Review: MLB Bobblehead Battle

by

It is October and it’s a good month for baseball, so why not grab a ball, a glove and go out to… nah why don’t we just turn on our Xbox 360 and play with MLB Bobblehead Battle from Konami? That’s right, this is the second installment in the MLB Bobblehead series for the Xbox Live Arcade and it’s a lot of fun!

MLB Bobblehead Battle

Gameplay
The second installment in the MLB Bobblehead series is here with the arcade style baseball we loved in the first game, but now there is a cool twist in the gameplay. I’m sure many of you will like!
First this feels less of a baseball title and more a “let’s go crazy and have fun” kind of game, much like Mario Superstar Baseball for the Gamecube and the Wii. The field is like a giant checkers board, well… sort of, with green (single) and orange (out) squares all over, 4 ramps that can send your ball flying away or slamming against one of the many walls in the field. So either you get a home run or the ball can fall in a green or orange square, this is a lot of fun and quite different from the first game.

MLB Bobblehead Battle

The layout of the squares change from time to time keeping the game interesting and fresh, you really can’t figure out where the ball is going to land! So it’s a gamble, even if you hit a really nice swing you can’t end landing on an out. Man i hate how the AI landed on a triple in my last game, grrr!
The game features trading cards (based on the japanese Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu games) and you can do all sort of crazy things with them like using a gigantic bat to increase your chances to hit the ball, special throws at the speed of light and much more.
Just like before all the league teams are available. Something special and worth mentioning is how you can edit the stadiums, i truly loved this feature and is fun to mess with, i like when developers let you play and customize things.
The features from the first game returns as well, letting you pick a quick game, season and more including co-op.
There can only be one! (Insert awesome swords battle here please) Just like in highlander, this game is a one versus one battle, the batter against the pitcher, there are no fielders at all, it’s one of many differences from a standard baseball title, giving it that special something gamers will enjoy.

MLB Bobblehead Battle

Downside
It’s my understanding this game is basically Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu , or at least it’s using elements such as the trading cards in the gameplay mechanics, so why not give us a US release for Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu for the fans of the japanese games? I love imports and having a Jikkyou game released for XBLA would have been awesome!
Aside from that, my only complaint for MLB Bobblehead Battle is the batter box, as a pitcher i have no problem with it at all, easy to use, but as a batter is a bit annoying to move the bat to actually hit the ball, this was the exact issue i had with previous MLB Bobblehead games and sad to see it did not improve. Would be better if it was more like in Nicktoons MLB.

MLB Bobblehead Battle

Extras
Again, no avatar awards or gamer pictures.

Overall
If you love arcade style baseball games and you enjoyed MLB Bobblehead Pros, this is an excellent title for you and a must have in your collection.
MLB Bobblehead Battle is extremely fun with lots of baseball teams to pick from, stadiums you can customize and much more. All in all it’s a fantastic choice to spend a good time playing. Available in the Xbox Live Arcade marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points.

We give the game an 8 out of 10

~Mario