Top Critic Average
Developers: MLB AM, Raiser Games
Publisher: MLB AM
Genres: Sports, Simulation, Arcade
The marketing materials for R.B.I. Baseball 21 makes some bold claims that the end product fails to deliver on. While it does carry the full MLB and players union license, it is a lesser representation of the game of baseball than some of its more-arcadey rivals. It touts features of AAA sports games, yet trips over its own cleats when asked to make a clutch play. The lack of online play will make it a non-starter for many and the aggressively bad animations will disqualify it for anyone hoping for a semi-serious game of baseball. This mess could be cleaned up, but players will need to wait for next year’s outing to find out.
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.
There are plenty of flaws here, and at times those flaws caused frustration. However, the bottom line is there is fun to be had here, whether in franchise mode, exhibition, or online. There is still plenty of room for improvement (like, plenty plenty), but if you're looking for a fun game that can be enjoyed by all, you could do a lot worse than adding RBI Baseball '21 to your rotation this year.
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