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You read what I had to say about Rookie Rush, and so I went out to buy Sandlot Sluggers, the baseball installment of the series. It can be a lot harder than the football version, I can tell you, but if you spend enough time, you'll likely get the hang of it. Again, I'll start off with the bad stuff.

The first thing I don't like is like in the Rookie Rush, a very lack of customization. Pablo's team SUCKS. Pablo is terrific, as he always is, but the rest of his team...not one of them has more than 3/5 hitting. It was a bit frustrating playing as Pablo's team for the season and, while winning all but 1 game, they were as tight as they should've been.

I'll also give a small rant on none of the original Backyard kids other than (Pablo, Dmitri, Vicky, Keisha, Tony, Ashley, Sidney, Jorge, and (arguably) Joey). I expected it, but with 9 players a team and that many teams, I was hoping someone would have the name of one of the originals...just one, but nope. They're the same old bland kind of kids from Rookie Rush, no one cares about them. It does bring me to the same point but with the Backyard Kids...why them? I mean Pablo/Ashley/Sidney, I love they kept, but...Dmitri? Tony? Jorge? Joey? I don't know anyone who likes them. Very ballsy choices there. I think they should have had Achmed in there instead of Jorge, Dante instead of Dmitri, and Angela instead of Tony. I know it's a knit pick, but still. I can't believe they had Dmitri, Tony, Jorge, and Joey.

In regards to one of the mini games, Hot Potato, I don't really like games when it's completely luck. There is no skill for this minigame, all you can hope for is the computer (or an extra player) doesn't throw the ball at you just milliseconds before it explodes and knocks you out.

We know about the annoucers already, so let's move on...

The season has a small problem. In the original Backyard Baseball games, the season knew that if you played at one team's stadium once, the second time they play the two teams would switch the home/away positions...in this game, it does not. So let's say for example, I'm Pablo and I'm the home team, against Tony for game 1 at Pablo's sandlot...7 games later when we replay the teams, Pablo is again the hometeam and we're still at the sandlot. Not a huge issue, but it still would've been a lot cooler had it switched.

Here's something I forgot to mention in the Rookie Rush review, the kids don't talk. At all. The only voices you hear throughout the whole game is only the announcers.

Now for the things I liked...

I really love the Story mode to this game. You create a custom player again and play the other teams to catch players and then challenge Jimmy Knuckles once the team is all done and created.

The fields are also pretty nice to play at as well.

I may get flammed for saying this, but some of the character designs in this game, I really like. Just as much as the original designs. Not as much, but just as. I like Pablo's redesign. I like Ashley/Sidney redesign, and since those are my top three favorites in the game, that's really a positive. I think Kiesha looks better, I feel Dmitri and Tony lost their characters with the redesign, but their old one's I wasn't much of a fan of so I guess that's a step up. Vicki really lost her ballerina gimmick and I think that's a bit sad (although her nickname is still "Swan".) The only redesign I really didn't like was Jorge's.

The team names are pretty clever in my opinion. Some may like them, others may not.

Now for bit of a neutral note, I'm not a big fan of Jimmy Knuckles, but I don't hate him either. I think having an original Backyard Kid would've been better, but it would've been too hard to choose a villain, as none of them really were.

The other minigames are pretty fun to play, pickle is the shortest one and it can be pretty interesting if you play it with a friend. I think in the multiplayer department this game can be a lot of fun.

One more thing I like...the mercy rule. In the original, you always had to play out the 6/9 innings (in this game it's 3,5,9), and could get somewhere in the 20's constantly, but in this you can stop once you're leading by 10 runs at the end of the inning.

My final verdict is definitely buy the game. Buy Rookie Rush too while you're at it. You can buy BOTH for a sum of $30 so it's really cheap. I really hope you'd consider buying so that it will show that this series wants more and I would really love to see if this series can go farther.

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