A very basic baseball game hidden behind a workforce menus and micro-transactions.
On March 30th, 2023, the new baseball season swung into action, which is the perfect time for new baseball games to release. One such title is MLB Perfect Inning 23, now “perfect inning” is an unofficial baseball term where the pitcher doesn’t allow the opposition to take a single base in an inning. Let’s just say this game is the equivalent of giving up a run because you’ve walked four batters. For anyone not familiar with baseball terms, that is a bad thing.
Now, I’m a huge baseball fan (let’s go Yankees) and always up for an MLB game, so it’s fair to say that I’m very happy to give a new title a try, especially when it comes with me wherever I go. But MLB Perfect Inning 23 is testing in all the wrong ways.
Upon startup, I had to download an additional 1 GB of content before doing anything, and when all is finally set up and ready to go, I’m graced with a fake “your system has four errors” advert. Not a great start, and frankly, it’s a bit malicious. The menu is hard to navigate and the button that starts games blends into the artwork instead of being a direct menu tab along the top row where you would expect it to be. Also, I hope you like Imagine Dragons – Believer because it plays loudly and on repeat. No, I’m not a believer, stop harassing me.
Getting into the gameplay itself, pitching and batting are basic but beginner-friendly, so if anyone that plays this thinks about moving onto a more complex baseball game for consoles, like the MLB The Show series, for example, they won’t have trouble settling in. There’s a cool camera-swapping feature with several angles when at the bat to assist your view of the pitch. The instant simulation button is useful as well if you want to skip any phases of the game or even the entire match with a variety of speed options.
Graphically the game is on par with a high-end PlayStation 2 game, which is fine for a mobile title trying to utilise full 3D graphics. The models are half-decent, but the players’ faces aren’t good. It looks like a barebones face scan pasted on with no basic animations, like the developers thought: “This vaguely looks like Gerrit Cole, we’re done here”. Baseball games thrive on presentation and player reaction, I want my pitcher to show the same level of emotion I do when the umpire makes a bad call.
The commentary is like it’s explaining the game step by step to children. Baseball is a complex game, and I expect competent commentary to keep me updated as well as entertained. Furthermore, the commentators scarcely mention players’ names, something that even the most basic of sports games tend to do. It’s these small details that carry a good baseball game, and MLB Perfect Inning 23 is letting the side down in this regard.
As a nitpick, the game isn’t the friendliest to phones that have the speaker lip at the top of their phone that cuts off part of the screen. This is mainly iPhones, but since that’s standard for the brand, gaming apps should accommodate for this.
The player market, where you can purchase team members or take a chance with random packs, presents itself almost like a stock market, but overall just pushes you to buy more of their in-game currency. On top of everything, you need a pass to play online PvP, even simulated PvP. How do you get that pass? Earn in-game currency or buy one outright. MLB Perfect Inning 23 presents itself as “look at the cool players you can collect” rather than making an enjoyable baseball game.
If you’re looking for a simple baseball game for your mobile that’s hidden behind an overly complex menu, with a heavy focus on buying items using a chain of in-game currency, then MLB Perfect Inning 23 is for you. However, as a passionate fan, I expect a game to do more than the bare minimum.
Want more baseball action? Then check out our guide for the best baseball games on mobile and switch, hope you hit a homer.