Major League Baseball has announced that RBI Baseball returns this year with RBI Baseball ’18, and it’s releasing in March just in time for baseball season. This year the title is adding Nintendo Switch to its list of platforms, joining PS4, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices.
I’ve reviewed every installment of this series since MLB reintroduced it back in 2014. I liked the first one well enough, but last year’s outing received a two star rating because it was the same game just with a roster update.
There’s reason to be cautiously excited for this year’s version though. The previous years have seen the MLB Advanced Media team outsource development of the game to various studios while the MLB guys headed up the production. This year, MLB Advanced Media have assembled their own internal team to solely develop the game. It marks the first time a major sports league has developed its own video game.
Of course that in and of itself isn’t reason to be excited. Instead, this year’s version is adding NEW modes and improvements to the game. After four years of getting the same game, this one might actually be worth getting since it is adding new stuff. Of course the cost of the game has gone up from $19.99 to $29.99, but that is still a budget price and the only option for folks on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch who want some MLB action.
So what’s new?
- Franchise Mode: Take control of a favorite MLB team! Make trades, sign free agents or call up rookies across multiple seasons. A new player progression system allows players to develop, improve, and ultimately retire.
- Home Run Derby Mode: Challenge a friend in local head-to-head play or the CPU in the ultimate slugfest. See how individual skills stack up against friends and the rest of the world on the leaderboard.
- Authentic MLB Players: Completely redesigned player models, including more than 300 digitally modeled likenesses, along with hundreds of new animations and unique player-specific animations to deliver a whole new in-game experience.
- Better Ballparks: Witness the enhanced lighting, textures, revamped 3-D crowd system and get closer to the details with new dynamic camera angles and specially crafted cinematic sequences across all 30 MLB ballparks.
- MLB Legends: Add some of baseball’s best legends to your Franchise mode and play as any of the more than 100 retired MLB players (list is below).
- Online Multiplayer: Jump into ranked and friendly exhibition games with friends and players around the globe.
- Soundtrack: Listen to new tracks and music from more than a dozen popular recording artists.
- Roster Updates: Keep a season up to date with rosters throughout the 2018 season, including within Franchise mode.
The game will also feature a “stunning UI presentation,” according to the official press release. And of course RBI Baseball ’18 will retain the same fast paced, simple and easy to pick-up arcade controls that made the baseball games in the 90s so fun to play.
Here’s a list of the MLB Legends that will be available in the game:
Mel Harder, Bobby Doerr, Lou Boudreau, Dom DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, Bob Feller, Monte Irvin, Phil Rizzuto, Red Munger, George Kell, Bob Lemon, Pee Wee Reese, Enos Slaughter, Ted Williams, Richie Ashburn, Red Schoendienst, Robin Roberts, Bobby Richardson, Eddie Mathews, Ernie Banks, Jim Bunning, Hoyt Wilhelm, Frank Howard, Al Kaline, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Billy Williams, Brooks Robinson, Jimmy Wynn, Larry Dierker, Jim Fregosi, Catfish Hunter, Dock Ellis, Minnie Minoso, Willie Horton, Gaylord Perry, Johnny Bench, Fergie Jenkins, Bucky Dent, Rod Carew, Mike Hargrove, Rollie Fingers, Tom Seaver, Tony Perez, Bruce Sutter, Phil Niekro, Reggie Jackson, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Graig Nettles, Jose Cruz, Mike Schmidt, Darrell Evans, Frank White, Keith Hernandez, Dwight Evans, Ken Griffey Sr., Mike Scott, Bert Blyleven, Gary Carter, Willie Randolph, Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Robin Yount, Mike Boddicker, Kelly Gruber, Dale Murphy, Goose Gossage, Rick Sutcliffe, Kent Hrbek, Willie Wilson, John Kruk, Ozzie Smith, Lenny Dykstra, Lee Smith, Rick Honeycutt, Paul Molitor, Terry Pendleton, Joe Carter, Wade Boggs, Mark Langston, Orel Hershiser, Harold Baines, Eric Davis, Brady Anderson, Matt Williams, Greg Vaughn, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Jeff Bagwell, Kenny Lofton, Shawn Green, Luis Gonzalez, Eric Gagne, Troy Percival, Jim Edmonds, Jorge Posada, Chipper Jones, Johnny Damon, Jamie Moyer, Derek Lowe, Roy Oswalt, Paul Konerko, Jason Giambi
RBI Baseball ’18 releases in March for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android. It’ll cost $29.99 on consoles and $6.99 for the mobile devices.