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Game Review

Arc Style: Baseball 3D Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Lee Meyer

Take me out to a real ball game...

Arc System Works' latest casual sports title, Arc Style: Baseball 3D, contains the same extensive customisation options of Arc Style: Soccer!! 3D, but it also retains the sluggish, repetitive gameplay and adds some new issues to boot. There is fun to be had in the local multiplayer and even the single player Exhibition mode, but the Tournament mode moves slowly and may in fact be partially broken, which will likely tempt players to pitch their 3DS units right out the window.

Arc Style: Baseball 3D has two main modes: Tournament and Exhibition. In Tournament mode, players pick a team and compete against the others, which are computer-controlled; exhibition allows players to jump in for a quick game and compete in multiplayer matches. The games play out like conventional baseball games — one team hits, the other is on the field. Players toggle the strength of their swing with the shoulder buttons and align it with the ball using the circle pad as it approaches; aligning the bat and the ball perfectly results in a perfect swing, and most of the AI-controlled players will fumble trying to catch it. The type of swing changes the difficulty, as well — a regular hit will give players a good chance at hitting, but using a slam makes lining up the bat and the ball trickier. Some characters have special abilities, as well, such as a "max strength" swing that, if successful, can result in a home run. While on the field, characters can be selected to run bases with the D-pad and X button.

Pitching controls similarly to batting. With the shoulder buttons, players choose the type of throw — regular, fast ball, slow ball, curve — and choose where to aim the ball with the circle pad. The batter is allowed four balls and three strikes, and most will have no trouble striking out the other teams. When the batter hits the ball, players will be prompted to hit A to catch the ball and throw it if necessary. The computer seems to enjoy running bases, which adds a bit of challenge to the experience.

Exhibition mode plays exactly the same as Tournament, but it doesn't take nearly as long to get through. Multiplayer adds some colour and fun, meanwhile, and the Download Play option is appreciated and convenient. Like other Arc Style games, there are tons of ways to customise the experience, with custom teams, uniforms, players and more; gamers who enjoy this level of customisation will no doubt have a longer, better experience with Arc Style: Baseball 3D than those who just want a quick, fun baseball game.

The visuals are satisfactory and maintain the super-deformed, cutesy look of previous Arc Style titles. The 3D effect doesn't really make much of a difference, but it isn't distracting. The music is very irritating, though, and hearing the same upbeat song over and over again along with the repetitive sounds of the audience will make many turn down their volume.

All of these elements make for an adequate eShop title, but we encountered a possible exploit early on that effectively breaks the Tournament mode. In our first two games, we found ourselves getting upwards of 15 runs in the first inning; after striking out the team the next round, we received a "Game Set" message, informing us that we'd won. At first, we thought that each game only consisted of one or two rounds per team, but for the rest of the tournament we played the standard 9 innings. We searched the manual and couldn't find any information on why the game was set after the first inning, leading us to believe that our high scores led to a bug that skipped the remaining innings. While the game doesn't literally "break" — you'll be able to keep playing, nothing bad will happen to the game file — it feels cheap and will confuse players who encounter the short games early on.


Even without the confounding Tournament scoring issue, Arc Style: Baseball 3D is an average eShop title that's skippable to all except the most die-hard baseball fans. The multiplayer and customisation options extend the game's life, but the sluggish, repetitive gameplay and bland presentation will turn casual fans off. It's not bad, but there is very little noteworthy to recommend.

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User Comments (41)



Dodger said:

I haven't played many good baseball video games. I used to love the Backyard Baseball games when I was a kid. Until the developer switch. Then littlekid!me stopped liking them. Wii Sports baseball is fun, but simplistic to an extreme. Super Mario Sluggers tries hard, but the pitching physics are silly and the controls don't work too often. I am a bit disappointed, because I had my eye on this game. Baseball is my favorite sport. My name comes from a longer username I used to use about the LA Dodgers, my favorite team.

I don't know about the pros, but in most little league games, there is a mercy rule if someone is ahead by too many runs. My team fell victim to this many times. We were the worst team in the league. I don't think I have seen a pro game where a team was up by 15 runs though. It probably has happened.



XCWarrior said:

@Dodger If you have a PS3, MLB The Show franchise as a whole is amazing. If you want an older style game that is good, Baseball Stars on NES, Ken Griffey JR on GB, a few others on NES/SNES are really good as well. I liked the All Star Baseball games on N64, but 10 to 1 says they dont hold up. But MLB the Show is king by far.

Well this review of Arc Style saddens me. Maybe the game will get a patch, otherwise looks like I'm passing.



bezerker99 said:

Baseball Stars, Bases Loaded II, RBI Baseball, MLBPA Baseball (SNES), MLB Power Pros.......so many great baseball games from the past. Would be nice to have a good handheld baseball game these days but instead we get Arc Style Baseball.



