Back in January, Major League Baseball announced that it was bringing back old-school hit, R.B.I. Baseball in the form of R.B.I. Baseball 14 for every platform under the sun. Recently, Jamie Leece, vice president of games for MLB Advanced Media, sat down with Polygon to offer some details about their plans to give Xbox gamers a baseball game for the upcoming season.
First and foremost, this game isn't going to be a traditional sports game that is equal parts simulation and gameplay, Leece, says that the game will be "very true to the roots of the brand, of R.B.I. Baseball" and that "It will be fast-paced; games can be played in under 20 minutes. From a user control standpoint, fans will find the controls to be 'classic,' reminiscent of the two-button controls from games of that generation."
Leece goes on to say that the game will definitely have more of an arcade spin, but not in a campy or unrealistic way:
That's exactly one of the challenges with the word 'arcade' — as soon as you say 'arcade,' you start thinking about power-ups and boosts and things of that genre. And we don't have any of those [things].Using the wealth of data and statistics that Advanced Media has collected on each MLB player, Leece says that the output of each player will be reflective of their actual statistical history.
As you can tell from the Xbox 360 edition screenshots, R.B.I. Baseball 14 will take a more stylized approach to the presentation, falling somewhere between cartoonish and pseuo-realistic. The game will feature real baseball players (sixteen for each of the thirty MLB teams), with each player being represented by one of three body types: Big guys are sluggers (hello, Prince Fielder!), slim players are contact hitters (hello, Ichiro!), and average build players are balanced (hello, Mike Trout!).
R.B.I. Baseball 14 will feature three different gameplay modes that represent exhibition games pairing any two teams, a full season mode (which can be up to the MLB standard 162 games), and playoff mode which puts your team at the start of the postseason. Each team has three jerseys available (road, home, and alternate) with a fourth, retro jersey, which is available after completing a challenge in the season mode. Unfortunately, the game will feature no online component, although couch multiplayer will be available.
Be sure to check out Polygon's interview with Leece for more details!
R.B.I. Baseball 14 is set for an early April release on the Xbox 360 with the Xbox One version soon to follow. Prices have not been announced, but a spokesperson said that all copies of the game will be distributed digitally.