Batter up! Take me out to the ballgame! Calling all baseball fans!
Once again, Electronic Arts has created a sports game with a social interaction focus that “keeps the fans in the stands”. The World Series Superstars game combines baseball, baseball trivia, and baseball strategy with the socially progressive tools Facebook has become known for – play, share and send gifts to your friends, or find new friends to bring into your game! Lovely, isn’t it. Ambitious for a baseball simulation-quiz-betting pool genre game? Perhaps.
Sports games on Facebook… hmm…
Let’s see if EA kept their ‘eye on the ball” with this Facebook game application.
World Series - OVERVIEW
It starts like any good recreational sport where you get to choose your team, only these are no “average” players you are choosing. Many well known professional baseball players are available for you to bring to your team. The ultimate goal of the game is to make the highest valued team with the money you have available. The better the player and the better his real-game statistics, the more that player will cost you (and the better your team will play). Players choose their own names, logos, and colours allowing a great amount of personalization to the team you create. In a sense, it’s like you’re picking for a betting pool.
You will move from the minor leagues through the majors and exhibition games, having the ability to trade your team up along the way. To get new players you need coins, and you earn those coins through playing different baseball teams. If you work your players too hard by competing in too many games, their rating will drop (“due to fatigue”). You must run players through drills to keep them sharp and your player rating at the top.
A great feature of this game is that you can choose to play the game or skip over it. If you are into this game because baseball is your thing, you may choose to play through, walking batters as you see fit and choosing which will swing or bunt. If you would prefer to skip the game and focus on the money and purchasing the best team possible, you can do so with a simple click and turn your focus to the part you like best.
The graphics in the game are okay, and the neat facts you learn about players are interesting for those not into baseball while still giving facts that will give real fans a thrill. Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of strategy that needs to be employed, and a great deal of time is spent waiting for your team to do its drills, which can take hours or days. Kind of like watching a REAL baseball game.. ha ha!
So though it may not be a home run, World Series Superstars is an enjoyable game that combines a number of different elements so you are unlikely to be bored. But different elements also means a larger learning curve and the old “jack-of-all-trades-means-master-of-none” result. Overall, it’s marginally thumbs down for me. And of course, if you’re determined to try it out (and I suggest you do to see for yourself!) you may want to bone up on your baseball strategy first.
World Series - STRATEGY
Strategically use your money as it is earned; not only can you purchase better players making your team stronger, you can also give more rating points to players who are likely to give you the most benefit. You can choose to spread them around, but concentrating your points to a few keyplayers is more likely to bolster your team in games.
You improve your team first by practicing or buying a trainer and applying the earned ratings points to your better team players.Second, you must ensure you are purchasing new players in the players’ packs to continue to see team improvement.
Remember you control only batters and pitchers. The main goal of this game is to give the team management experience, and this part can take up a great deal of play time.
You can play against your friends’ teams by choosing the exhibition game option. Any current Facebook friend can be challenged this way and, as with all major and minor league games, you earn some points just for playing, but more when you win.
You must improve your stadium by using the game winnings;this is required to progress to the Major League.
World Series - TIPS, HINTS & CHEATS
- The cost of player packs goes from 1 star at 10,000 coins, up to 5 stars for 200,000 coins. The more you pay for players, the better they perform.
- Remember to sub in a relief pitcher in the middle of the game to avoid your pitcher becoming fatigued and under-performing.
- Closers and middle-reliever players will be lost if you are not using them.
- Save your early baseball points until later in the game. You don’t need them in the easier games but they can be useful for harder games to help with strategy.
- You earn experience points with every game. When you complete a month or a series, you are able to level up in the game.
- Purchase limited edition players to give your team a bonus.Limited edition players are on “contract” and you must renew their contracts before they expire. Simply mouse over them and choose to renew.
- Your team loses 1 rating point for every win and 2 for every loss (you lose points because in the real world, any time a team plays theybecome tired – this is why the practices are so important). Your practices and personal trainers give points back instantly.
- Remember that you can sell players as you are absorbing new,better players into your roster. Selling keeps your team in top shape.