MUKA'S PYS MINI-REVIEW
In my opinion, PYS is the most well-made and polished baseball video game series in the world. The batting system, featuring ultra realistic bat-to-ball physics, and the core baseball gameplay are what make this game so great. To avoid turning this into a long, full-blown review, I will just go in-depth in those 2 areas.
Hitting Engine & PhysicsUnlike most American baseball games which use zone/timing based hitting, the PYS uses a bat-shaped cursor and a sophisticated physics model to produce true-to-life batting results, all based on your skills and input. I will give you one example. In MLB the Show, you can hit a meatball right in the middle of the plate with perfect timing 10 times, and you may see 10 different results. You might hit a few homeruns, or you might hit a few groundballs to second or fly out to right…but how and why? All the users can control is the timing and the general location of the zone; the result is all determined by the game using whatever computation or model it uses. But in PYS, everything you do is the result of your own skills. Just "holding your L stick in the general area of the pitch" is not good enough in this game. Square up the cursor on the ball perfectly using the power swing and hitting the swing button at the right time and bam, you pull that ball into the upper deck; if your cursor was under the ball for 1 cm, you pop it up; if you got on top of the ball, you chop it or roll it for a groundball. Now add all the other variables - type of pitch, speed, spin, location, special skills (similar to the ones in Power Pro) etc, etc into this hitting model and that is how complex and deep the hitting system is (imagine Power Pro but but even more realistic and detailed). You will never ask yourself why a batted ball was a homerun or a ground out or a pop-up because what you did and how you hit the ball is clearly displayed on the screen. Simply put, you will see what you did right or wrong and believe me, you will fall in love when you time and aim the drop of that forkball correctly the first time and hit a bomb. For your information, you will never find any cases of suspected "CPU comeback" in this game. If you stink in your pitching and hitting, you will know it because it is all done 101% by you and you alone.
GameplayYou can expect the complexity and depth of the hitting to be present in all the other facets of the game (although IMO I feel that pitching is a notch below the hitting and defense and still has rooms for growth). I especially love playing defense in this game because the rating and skills of each individual fielder truly matter like almost no other baseball games before. Defense is so important in this game it will make sabrematric/UZR nuts cry tears of joy. Let's just say that if you are lazy and you do not sub in your defensive specialist late in the game, I guarantee it will cost you a few games on the higher difficulty levels. For more on fielding, check out the tutorial and training sections of this site.
Option-wise, you will notice there are no sliders in this game because every single area of this game has already been toned to near-perfection. Fielders won't throw or run too slow or too hard; it is all based on their rating and the differences are clearly visible. Still there are a plethora of options, most important of which are the vast array of difficulty settings, pitch speed settings, and hitting assist settings. Anyone from a total beginner to a PYS veteran who began playing 7 years with PYS 1 will be able to find a combination of settings that make the challenge feel "just right."
Give it a shotI will leave out the graphics and sound; not saying that they are not worth a mention, but I am and will always be a gameplay person first and foremost, plus it is not difficult to find videos of this game and this series on Youtube anyway so I will spare the details.
Now I realize the biggest hurdle that's keeping gamers away from this game will always be the language factor and the fact that this game features Japanese teams and players in the Japanese league. Regarding the language barrier, I hope this site can provide some help since that is the whole reason we made it to begin with. Regarding the second factor, I realize not everyone is interested in the Japanese players. Afterall, playing as your favorite MLB teams and players is, I am guessing, 50 to 90% of the fun for many gamers. But if gameplay is as important to you as it is to me, please give this series a try. Find it used online, buy it new for PSP, get PYS6 Featuring WBC Mode for PS2 or PS3 so you can play as ARod, Derek Jeter, or Big Papi, or do whatever you could to give it a shot. I think you will be impressed.
Also, to view our PSP review click here.