Man, do I hate games with in-app purchases. I'm all for them if they help enhance the experience, but games that almost require players to spend money in order to progress just make me groan and facepalm. With that said, Baseball Superstars 2013 is the reason why there's a glowing, red imprint of my hand on my forehead.

It's a game centered on baseball and has an anime-styled aesthetic that's pleasing to the eyes, but only if you have really bad eyes. The art looks fine, sure, but is presented at such low resolutions that it looks like you're viewing the game through a drunken haze at the base of a waterfall.

I would have loved to have seen these characters and the locations pop on my Retina display, but was sorely disappointed when I saw the blurriness. But to the game's credit, the character designs were unique and looked cool; it's just a shame that they weren't given any definition.

You can choose to be either a Pitcher or Batter at the start of the game and can choose your goals for the season. You'll have a number of stats to raise in order to improve your performance, which can all be done on the Training grounds at the expenditure of resources called Active, Condition, G-Points, and Stars. Stats are important in Baseball Superstars 2013, but perhaps they might be too important?

Boosting stats like "Mental" will help you concentrate during a game, so you can have an edge on the batter if you're pitching and protect yourself from getting pysched out if you're batting. The Running stat helps you in your crazy dashes to steal bases, Contact gives you better accuracy for hitting the ball, and Power gives you the boost you need to hit home runs.

At least, that's what I can gather, because the game EXPLAINS NOTHING at the start. You're presented with menus upon menus and are expected to just roll with it. There are seven main menus and over twenty sub-menus. Holy crap, this is a game about baseball! Just let me hit, throw, catch, and run! But no, in order to do well in games, you have to spend ridiculous amounts of resources in order to raise your stats.

And you'll run out of resources for training quickly, so in order to improve further, you'll have to buy Stars from the store. I'm not sure if there's anyone who actually purchases $99.99 worth of fake currency from these kinds of games, but I always see the option for it. But hey, at least you'll get an extra 1,000 Stars if you decide to drop a Benji on 5,000 of them! What a kind and generous thing for them to do, right?

I would be completely alright with the mess of menus and forced in-app purchases if the game was at least fun to play, but it isn't. The actual baseball games in Baseball Superstars 2013 take a minute to play at most, with all of the action during the innings being auto-played, only pausing for your character's turn at bat or pitching.

And even then, the pitching and batting mechanics are very wonky. If you miraculously manage to swing or pitch successfully, chances are that the AI players are going to steamroll you anyway, so what's the point in playing, especially if you have to pay to get better? Besides, you spend a majority of your time navigating menus rather than actually playing the game!

I don't even care that it's a bad, but this game strikes out with me. The art was cool, even in all of its blurriness, but it's not enough to keep me swinging. Just pretend that this game just threw four balls and walk away from it.


App Store Link: Baseball Superstars 2013 for iPhone & iPad | By Gamevil | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.0 | 41.3 MB | Rating 4+

2.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating