franchise modes (a potential sports gaming first as we don’t recall this being anywhere else).
  • No minor league players or financial model (…yet according to developers, they’re looking at player feedback this year to see how deep the mode will go)
  • New Price of $29.99

So…Is It Time?

R.B.I. Baseball 18 looks to be a game with a much improved core mission. With an expanded list of modes, better audio-visuals, and likely continued gameplay improvements — we could be seeing a sort of arcade baseball renaissance coming from Major League Baseball themselves.

R.B.I. 18 releases in March at the previously discussed $29.99 price point.

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Executive Editor. Based in Oklahoma.

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  1. Hey folks, author of the linked article here -- thanks for reading! If you have any questions, drop 'em in this thread and I'll do my best to answer them. You can also tweet them at me (linked in sig).
    Even as a PS4 (and MLB The Show fan) I've purchased this title every year for my iPhone, and last year for my Switch. It's been fun for what it is... a pick up and play arcade baseball title. With these changes? This is another guaranteed buy for me on Switch this year. Also, LOVE the roster update ability even once a Franchise has started. That's something I've always wanted and never understood why it didn't exist. I'm in.
    SamitSarkar
    Hey folks, author of the linked article here -- thanks for reading! If you have any questions, drop 'em in this thread and I'll do my best to answer them. You can also tweet them at me (linked in sig).
    Do you know if we will have the ability to trade players to different teams without using franchise mode?
    If  somehow they are able to add A.I. trades in the game and in franchise mode i'll consider a purchase when it comes out. I'm not going to go season to season trading players for different teams. It defeats the purpose imo.
    Glad to know there is another baseball game coming out. Now all we need is another High Heat Baseball from Microsoft, or Triple Play from EA and i'll be one happy gamer! 
    jmc
    Do you know if we will have the ability to trade players to different teams without using franchise mode?

    Roster management (trades, free agency) is limited to franchise mode. Exhibition games are played with 2018 rosters (the latest ones you've downloaded).
    Peter_OS
    If* somehow they are able to add A.I. trades in the game and in franchise mode i'll consider a purchase when it comes out. I'm not going to go season to season trading players for different teams. It defeats the purpose imo.

    My understanding is that the only trades that are possible are trades that you initiate between the one team you're controlling and one of the 29 other teams. I don't think you can make the CPU-controlled clubs trade with each other.
    Looks good and I might pick this up for some casual fun as long as it looks good at release. Need to see gameplay video first.
    And honestly, the large majority of people who are going to buy this game aren't going to care about AI trades being in, so that shouldn't be much of an issue for this game.
    Peter_OS
    If* somehow they are able to add A.I. trades in the game and in franchise mode i'll consider a purchase when it comes out. I'm not going to go season to season trading players for different teams. It defeats the purpose imo.
    Glad to know there is another baseball game coming out. Now all we need is another High Heat Baseball from Microsoft, or Triple Play from EA and i'll be one happy gamer!*

    I had this game a few years ago and liked it but the gameplay got old fast. I liked how the games lasted only 15 min like HH. This new version looks promising. Can't wait to see it in motion.
    I wish they made a game as fast as HH played. The secret to HH's speed was lack of animations. I don't need to see the exact arm motion of Kris Bryant. Too bad they can't put an option with no animations so the game moves faster.
    Do you know if they've added bullpen roles or at least improved the bullpen logic this year? One of the things that has frustrated me with this series is the way the CPU used its bullpen - often bringing closers in way too early or leaving relievers in way too long.
    I root for this game to have everything, as advertised. I downloaded this twice on Xbox and was disappointed to the point where I deleted the games to my hard drive. Loved RBI baseball back in the day, but the last two versions were difficult to play and had no lasting appeal. Up to $30, so if the game play is cleaned up I can live with other issues.
    It would be cool to be able to play season or franchise with 2 or more friends online. Offer something the show isnt doing. Used to love playing co op seasons on nhl series on Genesis.
    skives
    So CPU to CPU trades will definitely not be in franchise mode?

    From my understanding you are only able to initiate a trade with your controlled team with another CPU controlled team, but you won't see any CPU with CPU trades during the season.
    I am either picking up RBI or SMB 2. It truly comes down to the rosters and if we are able to import/export rosters for SMB2. I have bought RBI every year since it’s initial release and I usually stop playing after a month. I am a diehard baseball guy on the Xbox so I am hoping RBI this year will keep my attention if SMB cannot import rosters
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

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