Baseball is a summer sport, but you can get a taste of the national pastime any time of the year with a good baseball game. MLB Advanced Media dropped a doozy of a mobile baseball game last week with MLB.com Franchise MVP, and as promised we’re back with a full review.
MLB.com Franchise MVP lets you put yourself into the game as you get to take a Class A rookie and hone his skills into he makes it to the big leagues. As you’d expect, your prospects stats are far from stellar starting out, but you can improve those skills through training, performance, and gear. Your ultimate goal is to make it to the majors, but it’s not going to be easy.
When you first fire up the game and name your player you have to pick a position. Whether you’re pitching or batting, you’ll still have to field balls although you won’t field near as many if you’re pitching.
Once you’ve settled on a position you’re taken to the main screen which is where you can access upcoming games, gear, boosts, milestones, and stats. There are several different ways you can upgrade your skills, but playing through a simulated game is by far the easiest way to boost your stats.
MLB.com Franchise MVP has done a great job with the controls, and getting started is easy whether you’re a pitcher or a batter. If you’re batting, you simply need to time the pitch and swipe the screen in the direction you want the ball to go.
Swiping upwards to the left, right or center will send the ball through the air (most of the time) while swiping down will hit a grounder. If you’re pitching, you have to trace a predetermined path to the plate to send the ball on its way. Simple controls, but they are effective, and quite a bit of fun once you get the hang of things.
As mentioned, you’ll occasionally have to field a ball through a mini-game of sorts, and MLB.com Franchise MVP makes that easy as well. If you get a red circle on the screen you’ll have to tap/hold to run to the spot and make a catch and if you’ve got to throw the ball you simply drag to aim and release to throw.
If you play Angry Birds or other trajectory based games, you should have no problem firing the ball from the outfield to home plate. After each game you’ll get a bit of a progress report, and if you do well you’ll be a little closer to making the big leagues.
One interesting aspect of the game is the way they handle how you play and your energy. While MLB.com Franchise MVP is an energy-based game, you can control how much juice you lose through the “effort” gauge during a game. The higher your effort, the more chances you’ll get at the plate or mound, but it’s also going to cost you more energy.
Luckily, MLB did a great job with this part of the game as you can replenish your energy by purchasing water boosts. They’re cheap which allows you to play for hours or days on end without ever spending a penny.
While there are IAP’s in MLB.com Franchise MVP, they aren’t intrusive and “most” of the gear can be purchased through playing if you play long enough. You don’t have to buy that fancy new bat or glove, but you’ll probably want to. Equipment also degrades over time so you’ll need to closely monitor your gear (and money) as you progress through the game.
MLB.com Franchise MVP is hands down the best mobile baseball sim I’ve played, and while it’s isn’t a full-fledged baseball sim, it’s still a blast to play if you love baseball. The game features all the Major League teams along with their minor league counterparts which is quite the feat. It’s not an easy game either, as I’ve put countless hours into the game and have only managed to climb to Triple-A once before being demoted.
While the game isn’t perfect, MLB.com Franchise MVP does give you that “one more go” type of feeling that keeps you coming back over and over again. Needless to say, it’s well worth a look if you dig baseball or sports sims. If you want to give it a go, you can pick up MLB.com Franchise MVP for free on Google Play.