Tops said:

Yeah it just seems like a mercy rule was implemented. Not sure if that's considered 'broken' beyond a poorly implemented difficulty curve as others have mentioned in the game's thread



dabaumer said:

I have it, it's a mercy, anything 10 plus is a mercy, they have to stay within 9



Captain_Gonru said:

This is disappointing. I really wish Nintendo would bring a licensed baseball game out again. There's no need for annual releases. Just paid DLC with roster updates for a year or two until a fully developed sequel is ready. Maybe with some 3DS-Wii U cross-connectivity, while we're dreaming. Thoughts?



Yomerodes said:

There are other baseball games available for the 3DS?

For 5 bucks it seems respectable enough for the 3DS owner that wants to play the sport on the go, since the options are brutally limited.



World said:

I bought this game on @Windy's description in the thread about it and I really like it!

Granted, I bought it specifically for the local multiplayer so my opinion is a bit skewed. But I really like the goofy art style (arc style?) and the tournament mode is, to me, good solid fun.

However, I wanted something that reminded me of playing family pick-up baseball in our giant field while I'm not home to do that.

It scratched that itch, but it definitely isn't for the sim fans out there.



bezerker99 said:

I'm diggin' the banner at the top of this review. Big Papi at the plate!!! Too bad the Sox are in last place in their division this year.



BulbasaurusRex said:

It's not a bug. Apparantly you've never heard of a mercy rule. While never used in any professional leagues, it has been used in the World Baseball Classic.

What exactly is sluggish and repetitive about the gameplay other than it just being a baseball game? The game sounds just fine to me, and I'll be adding it to my Wishlist.



brianvgplayer said:

I know in a couple older baseball games like Famista '90 for Famicom (probably the original RBI Baseball for NES, as well) and Sports Talk for Genesis, you win if you get over 10 runs without the other team scoring. It's not a glitch in those games, just an odd rule.



Windy said:

I can see rating the game a 5 but to say the game is skippable except for diehard Baseball fans is pretty unfair. I think you need to know how this game was setup to understand a few things. I was put off at first because the game didn't have some kind of season. I quickly realized what the gamedevs were trying to get the players to do. This is an old a school type baseball game where you try to beat the tournament with each team. Believe me there is plenty of baseball to be played here. I've been playing the game since it came out and have beat the tournament 2 times now with 2 different teams. First team I made had a heck of a time beating the Arc All stars which may I add is really cool they are the characters from the game BlazBlue fighting game. The second time I went through the tournament I still had an easy time in the early rounds but it got tougher about round 5 and I lost 11 to 1 in the 5th inning against the Mammoths. Itook the Mackerals who are like the 3rd worst team in the game. The hitting and pitching they put into this is nearly perfect. They need to tweak the defense. There are too many errors in the game. The defense on some of the teams is just aweful and even though it goes your way most of the time it can get annoying. But there is lots of good baseball to be played if you will attempt to beat the game with each team. I think the hitting and pitching mechanics are great. I even like the graphics. When you make your own team you can spend a good amount time deciding what kind of team you want to make. That can take a while you have like 5 types of players to mix and match and you can do some cool team colors. I made the Cal State Fullerton Titans. One thing is for sure this game blows away Race to Line which got a 6. Personally I give this game a 7. Its a good quick play baseball game or long play depending on what you want to try. If you get this game try beating it with the worst team its not easy. If it gets to hard start over and play with the best team. I had a great time with this game and plan to have more fun with it. By the way baseball is a repetitive game in real life or if its a game. You wont find 1 baseball game thats not repetitive. This one has charm and really fun gameplay.

add on There is a Mercy rule in this game. If you or your opponent leads by 10 or more at the end of an inning the game is over and whoever was winning moves on. It nice to have that if your just beating up on a team and want to move on quickly to the next round



Ras said:

@Dodger No mercy rule in the Bigs. In 2007, the Rangers best the O's 30-3. It remains a modern era record.



Windy said:

Oh I mentioned Race To the Line the worst game in the Eshop got a 6........This is definitely better than Race to the Line.



Dodger said:

@Obito_Tennyson No idea. There probably is somebody else with the same name on the internet, I suppose. My RL name was one of the most popular names in my birth year, so I am used to it.

Hey, thanks! I don't have a PS3, but that is another game on the list of reasons to get one. There really are a lot of good games on the PS3 and I would love to pick up a used one sometime. I hadn't heard any opinions on the MLB The Show series.

@Ras I was pretty sure. My worst game in Little League was 0-30. With the mercy rule. There is always that one team that gets all the huge kids. Believe it or not, I am worse at baseball then the pros. Shocking!



