Players of EA's
previous sports offerings on Facebook might take one look at World Series Superstars
and scoff. Give the game an honest shot before you begin scoffing, you scoffers, you. This is one deep baseball game for Facebook, but that's exactly the audience that EA is trying to market to, no? While logistically speaking that might not be the best route considering the size of the niche, but boy does EA and Playfish
fit that niche like a glove. Essentially a fantasy baseball simulator, World Series Superstars delivers where stat crunchers--a potentially nonexistent and severely under-served subculture on Facebook--want.
In other words, it's doubtful that this game will take off given its complexity, but it will serve that small group of super fans well. The general flow of this game is almost exactly like its predecessors, yet tweaks have been made at nearly every turn. And those tweaks aren't just for the sake of them; they make sense with how the sport of baseball is handled. Baseball is both one of the most team-oriented sports and one of personal best simultaneously, and World Series Superstars emphasizes this through its rating system.
Like the Madden and Fifa Facebook games before it, your team's rating will decrease with each game played. Thus, you must practice your team almost constantly to keep your players in tip-top shape. Think of it as this game's "crop factor," as in the hook that brings you back--the benefits of Practice must be collected in time or they will disappear. However, rating has now become Rating Points. These points are added to a bank upon collection, and can be assigned to individual players. For instance, say you bought a rare, powerful player card like Ryan Howard (biases aside, of course). Instead of spreading the Rating Points all around, spend more on Howard to increase his performance drastically on the field. If you spend all your points on him for the time you have him, you can bet he'll hit more homers with more Rating Points than everyone else.
But how would you make use of an individual player in gameplay that's largely animated? News flash: It isn't anymore. World Series Superstars features turn-based gameplay that can drawn out for all nine or so innings. Players only control batters and pitchers, obviously, though your choices are far beyond what was optional in, say, Madden NFL Superstars. Though, if you just want the results, you can easily skip an inning or an entire game at no penalty. But this is the beauty of this baseball compared to others on Facebook: you have direct control over your players' individual performance and your team's success. Surely, sports fans will much prefer this over the automated cut scenes in previous EA sports games gone social.
Players have the option to play their friends, not to mention all the staples have returned for this game. You will have to improve your stadium through winnings money in order to progress in the Major Leagues. To get new players, you must either earn or pay for Baseball Cash, the game's paid currency. Coin options are also there, but are severely expensive. Goals will guide you along in your progress through the Minors and Majors, a trope borrowed from several recent games. Despite this, World Series Superstars is worth the attention of super baseball fans that happen to be on Facebook (i.e. a lot of folks). Poring over stats, numbers plays, this game will keep the Facebooking baseball fan occupied for some time.
Click here to play World Series Superstars for Facebook Now>
Have you tried this game yet? What do you think of EA's granular approach to baseball on Facebook? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.