Overall, R.B.I. Baseball 21 is a great game to play solo or with other people, even younger children. It is an easy-to-learn title that brings you real-world rosters so that you can play with the people you love from your chosen team.
Overall, R.B.I. Baseball 21 has a number of new features that bring it more in line with similar baseball games on the market. I enjoy my time with each new iteration but I do hope that the developers work on more fluid animations and overall ‘feel’ of the gameplay. It can be frustrating at times seeing players move strangely across the field or feeling like the ball is ‘magnetizing’ into a defender’s glove in an odd manner. Even though there’s the occasional stutter when loading between innings or frame rate issues in the home run replays, it has still come a long way since R.B.I. Baseball 17. I’ve got to give the developers credit for sticking with the series and always aiming to improve each year. If you’re looking for an MLB-licensed, arcade-focused baseball game, you won’t really find a better option on the Switch.
RBI Baseball 21 isn't perfect but there isn't anything I feel the need to make a genuine complaint about with it's gameplay, mechanics, gameplay timing and performance (very minor jittering in cut scenes). Maybe it can be said that RBI 21 is a bit repetitive and can get boring before the end of the game but that's somewhat a fault of the sport it is recreating; And I have found myself playing 2 straight games without wanting to stop playing.
RBI 21 is brilliant, well-designed and a tediously crafted masterpiece of excellence to the baseball video gaming genre. The graphics are not the best on the Switch but are high quality and the visuals can seem almost real at times. A lot of well designed animations are splendid to see - fielders, batters and especially pitcher's wind ups - I have yet to see two pitchers with the same exact wind up. (I haven't played a baseball game in a long time so this may be normal among newer baseball titles.)
It seems obvious to me the designer wanted the game to play true to life with nit-picking detail given to every player's real-life capabilities without the end user needing to be a hand and eye coordinated dead-eye professional baseball video game prodigy to hop in and have fun. I am nearly sold that RBI 21 is the perfect baseball simulator that keeps itself from being overly difficult or mundanely simple.
When you turn the game on there is a helpful and well thought out tutorial. Baserunning can be a challenge but is well designed. Defense, another aspect many baseball games make painfully annoying, is done well here, too. The game basically shows you where to go and then the computer does the fine-tuning. It is really cool to see the fielder moving side to side and backing up slowly to catch that pop-fly! Animations and details are so fine-crafted that RBI 21 blew me away nearly in every respect.
Pitching is well intentioned but a little flat. You could potentially throw nothing but strikes. I hope next year fine-tunes the craft of pitching controls to make them less boring and more competitively strategic. I would like an sliding alignment feature to be added something like a free-throw slider done on 2 ends and then perhaps the average weight of the 2 alignments calculated to control exactly where the ball ends up. Still, I love the pitching other than it being somewhat a tedious bore that requires little to no skill to master.
Small quibbles aside, there is so much here that is done expertly and correctly and should be applauded and appreciated. Don't let the "haters" steer you away from this gem. I am disappointed by the "reviewer" scores that RBI 21 receives; They seem completely whole-heartedly written by people who can't stand to lose or want something other than a baseball simulation. Nothing about this game is intimidating as most baseball games that I have played are. The game is not difficult but you still might lose a game but it is in all fairness: this is a fair game, maybe even a bit too easy!
It's a crying shame someone rated this game a 0 after playing it for several hours because they missed a run being scored and was mad about it. No computational errors have happened to me while I have played the game. I am sure whoever wrote that review is still playing the game. I almost missed out on a great game because of the low scoring reviews here and on YouTube and I don't want anyone to miss out on this gem because of those bad reviews. This game has a lot to offer baseball simulation fans.
Value: 10/10 ($21 is what I paid, sweet price)
Presentation and Dynamics (audio, animations, statistical depth, keeping the game up to date with real life trades): 10/10
Balance of Gameplay: 9/10 (maybe a little too easy and the pitching needs to be more challenging to throw strikes IMO)
Fun Factor: 9/10 (gets repetitive after a while but still a top notch game)
This is a very solid baseball game to be able to take with you anywhere on the go. Personally that portable aspect is what led me to picking this up over MLB the SHOW. Make absolutely no mistake that this game is NOT MLB the show in name or quality. There are many features absent from this title that are in MLB the show down to simple quality of life features like showing a differentiating factor between your closing pitchers and regular RPs in the bullpin. There is also no warm up function for pitchers before going to the mound which was odd. Its just an instantaneous change over. The mechanics of the game however are quite good compared to previous entries. The price is also more in line with what you would expect from the features on offer here. Personally I believe this should be the general price of all yearly released sports titles but in comparison youll be saving 20/30 bucks depending on where you choose to buy the game in comparison to the show 21.
On the Nintendo Switch, R.B.I. Baseball 21 strikes out, but swinging at least. There were some moves in the right direction for the franchise, rosters appear to update frequently, and the pitching was still pretty fun. However, a lack of polish, depth, and much more than competitors are providing leave R.B.I. Baseball 21 quite a ways behind. Despite the game having its issues, it could serve as a “pass the time” experience on the couch when the TV is being utilized.
The final iteration of this game on Nintendo Switch ended the way so many real baseball games do: quietly and anticlimactically. It's also a lot like my favorite team, the Texas Rangers: it looks okay, but not great; it runs, okay but not great; it plays okay, but not great. It's just there, giving MLB fans who don't own a PlayStation console (prior to 2022) a chance to play an MLB simulation with modern rosters and rules.
Anyway, I got about halfway through a 162-game season when it abruptly crashed in the middle ****, and I never played it again.
If you're looking for pure baseball action on the Nintendo Switch, I recommend Super Mega Baseball 3.
This game is pretty brutal. Not in a difficulty aspect, but by the way the game handles and plays. For the past yearly entries, the console versions of R.B.I. were always evident that they were the mobile versions running overclocked on consoles. Despite knowing this and avoiding the 4 previous entries, I decided to buy this year's offering to see if MLB would finally prove a fighting chance against The Show. Lo and behold, R.B.I. is still a lackluster mobile game running on console hardware. I am unsure how the Switch version stacks up against the other versions, but it is safe to say that there's nothing special about any of the console versions that would give any of them an edge over the others. The entire gameplay of R.B.I. is laggy and has a disconnect between input, process, and action. This meaning that (for example) swinging becomes a chore to do as the input is delayed and timing is frustrating as it will be timed past whenever the ball made contact with the bat. The game also has its fair share of glitches and I needed to soft-reset it once before the time of writing as I was stuck on a loading screen. With all this being said, it is still a Major League Baseball Game at heart and is the only option for one on the Switch.
I started a franchise season. I was playing my second game, and in the 4th inning I gave up a leadoff triple, but then struck out a hitter, the next batter flew out to right, the runner on 3rd DID NOT tag up to go home, and the final out was a pop out to 2nd base. No runs came across, yet when the next half inning was over after I came up to bat and did not score any runs, the score read 1-0 for my opponent. I am livid. This is after the first game I lost where it seemed like the hitting was terrible and was impossible. I liked 2019, but the creators flopped on this game. This one will sit in my collection gaining virtual dust.
SummaryPLAY YOUR WAY. Create a legacy and make a statement. The world of MLB awaits in R.B.I. Baseball 21. R.B.I. is the fast-paced, easy-to-learn baseball franchise perfect for anyone who wants to pick up and play, and R.B.I. Baseball 21 brings new features including create-a-player, play-by-play commentary, immersive time-of-day, and incredib...