Windy said:

Just to shorten my long winded post up there. This game is fast paced game of baseball which oozes charm. Its meant to be played where you get around to playing the tournaments with lesser ranked teams to eventually play the arc All stars. I love the game and would rate it a 7. If it had a season and kept your teams stats I'm sure my rating would be hire. It let's you build a team from scratch or pick a pre-made team. If you like baseball games I think you will like this with an oddball tournament type of gameplay.. It also 2 player local WiFi. I wonder when Or if Arc will ever have a full fledged online gaming experience. This would have been perfect and Bowling would have been perfect



Dezzy said:

So much meaningless shovelware for the 3DS now. I swear, on the eshop when they have different links like "Indie Games", "Mario Games" etc they should just have a "Games for actual serious gamers" button.



Depeche said:

Just glad we got a baseball game finally, 6 out of 10 for me, but I do recommend buiying it despite the score, since I lean towards sports games. I will probably play this often despite the shortcomings, I actually thought it was decent and only $5 bucks. I am hoping the developer will read the posts and make some changes, I do think this can be a much higher rated game with a few tweaks.



Dpishere said:

Though I am not too keen on baseball games, I might try a new Super Mario Sluggers if they decided to make one.



BulbasaurusRex said:

@Dezzy A 5/10 on this site is by no means shovelware. As the comments here prove, this game does have an audience whom will enjoy it.



maceng said:

I like baseball a lot. Having said that, I think I'm gonna pass on this one, until the devs make a few amendments to the game (like the option of skipping or not the Mercy rule) and more teams.

The control scheme seems right up my alley, as I hate when sports games on portables have poor mechanics and such (like Mario Tennis), well, except for the Rusty game.



maceng said:

Shame on Nintendo Life!! We argue that very few games comes with multiplayer and when they finally do (which is rare for eShop titles and even most retail) poor knowledge on behalf of the reviewer (not knowing the Mercy rule) sends a title's score way down.



Windy said:

@maceng I was a little surprised the reviewer didn't know the mercy rule myself. Anyone who knows baseball knows the mercy rule



AkDeath said:

@Dodger try the Family Stadium AKA Super Famista games for the SNES, they are the best baseball games I've ever played as far as retro consoles go. Made by Namco (they also made the RBI Baseball games for NES) They are Japan-only but you can figure out the menu's without knowing the language. Highly recommended.



fortius54 said:

Well, this couldn't be any worse than the new RBI Baseball. I picked it up for the PS3 for $14. I've played it once, and that's all I care to play it. It's soured me on download titles.



Windy said:

Could we possibly get another review on this game. I think there are some inconsistencies with this review such as the mercy rule. Also the fact the game has a lot of charm and it was mentioned that only diehard baseball fans would like this game. Seriously! If possible could this game get another review. I just don't think the reviewer has beaten the game as there is no mention of The Arc All stars which consists of the the characters from Blazblue. Also the fact that they become a usable team if your good enough to beat them. There is more to this game than written about here. How in the world does a game like Race to the Line get a 6? Why not let a real baseball fan review this game. This isn't the greatest baseball game to ever be released. But its not a 5 either. I give the reviewer a 2 out of 10 on this review. Very poor effort

The game reminds me a lot of Power League Baseball on PCEngine



World said:

@Windy While I also really like the game, I'm not sure it needs another review.

Sure this review seemed like the author came in with a strong bias against it, but your impressions in the game's thread provide more than enough of a second opinion for people to make their own decision on it (as said above, I bought the game based on what you said about it). I can see why you wouldn't want to say, "read my impressions instead!" but hey. You did a quality description of what the game offers.

All of that said, one thing I'm wondered if you've figured out yet is: do you know if there's a way to improve your custom team's star rating? I seem to only ever make two-star teams. Does winning the tournament increase your rating or something? If so, that'd add crazy life to this game.



Windy said:

@World no you can't improve your star rating. Which is a bummer. It would be real nice if you could build your team up like baseball stars. I think the star ratings are there to let the player choose a difficulty more than to advance a team. Anyone who plays a baseball game would prefer to advance a team.

BTW if you open up the use of the Arc All stars your rating is 5 stars using them. Your also absolutely unstoppable lol. I do prefer using my own made team but once you beat the game with them its time to move to a 1 star team for a difficult run to the tourney win. It is fun though to tee off on pitching from time to time but the game gets more balanced by taking a poorly rated team. I do think that if Any Devs to this game see this thread I hope they might realize that the game is a good start. They could add in all these things. I love the pitching and hitting mechanic in this game. Its darn near perfect. Bad defense unbalances the game. Then the Arc all stars are seriously over powered especially for use. I guess an Arc All star vs arc all stars might be an interesting game cranking out homers ever couple pitches

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