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A Baseball Sim for Hard-Core and Casual Gamers Alike

The graphics are good--if a bit choppy at times--and gameplay can be a bit too simple, but overall 9 Innings is a winner.

Com2Us's 9 Innings Pro Baseball 2011 is an excellent title for baseball fans and baseball video game fans. 9 Innings Pro Baseball 2011 features all of the latest players, their stats, team and coach information, and even batting orders and pitching rotations for the 2011 season. On top of that, it offers a simple-yet-fun baseball simulation for people who are less interested in the numbers.

9 Innings Pro Baseball 2011 is packed full of statistics, information, and over 780 player profiles, but the gameplay itself is pretty straightforward. When your team is up to bat, hitting is as easy as tapping the middle of the screen when the ball comes your way. Timing can be a little tricky, and you have a couple of extra buttons (for bunting to the left or right), but otherwise it's a basic version of the hitting system in Com2Us's other baseball game, Homerun Battle 3D.

Pitching is nearly as simple. When your team is pitching, you first pick the type of pitch you want (say, a curveball). Next, you tap where you want the pitch to go (within the zone, of course), and then a circle appears in that spot. Once that circle shrinks down to the smallest point, you tap again to pitch. How small the circle is when you tap determines the speed and accuracy--a bigger circle means a slower, less accurate pitch.

The game has three modes: League, in which you play a season; Exhibition, in which you play one game with the best players from your cardbox; and Homerun, in which you try to knock balls out of the park.

You can also manage your team, changing the batting order, altering the pitching order, and looking through your player cards. You can add more players to your cardbox, or upgrade your current players' cards for better play. To do so, you must spend points that you earn as you finish games and make good plays. You can spend points either by leveling up your current players or by drawing new players (you can't choose your new players). You'll also find an actual store where you can spend real money to purchase cardbox upgrades and "inning jump" cards, among other things.

9 Innings Pro Baseball 2011 has the best of both worlds: simple gameplay to satisfy the gamers, plus complex upgrades, team management features, and a wealth of statistics to satisfy the baseball fans. Graphics are good, though a bit choppy on occasion, and gameplay can be a bit too simple (while, on the other hand, upgrading and managing your team can be a bit too complicated), but overall 9 Innings Pro Baseball 2011 is a winner.

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