TL;DR: R.B.I. Baseball 21 returns to the PC mound stronger and better than before. Still, nagging bugs and robotic animations keep it from taking the title.
Few games on the market today have the name recognition-much less the staying power of the R.B.I. Baseball series. I still remember those times when I would rush home just to play a whole nine innings on the NES before going to bed. It was for me at least, the finest baseball game that I have ever owned. Now we have RBI Baseball 21 released on Steam, and the big question is:
Does it play better than the previous version?
Read on and find out.
The boys of summer are back. Almost
If you’re looking for a baseball game on the PC that will match the graphical fidelity of MLB The Show, RBI Baseball ain’t it. Granted, the graphics have never been a strong suit of the series, and even with the enhanced graphical capabilities of the PC, the game still pales in comparison to The Show and even to the now-defunct MLB 2K series.
RBI Baseball 21 has been given a slight facelift, however, and the addition of new camera angles and improved player animations help make this version a little bit more polished
RBI Baseball 21 has been given a slight facelift, however, and the addition of new camera angles and improved player animations help make this version a little bit more polished. But where the game scores most of its runs is in the area of gameplay. The controls are very simple and responsive, which is crucial since the game is a true arcade game and not a simulation.
Beyond the graphics and gameplay, there are subtle improvements as well. For example, you have three modes in which to play: the customary Exhibition, Franchise, and a Home Run Derby. The franchise mode isn’t as robust as I would have liked. And without the ability to draft players, the depth of trying to build a dynasty becomes incredibly paper-thin.
The good news is that the game is fully licensed by the MLB so all the teams and players are there for your choosing along with their real-life stadiums. Other added features include a create a player mode, dynamic day to night cycles, and the ability to play legendary players and ball clubs. These elements really help with the immersion.
Other than those additions, RBI Baseball 21 is just a slight improvement over last year’s version, and anyone thinking they would be getting a completely new game hasn’t followed the history of the RBI series.
RBI Baseball 21 is just a slight improvement over last year’s version, and anyone thinking they would be getting a completely new game hasn’t followed the history of the RBI series.
If it’s hardcore stats and realism you’re looking for, RBI Baseball 21 won’t be your cup of tea. But if you’ve been looking for a fun little arcade baseball game that’s fun to play in between watching real games on Fox Sports, then drink up because this one is for you.