I recently had the opportunity to go hands-on with Super Mega Baseball 2 at this years’ PlayStation Experience. The first game in this franchise was praised as one of the great arcade baseball games of the last few years — as well as being a personal favorite of mine. After playing a quick 6 inning game at PSX, I think it’s safe to say that you should be excited for this upcoming sequel.

The first thing I noticed – and the first thing you’ll probably notice as well – is that the character models in Super Mega Baseball 2 have changed drastically from the ones seen in the first game. If you played the previous entry then you know that the characters used to be much shorter, stockier, and had heads that made up a large portion of their character size. The developers at Metalhead Software have now opted to go with character models that are more realistic looking rather than ones that look like caricatures.

They told me one of the main reasons for this was because of the sense of speed that the characters have now compared to how they were before. In the first game, the characters were so short that they seemed to move slowly because of how low to the ground they were. In reality, they weren’t moving any faster that the new character models do now, but the perception of speed is completely different. Not only that, but they told me that these new characters models can now cover more ground in the field when playing defense because of their now larger size.

While I didn’t get to see much of it in my time with the game, the other thing that they stressed to me while I continued playing the game was that they’ve gone above and beyond with customization this time around. This was one of the things that they highlighted in their reveal trailer for the game back in September. From the players themselves to creating your own team, the customization in this sequel will be over the top. Metalhead Software told me that they wanted players to feel much more connected with the game this time around and that’s why they have added to many options to customize.

As far as gameplay goes, what I played felt really similar to the first game. Both pitching and batting mechanics are the same as they were in SMB1 but just a bit more polished. The original Super Mega Baseball was praised for its gameplay and I thought it was the strongest part of the first game. I was really glad that they didn’t change any of those mechanics when I played this first build of the sequel.

The last thing that was stressed to me during my time with the game was the addition of online multiplayer. Previously, you could only play SMB1 locally. This time, however, Metalhead wants to replicate that couch multiplayer experience online. Personally, I never play games in the same room with my friends anymore – even though I would like to – so the addition of online play is much welcome. I’m sure others share this sentiment, too.

Unfortunately, Christian from Metalhead beat me in a 1-0 game that went to extra innings and ended with a walk-off. I have a sneaking suspicion that he may have gone easy on me but nonetheless, Super Mega Baseball 2 is a blast to play with others. Not only that, but the game is so accessible that even your friends who know nothing of baseball will find this game to be fun.

If you enjoyed the first Super Mega Baseball then I think you should be excited for this sequel. My time with the game was incredibly enjoyable and felt like a breath of fresh air. Super Mega Baseball is the MVP of arcade baseball games, and the sequel is looking to improve on the original in every way. This is a game that both baseball enthusiasts and those who know nothing about the sport should have an eye out for when it releases next year.

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Logan is a video production student from Indianapolis and has been playing video games since he was in diapers. When he's not playing games, he's probably watching the Chicago Cubs and praying that God one day delivers them a championship.