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 19 is an arcade sports game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The game features all of the teams from Major League Baseball playing against each other in exhibition matches or seasonal play. There's no inappropriate content to be found in the game, apart from branded logos on baseball uniforms or in stadiums.
What's it about?
R.B.I. BASEBALL 19 gets ready to play the field with its latest installment of arcade baseball fun. Its gameplay delivers more arcade action than a deep simulation of the sport. But it does feature some realism: The game includes updated player models and hundreds of new animations, revamped ball physics, and access to more than 165 all-time baseball greats including Reggie Jackson, Jackie Robinson, and Ted Williams. This year, the game takes a swing at an updated Franchise mode, which lets you develop and manage your MLB dream team across multiple seasons. Players can also race against the trade deadline, win over free agents, call up promising rookie batters, and take advantage of newly added two-way players. Other modes include online multiplayer (ranked or friendly exhibition games) and Home Run Derby.
Is it any good?
While this baseball game has arcade-like action and new modes, it's not much better than last year's game and probably should be left in the dugout or sent back to the minors. R.B.I. Baseball 19's production quality isn't very good, with player models that lack detail, stiff animation, limited camera views, and no announcers (you'll only hear the umpire's voice), so things sound empty. More importantly, the controls might be easy to pick up, but there's little depth. For example, pitchers have two buttons -- one for fast pitches and one for slow -- and you might be able to aim a little by pressing on the joystick while the pitcher winds up for the throw, but it doesn't always seem to work. Similarly, batters have only two buttons (swing and bunt), so any variation is strictly tied to timing.
The artificial intelligence (AI) is also spotty. For example, your fielder may snag the ball with plenty of time, but after the throw, the base runner is called safe when that clearly wasn't the case. In another instance, the ball was thrown to third base for some reason. Perhaps there are a few isolated bugs that could be ironed out. Even for casual baseball fans, R.B.I. Baseball 19 is still plagued with issues tied to previous games in the franchise, and given those issues, despite some of the improvements over last year's game, it isn't worth it for true baseball fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen time. How do you manage to stop playing titles like R.B.I. Baseball 19 when it's designed to keep you playing multiple games in a row?
Other than updating team rosters, which could be done via a free download, do sports games offer enough new features over their predecessors? Why do gamers want to buy the same sports game every year?
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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.