A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that R.B.I. Baseball 17 is a downloadable, fast-paced, accessible Major League Baseball game. It doesn't contain any controversial content, but there's some branding on the players and in the field, just like in a real baseball game. Parents need not worry about their kids talking with strangers during a multiplayer game as there’s no online support.
What's it about?
R.B.I. BASEBALL 17 is an arcade-like baseball game that focuses on accessibility and brevity. You can choose to play as one of 30 official MLB teams (with downloadable roster updates) or select classic players, and then play by yourself or alongside someone on the same console or mobile device. Focusing heavily on pitching and batting, you can play through a nine-inning game in under 20 minutes (with easy two-button controls). Plus there's advanced stat tracking on the back end for your team, player, and league (across multiple seasons). Game modes include Exhibition, Season, Postseason, and others.
Is it any good?
While the game is fast and accessible (perfect for younger or novice players), its flaws are so bad, it will frustrate all gamers. For example, outfielders will dive to get a ball and land on the AstroTurf a few feet away from the action. Or a player might not adhere to rules of the game by running off a base when they should want to see what happens to the pop fly. Plus, with the exception of better menu graphics and a 2017 player roster, this game is nearly identical to last year's game.
Actually, it offers less because this year's game curiously doesn't offer online multiplayer as an option -- which makes the bad A.I. stand out even more when you're playing against the computer-controlled opponent. You can't trade players. You'll face the same team schedule in every single season. There's no commentary. Visually, the game's also horribly outdated, with generic players that don't look like their real-life counterparts and awkward animations like a player turning only their head to aim and throw a ball instead of their entire body. Overall, this game isn't worth your time or money. Perhaps the developers will swing back with a better game next year, but as it stands now, stay in the dugout instead of climbing onto the field to play R.B.I. Baseball 17.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism. Does the fact that Major League Baseball published this game turn it into a blatant marketing ploy for the sport? Is it as blatant as other games?
Talk about playing a sports game. Does this make you interested in the real sport? Does it make you want to play the sport when you're away from the video game?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone
- Price: $19.99 (Xbox One, PS4), $4.99 (Mobile)
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Major League Baseball
- Release date: April 3, 2017
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Great Boy Role Models
- ESRB rating: E for No Descriptions
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.