We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Super Mega Baseball 4 Switch review - batting with the Babe

Our Super Mega Baseball 4 Switch review finds the fun we know and love from the series, with a surprising amount of depth under the hood of the fourth entry.

Willie Mays preparing to strike the ball in Super Mega Baseball 4

Our Verdict

While suffering some Switch performance issues, Super Mega Baseball 4 is another solid entry in the sports series. The variety of ways to play and the depth of customization options add hours of engagement to this game, though it might be nice to get some training options for those of us who need a hand with our fastball.

Ah, the tricky number four. There’s something about a fourth entry in a series that feels like it’s saying ‘yeah, so I’m not going anywhere’. A trilogy is no longer possible, so a saga it must be. That is very much the case in Super Mega Baseball 4, a game that reminds you of the pure fun of sports games while finally growing into something you can take seriously without thinking too much about the fact your team is reliant on a man with the name Hog Porkins.

If you don’t know, Super Mega Baseball is almost a decade old now, with the first game in the series arriving back in 2014. It’s a sports game with a difference, though, swapping the hyper-real for the caricature and traditionally offering a made-up world of batters, pitchers, and fielders for you to play with. It’s a series with style, too, with picturesque stadiums that make you feel part of the Super Mega world without bloating your up skull like an in-game avatar.

Despite all the new ideas and features in SMB4, the core gameplay remains as approachable as ever. All you need is a basic understanding of the game, or softball or rounders, and you’re good to go. There’s an easy way to play, where you simply aim and click to throw and hit balls, or you can mix it up with the power option of holding down a button for an increment of time, which, of course, requires a little skill and practice. Either way, all it takes is a quick game to adjust to your preferred mechanics, and you’re fit to play ball.

The big draw of Super Mega Baseball 4 is the legends it introduces to the roster. Sure, I love series characters like Sluggy Boomhauer and the like, but with Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and countless other icons of the game, this feels like a real boon for the series. It’s not trying to step on MLB’s toes by porting in all of today’s players so you can run super realistic seasons. Instead, Super Mega Baseball occupies the realm of fantasy sports, where you can create teams with the St. Louis Cardinals legend Ozzie Smith, SMB icon Jackie Slam, and baseball YouTuber Shelfy. Oh, and yourself, if you want to create your own home run-hitting character.

YouTube Thumbnail

The new game mode shuffle draft best exemplifies the loveable chaos of Super Mega Baseball, while also providing a sort of generative simulator that consistently offers unique team selections. Put in layman’s terms, it scoops up all the players in the game and throws them in an imaginary tombola before spitting out fresh teams. What I didn’t anticipate from this game mode is learning something to carry over to my franchise.

In shuffle draft, you discover new combinations between players usually not on the same team, giving you the chance to test their dynamic before you spend money in your franchise save or create a unique team in the league creator function. The only problem with this game mode is that it can feel a bit complicated to set up, with a touch too much admin for when you just want to shuffle and play ball. Still, it’s a debut for the concept, and it definitely adds something to the overall experience.

Screenshot of Babe Ruth up to bat in Super Mega Baseball 4

Franchise mode is back and better than ever, too, with a few kinks worked out from its debut in SMB3. You can take over a team, train up your favorite players, and slowly establish yourself as the primo team across the wider baseballing world. It could be more all-encompassing, sure, FIFA handles its player improvement in a slightly more engaging way with training trials amassing skill points, but it’s a solid sim season after season. In general, this title would benefit from some training minigames, but we’re going to have to hope for that in an SMB5.

It’s something of a cliche to say that ‘there’s something for everyone here’, but providing you enjoy baseball, there really is. Sure, there’s an emphasis on arcade fun over allowing you to go all Moneyball on everyone’s ass and put together a team of intricate parts in specific places, but if you really want to do that, you still can. Again, there are no teams from the real MLB, but you hardly expect EA to step on its own toes in terms of bridging the gap between Super Mega Baseball and the flagship MLB series. I suppose what is more accurate to say is that there’s a surprising amount of variety in the way you can play, from in-game decisions like innings and rules to creating custom teams or relying on shuffle draft to throw you some curveball teams. In short – there’s never a dull moment.

Two teams facing each other in Super Mega Baseball 4

For those who want to take their ball skills online, there are plenty of options there, too. The online leagues mode offers some serious customization, so you can start a looney league with a few pals providing everyone has a copy. You’re not getting as many online options as FIFA or MLB: The Show, but you don’t expect to. Super Mega Baseball knows what it’s doing in that regard and knows its audience, too, with few of us looking for intense online leagues to endlessly lose our free time to. The Arcade spirit is still there, even with SMB slowly growing into something you can take seriously without any guilt.

Admittedly, I did have some skepticism going into this one in terms of online playability. Following on from EA buying Super Mega Baseball developer Metalhead in 2021, this is the first full launch under the publisher that so dominates the sports genre. My concern? Well, from a long history of playing FIFA, I was worried about microtransactions with what I would call just concern. Fortunately, it’s all included in the RRP, baby. At least, as far as I could find, there are no packs, credits, or diamonds here. Just plain ol’ baseball for the price of entry.

My beloved Blowfish team in a team photo for Super Mega Baseball 4 review

In terms of performance, things run fine on Switch, but that’s about as complimentary as I can get. It’s fun to play, but through some frame rate issues you occasionally don’t see your player strike the ball, it just kind of cascades through the action, and this can be a little disappointing when you’re absolutely powerhousing a homer into the bleachers. Fortunately, it tends to affect the moments after you aim and hit the button, so while detracting slightly from the spectacle, the performance isn’t going to get in the way of your batting or pitching ability.

The graphics too suffer slightly from the limitations of the Switch, with a strange separation that night games tend to look a bit better than those played in the heavy sun. Again, it’s never enough to make you stop playing, but if you do want a full HD experience, it might be best to pick this one up on another console. I personally don’t mind sacrificing some quality so I can watch baseball on my TV screen as I play baseball in handheld mode, but it’s really down to personal preference.

Babe Ruth about to pitch in Super Mega Baseball 4

Ultimately, Super Mega Baseball is the sports game equivalent of a VW Beetle with the components of a Tesla underneath. It might look fun, approachable, and overwhelmingly non-serious, but flip the hood and you find a baseball simulator with incredible depth in almost every regard. Sure, the Switch version falters technically more than you’re going to get on a home console, but the fact I can distract myself on a long train ride by picking up a season with Babe Ruth and the gang goes a way to counteract that. Simply put, Super Mega Baseball 4 makes it back to home plate with ease, and I already can’t wait for number five.

For more of our thoughts on the latest titles, check out our The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom review, Lego 2K Drive Switch review, or Fitness Circuit review. If it’s more sports games you’re after, see our picks for the best baseball games, basketball games, and football games.