Rookie Rush Review
While no where near as good as the games from 1997-2005 Rookie Rush is actually a huge step up from the 2007-2010 games and that is more than just saying much. The Sluggers/Rush era is mixed critically in the fanbase and deservely so. First I'll start with the negatives.
(Please note this is just Rookie Rush, I haven't yet gotten Sluggers, but I definitely plan too)
The biggest problems some will have with this game is the lack of customization for players. You can't really choose teammates. You can only choose your captain which are some of the original Backyard Kids that you love (or hated growing up) but you won't have any opinions on the extra players. They're all pretty balanced characters so it really doesn't matter who you pick for your team, really doesn't matter. You won't remember their name, which is something that's a downer because we can all remember the 30 original kids. And that's my biggest beef with this game. We always loved mixing up some of the kids and in this game you can't, unless you play as the all star team, but again you don't have much of a choice because they're already chosen for you.
Another downer to the game is the new announce team. Who are they? They can get pretty annoying, and they won't ever get into your hearts, that place will forever be reserved for Sunny Day and in this case for the game, Chuck Downfield. This seemed like such an unnecessary move on Atari's part.
A problem I have with the tournaments is the two minutes. For Football I would always set it to the one minute because when you get up by so much it can get a bit boring, especially when the clock stops between the plays.
With the good stuff...
It IS a step up from the dreadful era of 2007-2011. It is nicely designed, nicely set up. I do like the added story line, I think it could be made better having more of the Backyard kids, but it's still an interesting touch that will give you an extra thing to do. I also like some of the prizes also that you can put into your own custom stadium, not something that you'll be playing at all the time, but again, it's another interesting touch.
You also have some tournaments you can compete in, which you can also customize your own. And the mini games are something that's pretty entertaining as well that will likely have you playing the game for longer. I don't have Sandlot Sluggers, as mentioned above, but I did take a look at them on the Sluggers website and they look even better than Rookie Rush, so that's a good sign.
Another thing us fans appreciate...they're kids again. In the last generation they looked like they were starting high school, quite undoubtedly teenagers. So with them kids again, it seems they really did want to go back to some of their roots.
While not perfect or even up to contest with the '97-2005 games, it really holds up. I recommend checking this game out, especially since it's only about $20.