Power Pros is BACK! WBSC eBaseball Power Pros Surprise Release!
Updated: 6 days ago
By: JOE SIMILE / CHIEF SPORTS EDITOR
Nintendo Direct was held on Feb. 9, announcing many exciting big name titles, including The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Metroid Prime Remastered, and the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Wave 8. However, there were many titles that went under the radar, including Konami’s WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros.
WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros
This title, in collaboration with the World Baseball Softball Coalition, is the series’ first game released in English and in the Western Hemisphere since 2008. Yet, this has not stopped American superfans from loving the series.
The game is out on Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4/5, for only $0.99. Fans are speculating that Konami may be using this as a test to gauge interest for future English releases.
The game features “tournament” and “quick game” modes. Players can choose from a roster of over 300 characters from the past Power Pros universe to build their own teams. Each character is assigned a point tier between one and 15 to determine their value by the game, and each tournament will have a team point limit. The launch week point limit is 55.
All player ratings except for hitting trajectory, velocity, and pitch levels are measured on a scale from 1-100, with a letter grade being assigned to each tier, ranging from G-S. Trajectory is on a 1-4 scale, and pitch levels are from 1-7, while velocity is measured in Km/h.
For hitters, they are graded on the following categories: Trajectory, Hit (contact), Power, Run Speed, Arm Strength, Fielding, and Catching. While pitchers have Velocity, Control, and Stamina, with various pitch levels.In addition to this, players also have special abilities outside of their numbered stats to increase individuality and enhance play styles.
The game features a variety of pitches, from your common fastballs, sliders, curveballs, to pitches more common in Japan, such as the shuuto and slow pitch. Some characters will even come with custom pitches, which are specially modified for the character. For example, in the original MLB Power Pros, Alvin Lockhart had a special “mirage knuckler”, which was described as “A knuckleball developed years ago by Alvin, with Patrick’s help. Faster, and has more motion, than a standard knuckleball. Alvin didn’t use it for years because most catchers couldn’t catch it.”
Konami’s FAQ states the game will not have microtransactions, and they will continually update the roster with new players after launch. This is good news for fans of the game as it will keep the game fresh with new characters and players will not have to worry about spending additional funds in order to remain competitive. You will also be able to match up against players in other countries.
First released in 1994 in Japan as Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu ‘94. The game introduced its iconic “chibi” style character models, with players having no legs or neck. The first title featured an exhibition, pennant, and practice mode. In the third installment of the series, which was released in 1996, Konami introduced the “Success” mode, which would become one of the calling cards of the series. It is an RPG-esque mode, in which the player is in control of a character who the player must develop into a powerful athlete.
The series would be annually released in Japan with an NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) license. In 2007, Konami released an American game with a MLB license titled MLB Power Pros. It was an incredibly unique game to the American market, from the art style to the success mode. The success mode was much more in depth and customizable than any My-Player type mode of the time.
As the player created a college baseball player on a struggling team that had to balance school work, a love life, finances, and a part time job, all while trying to get scouted and drafted to the Major Leagues. There was a choice system in the game, where every event you were prompted with 3-5 cards that would dictate your decision, and impact the rest of your game. Its replayability helped create a cult following in America, with the community still going strong today.
MLB Power Pros
The second and final game released in America was MLB Power Pros 2008, which expanded upon the great features of the original American game. The success mode now features a player in baseball’s minor leagues as a AA player for the Green Apples. The player had to once again manage all their personal responsibilities while trying to grind their way through the minor leagues and make it to the bigs.
This title also introduced an “MLB Life” mode, where the player controlled a character who was either created in mode, a success character they created, or a real MLB player. In this mode they lived out their careers in the majors, trying to become the best player they could be, while also pursuing love, having families, buying equipment, making friends, and enjoying activities such as driving, darts, and video games.
The MLB Power Pros series has continued to release in Japan until this day, although in 2014 Konami switched to a bi-annual model, with yearly updates, opposed to yearly releases. The most recent title, eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2022, features 10 different modes for players to play, including the popular Eikan Nine mode, which is similar to EA’s NCAA Football Dynasty mode, where the player is a high school baseball coach who must recruit and train players in order to win the Koshien, (the national high school baseball championship). Players are able to recruit “old boys” who are former NPB players, such as Shohei Ohtani.
Fans of new and old alike are excited with the news of the game, and many are hoping enough people purchase the new iteration to convince Konami to continue making English ports of the mainline games.