Review – WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros

Two things scared the hell out of me the moment I noticed that Konami announced WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros, the first Western release of the company’s massively successful (in Japan, at least) baseball series. First of all, the fact it was called eBaseball, which immediately reminded me of the utterly disastrous eFootball 2022, released a few years ago. The second thing was the fact that the game was being sold for a dollar. Yep, one dollar. It wasn’t a mistake on Konami’s part, even their PR release mentioned the price tag. This made me wonder if this was going to be plastered with microtransactions, and if the game was going to be bare bones to an insulting degree.

WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros Running

I would have preferred a more automatic means to run between bases, but it’s all about getting used to it.

Here’s the thing, though. The game has no microtransactions at all. WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros is simplistic, but there’s reasoning behind the price tag: this is a watered down version meant to test the franchise’s acceptance in the West. eBaseball, better known by its original name Jikkyō Powerful Pro Yakyū, is MASSIVE in Japan. It has never been released in the West, and it has never been developed with the West in mind. Its chibi visuals, arcade-like controls, and focus on delivering licenses from Asian leagues are clear indicators. It made sense back in the 90s and 2000s, when there were like four or five baseball franchises releasing yearly iterations on consoles, but nowadays, we basically have to resort to MLB: The Show, which is expensive, and not at all arcadey.

WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros

Batting is as straightforward as it gets, but there are enough batting methods and styles to spice things up.

This means I completely understand the fact WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros is somewhat bare bones. It basically features just a handful of modes, but way more than your average demo. You have a lengthy tutorial, local multiplayer, an assortment of online multiplayer modes, a simple single player quick match mode, and one of the coolest team creators I’ve seen in recent memory. Again, for a dollar, not bad, not bad at all. Everything is tied up with a user interface that punched me in the face with nostalgia, as it looked exactly like the International Superstar Soccer games from the Nintendo 64, complete with happy, bouncy faces to showcase a player’s current condition and stamina.

WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros Customization

They give you a ton of customization options for a game that costs one dollar…

This particular version doesn’t feature any licensed teams. You’re basically told to create your own team, based on your home nation (or any other nation you want to play as). Players are fictional, and you’re free to fully edit your uniforms and names. I get this might be disappointing for some, but WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros is a full-on arcade game meant to be played for a few matches at a time at most. It doesn’t have a career mode, and its silly presentation wouldn’t be a good fit for a serious simulator, either.

Now, the most important aspect about a game like this is if its gameplay is good or not. Konami wants its franchise to compete with the big boys (or better yet, the big boy, for there is just MLB: The Show nowadays), so you probably want to wonder if the controls are decent enough to warrant the one dollar they are asking for. The answer is yes. First of all, WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros runs at a juicy 60fps at all times, be it in portable or docked modes. It helps that its chibi visuals don’t exactly push the Nintendo Switch’s hardware to its limits, allowing for a very stable framerate with responsive controls.

Not only does WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros have a sizeable tutorial, but it features a wide assortment of control schemes, depending on how detailed you want your baseball experience to be. From just simple button-mashing to a more comprehensive take on the sport, with multiple batting and pitching types, the game does a good job at catering to various types of players, all while delivering a fast-paced and hassle-free arcade experience. It just gets repetitive after a few games. I don’t think this would have worked well if WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros were a PS4 exclusive, but on a portable like the Switch, this is a smaller issue. Play two matches, then turn the game off and go back to playing Metroid Prime: Remastered.

WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros Pitch

Not a big fan of this pitching camera.

There’s little else that can be said about WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros because, once again, there is very little content in this bite-sized offering. There’s more to it than your average demo, but way less content than your average sports title. It’s very simplistic, feeling like a remaster of a Nintendo 64 sports title at times, but it’s cute, runs well, and its controls are pretty good. Also, as a means to test the Western public’s perception on a Japanese-as-hell franchise, this isn’t so bad. And considering it costs a mere dollar… eh, what the hell, we only live once, go for it.


Graphics: 7.0

It retains the franchise’s traditional chibi looks, all while retaining an excellent framerate. It looks less like a Switch game, and more like a remaster of a Nintendo 64 era game. Thankfully, the cartoonish vibe allows it to not look so dated.

Gameplay: 8.0

Responsive controls and a pretty solid framerate, coupled with various control schemes to please experts and newcomers.

Sound: 5.5

Just like the rest of the game, it’s very simplistic, but nothing outright terrible. You’ll be playing this on portable mode for the most part, so you’ll probably shove it on mute and listen to something else.

Fun Factor: 7.0

A bit bare bones, but it’s honest, arcadey fun. And for just a dollar? Eh, what the hell, still great value.

Final Verdict: 7.0

WBSC eBaseball: Power Pros is available now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.