It’s an absolutely befuddling incompetence by so many parties at one time: the Wii U doesn’t have a single baseball game! How does this happen for a 2-year-old console? Sure, sales for Nintendo’s current-gen system are behind both the PS4 and (barely) XBox One, but come on…we’re still talking about an audience of nearly 10,000,000 Wii U owners.
And there’s not one baseball game?
With so many baseball series spanning 30 years of Nintendo history, it’s pretty shocking that not one developer has recognized they could have a market all to themselves. Imagine being the only option for an entire genre. Yet, still, there aren’t any.
Let’s go through the possible contenders and see how we’ve come to this situation.
MLB: The Show
Right now, the only mainstream baseball series being published is MLB: The Show, developed and produced by Sony exclusively. This doesn’t bode well for the other consoles and, sure enough, none have appeared on a non-Sony system. Which is fine by me, really, because I think this series has captured the monotony, bloat, and uninteresting simulation style that plagues many modern basketball and football games. Reality over fun, and sure enough there’s no MLB: The Show game that’s ever been considered great. Sure, it looks pretty, but unless you’re goal is to show off your console’s spiffy graphics to your friends…who cares?
Just look at how boring this game is:
There’s so much garbage here trying to capture the reality of a baseball game that nobody wants. I’ve never popped a baseball game into a console so I can see a Loudness Meter on the scoreboard. Who wants to see all the time-wasting mannerisms of baseball players? My gosh. Not even Major League Baseball wants to see it anymore. Just to hammer that home, I think 99.9% of players skip the animations, constantly pressing the just-get-on-with-it-already button in between pitches. So what’s the point?
I’m honestly glad this abomination isn’t on a Wii U.
The MLB 2K series was terminated after the bland 2K13 iteration was released to flat reviews. Like MLB: The Show, it focused on realism, just not so successfully. Unlike the other series, 2K was available on all platforms up until their final version which passed on the Wii.
This series is dead and gone now. There’s not enough market share for two baseball simulators anyway.
To the shock of many, R.B.I. Baseball announced its return back in 2014. Gamers rejoiced as they related their favorite memories of the series from the old Nintendo Entertainment System era. Memories are great, but the game was never going to be a reasonable facsimile of the classics and, sure enough, it came out to bad reviews. It was designed for iPhones, but they made console versions for PS4 and Xbox One, too, and…well, meh. Absent is the time-wasting bloat we’ve come to expect these days in sports titles, which is a great thing, but the game was uninspired and simply a 3D version of the old game. It’s stuck in a gaming purgatory. Simple and more pick-up-and-go than MLB: The Show, but not really fun either. It’s dry.
I’ve never gotten to play it, but the whole experience seems to be missing some energetic music or…life. What do you think?
Recently, R.B.I. Baseball ’15 was announced and it seems to be going in the direction of more realism, albeit with some-creepy looking player models. Even more mind blowing?
No Wii U version.
Let’s go back further to a series we haven’t seen in several years: The Bigs. This 2K Sports series was realistic, but featured arcade gameplay. This was great stuff and fun to play! It was like NBA Jam for baseball and featured fast action, over-the-top power hitters and throwing arms as well as great slo-mo sequences. If you believe video games should be fun, this was for you. Sadly, there hasn’t been a Bigs game since The Bigs 2 in 2009.
How cool would The Bigs 3 for Wii U be? Really freakin’ cool, that’s what. Oh, well.
A one-and-done baseball game from two generations ago, Backyard Baseball is still talked about today as a favorite by some. It had a backlot-inspired graphical style and its own unique player rosters. The game was fun to play but still not a serious entry. It even included wheelchair-bound players…how cool is that?! I only mention it here because it was Nintendo-friendly, appearing on the Gamecube and Game Boy Advance.
No real hope of this IP being resuscitated for Wii U, however.
MLB Power Pros
Ah, MLB Power Pros! Of all the recent baseball games since the heyday of the 2D era, this one was my favorite. It featured an MLB license and real players, but the graphics animation was very cartoony and, frankly, almost too cute to look at. It was easy and intuitive to play and had great career modes available. This is the last baseball game I played a full season with, too. Baseball distilled to its essence while still including real stadiums and stats.
There’s a huge community of gamers who want to see this series come back out of Japan. A Wii U version would kill two birds with one stone! Alas, there’s no word that this is ever going to happen.
We can dream, right?
So, When Will It Happen?
Assuming the Wii U has at least another 4 years of life to go, there’s got to be a baseball game for it eventually. Right? As of this moment, there’s no information on what it is and when it will be. It’s absolutely perplexing.
THERE’S NOT EVEN A MARIO SUPERSTAR BASEBALL GAME TO PLAY!
Today, if you want to play baseball on the Wii U, you have just one option: Baseball. Yep, the original Nintendo game. And it’s horrible. My god. It was terrible back then, too! And clearly it’s not a serious option.
And, sure, there’s Wii Sports Club…but that’s not a full baseball game. Come on, man. (By the way, the disc version of this year-old game fetches $60 on eBay nowadays. It’s apparently out of print. Weird.)
So for now, grab your MLB Power Pros 2008 for Wii, bring up the Wii Console on your Wii U, and play some low-res baseball that will have you crying for the atrocity it is…that there’s no damn baseball game for the Wii U.
UPDATE: Reddit readers Bozzaholic and windsostrange have brought Super Mega Baseball to my attention and it looks fantastic! It’s also not for Wii U. But, write @MetalheadSoftware and demand it! There is hope!
What baseball game do YOU want to see come to the Wii U? Comment below!