Baseball Riot Review

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Title: Baseball Riot
Developer: 10 Ton Games
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Game Type: Vita
Download: 28 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download 

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: 
Yes

When indie game, Tennis in the Face, came to the PS Vita, I found a surprisingly large amount of fun in it.  It was like a little mobile game with a simple premise, yet it was addicting.  I kept playing and playing and wanted to get high scores on every stage.  It’s not every day I get into a game like that, let alone a smaller indie game.

When I heard about Baseball Riot last week, I was very intrigued and interested.  By the looks of the game, coming from the same company, it seemed to be a baseball themed game of the same type.  I ended up contacting the developer about PlayStation TV compatibility and also got a review copy to try out and play.  So, that’s been my gaming for the past many days.

Now is the time to tell you all my thoughts on the game, though.  Those who played Tennis in the Face may know what to expect, and the person that redeemed the code of this game I sent out on Twitter definitely knows what to expect.  For everyone else, here we go.  This is my official review of Baseball Riot!

Story

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The plot of Baseball Riot is about a baseball player that gets gravely injured while playing a game, suspecting foul play is involved with someone intentionally wishing to disable him.  After his old team is taken over by the Explodz company of energy drinks, he seeks revenge on being forced out of his career.  So he heads out, bat in hand, to take down Explodz, investors, players, and anyone else he needs to.

The story of the game really is just there for props, and was made quite similar to how Tennis in the Face was.  It has a sport, a player forced out of a career, and taking revenge upon Explodz.  What I feel about how the story is will be explained more in detail when we get to the Presentation section.

Gameplay

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Baseball Riot is an arcade-style puzzle game that proceeds in stages as well as an overall world map.  Puzzle is definitely the right genre, but it’s got a bit of an action element to it as well, since some stages do progress in a bit of a fast-paced type of action.  But, it’s a puzzle game that proceeds in stages.  As much as handheld gamers may not wish me to make the comparison, the base genre isn’t all that different from games like Angry Birds.

The game has an overworld map that is kind of like a grid.  There are 8 sections to the map, with only the first being available to you at the start.  Each grid has about 13 stages for you to play through.  The more stages you play, the more stages you unlock.  Finally, you’ll need to amass enough points from playing the stages to unlock the Airport that takes you to the next area.  This progression continues throughout the entire game.

Each stage has you and enemies set up on a stage of platforms.  You cannot move from where you are, but you can set up your aim from any angle you want from where you start.  You then unleash a baseball that will then ricochet off any wall it hits, taking down any enemy in its path until it is expended and disappears.  Then you use another, and another.  You keep doing this until you run out of balls or you defeat all enemies on-screen and collect all stars in each stage.

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The biggest different between Tennis in the Face and Baseball Riot is the inclusion of Stars.  In the prior game, all you had to do was defeat enemies in a certain number of moves.  To get stars in this game, you have to collect them as you play, which makes it considerably harder to get high-rank scores in each stage.  Tying this with the fact that airports only can be used when you get a certain number of stars in each area makes this a much more difficult game.

This is actually something I liked about the game.  I flew through almost all of Tennis in the Face without much difficulty at all.  This game, however, I started having issues and having to back-track for stars within second and third areas.

As with the previous game, though, you should watch for it becoming repetitive.  You are essentially just doing the same thing over and over and over again.  I would suggest this be played more casually and not tackled all at once.  When I played it, I did some stages in the morning and some at night after work and it never got dull.  But if I’d tried to tackle the whole thing in one day, I doubt it would’ve been that way.

Speaking of doing the whole thing, let’s talk about length.  There are a little over 100 stages across the game.  Each stage can be tackled in a minute or less when you know what to do.  Considering this and time for replaying stages and backtracking, I would say the average length would be about 4-5 hours, give or take.

Controls

Controlling the game isn’t very hard to do.  You can do this with either touch controls or button controls.  Obviously, button controls is preferred if you’re using a PlayStation TV.  But, if you have a Dual Shock 4 controller, they might be worth looking at, regardless.

With touch, it’s simple.  You just tap on whatever options or menus you want to go to.  Then, in a stage, you just hold and slide your finger on the screen as you aim and let go to fire.  With button controls, you use the D-Pad to navigate menus and the X and Circle buttons to enter or go back in menus.  In the stages, you use the Left Analog Stick to aim and then X or R to fire.  Finally, you can use Triangle to restart a stage.

With this game, touch controls are a little better to use because it is easier to set up precise angled shots with it.  Some stages require you to aim at a specific area and it’s a little easier to do with touch than with the analog sticks.

Presentation

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Visually, the game looks good.  Everything is drawn and represented well and full of color.  The performance also runs quite well.  The save screens sometimes hiccup with frames, but nothing worth noting that would make someone change their mind about a purchase.

What I don’t like about the presentation is recycled content.  This is essentially a baseball version of Tennis in the Face, and the sounds and some enemy types make it very well known.  A lot of the sounds, music, character models, and even enemy types are taken straight from Tennis in the Face.  Sometimes it takes some time before you can get to the point of actually hearing a sound effect that wasn’t used in the previous game.

It works, but you cannot help but wonder why they decided to use a lot of the same resources.

Summary

Baseball Riot is a fun puzzle game for fans of Tennis in the Face.  I will say that the system still can get repetitive and I frown upon the developers using most of the same resources as the previous game.  Still, it’s a fun game with much more challenge than its predecessor.

8/10

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