Review: Jon Lester Hardball Ace Baseball Game for iPhone and iPad
Jon Lester’s Hardball Ace was released last week promising the experience of “real motion capture gameplay” and “realistic 3D mobile baseball action” in a baseball game for the iPhone and iPad.
The concept is simple. Step into the batters box against Boston Red Sox lefty Jon Lester and see if you can hit his stuff. String together some hits in an inning and score as many runs as possible. There are no instructions to accompany the game, thus you are forced to muddle your way through the game the first time you play.
Even through he’s not in his Red Sox uniform, the graphics on Lester are excellent. To get Lester to throw a pitch, you tap the screen when prompted with “Ready?” on the screen, then “Pitch” (see image below). You’ll also notice that Lester the pitch to be thrown is displayed at the left. That may seem odd, but trust me, it’s tough to hit even when you know what’s coming.
When Lester throws, try to time the pitch and tap the target to swing.
Lester pops up in front of you on the screen from time to time to talk a little trash whether you just got a hit or he just struck you out.
The graphics are solid and hitting is a challenge, but that’s where the positives end. The developers used motion capture to create a realistic Jon Lester, unfortunately they should have put a little more effort into game play and user enjoyment. There are no instructions whatsoever, so you are left on your own to figure out exactly what you are supposed to do. Sure, it’s not rocket science and you’ll figure it out quickly enough, but it would be nice to actually get a little direction. The big problem with this game, however, is that it’s painfully slow. The time in between pitches is ridiculous which kills the potential enjoyment. You are constantly having to tap the screen to advance the game to the next step. Ready? (tap screen), Pitch (tap screen), Swing (tap screen). In between taps you wait some more as Jon “thinks about his pitch”, winds up, and then ultimately throws the ball. A more free-flowing game faster paced game would be a lot more enjoyable.
If you’d like to know more about the technology that went into the game check out this interview with Lester on espn.com. If you’d like to check it out I’d recommend doing so while it’s free. I certainly wouldn’t recommend paying for the $2.99 Pro version when it is released.
Download Jon Lester Hardball Ace Free for iPhone and iPad from iTunes or the App store.by