Since the rebirth of the series, the games have been rather rough. Last year was a push towards a more quality product with in-house development at MLB. RBI Baseball 19 is the further refinement of that effort and it's a solid Baseball game. They've refined many elements of the package to provide an arcade style title that can be enjoyed across multiple devices.
In general you're able to play exhibition matches with up to two players. This is mirrored online where you can compete in ranked, or more casual games against a friend. There's also a franchise mode for up to ten seasons that includes options for trading, injuries and other typical elements you'd find in having a season mode in any sports title.
There's also a play-offs only option for quicker seasonal play and Home Run Derby. In the latter mentioned mode you're trying to move up a tournament listing by hitting the most home runs in reach round. This is mode is alright, though I do wish they'd tell you opponent scores prior to playing as you're just unsure what to try for. The game generally covers the basics for modes, I would however like to see them try something more creative in the future to bring a new twist mode wise.
The visuals are definitely solid this time. The player models come across as more realistic, as do the environmental textures. The fields look worn in, and they feature special logos depending on the time in the season. There are a variety of bats and likenesses for players. I really wish they would add a slight animation for walking as you do slide when batting or pitching to position yourself. Continuing on with animations there are now fancy cinematic segments with excellent background music supporting them.
These transitions come across as fancy, and work well into general gameplay. There's no commentary present, I mention this as I know it's an important feature for some. The crowds are finally 3D, not flat stick cut outs and that's great. They don't look amazing, but they have animations to them and they're 3D, so a good start for sure. The HUD is clean, and very simple with easy going menus. The ball has been revamped for more realistic physics and honestly pitching feels harder against the AI.
I also still found the AI rather difficult to compete against, even on easier settings. More in the sense that they could gain a lot of ground very quickly. The stadiums look great, they feature many small elements to them for added realism. For some added context in regards to controls, it's arcade-like in style so it's accessible to play and easier to play function wise. I do however wish I could disable tool tips. When it comes to play there's also over 165 Legends that have been included in this release.
RBI Baseball 19 delivers a solid arcade style Baseball experience with refinements to the overall experience. It runs better than before, the visuals are improved and they've made an effort towards further realism. I appreciate the work they've done to provide a decent take on the sport and a fun time.
The modes have continued to be expanded upon and hopefully they continue to add features to make this an even more compelling package. It plays well, there's great music carrying it and it's enjoyable. There are multiplayer options present for local, or online so that's a nice inclusion. It's just a generally solid refinement over last year's entry and it shows great promise for the future of this franchise.
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RBI Baseball 19 Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by MLB