Com2uS and I have a love-hate thing going on. I love many of their games but I absolutely loath their aggressive marketing tactics. Nothing in the world is going to convince me to give you an unwarranted 5-star review. No, not even a small pile of virtual currency. As you might have already guessed, Homerun Battle 2 [$4.99] is the latest in the long line of Com2uS games that I despise myself for enjoying.

Distilled into its most basic form, Homerun Battle 2, much like its predecessor, is a batting simulation. A 'casual' sports game, if you will. The goal here is to hit as many home runs as is humanly possible. Sometimes. Depending on which game mode you've selected, you might occasionally be called upon to hit a number of fouls in rapid succession instead. It varies. If you're experiencing vague feelings of deja vu, I don't blame you. Com2uS is clearly a firm believer in the old adage, 'If it isn't broke, don't fix it' and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Instead of venturing away from a beloved formula, they've added more to the fix. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves.

To recap for those who have yet to play the original, Homerun Battle 2 boasts of tight, simplistic controls. Aiming is conducted with the phone's accelerometer while the actual swing is executed with a mere tap of the finger. As is the case with real life sports, timing and accuracy are essential to success here.

Simple as the core mechanics might sound, they're also one of the reasons as to why Homerun Battle 2 is such a bloody entertaining experience. While it doesn't require extensive amounts of thought, it demands just enough skill to keep you interested. On top of that, it's also easy to get lulled into the rhythm of the game, to become caught up in developing the longest chain of home runs possible, to score pole hits - it's like meditation, except with caps and large virtual sticks.

Nonetheless, that pales in comparison to the multiplayer segment of Homerun Battle 2. While there are several different modes to play, I'm personally infatuated with the mission mode. Essentially, it's four people from across the world striving to be the first to meet the goal (hit four fouls in a row, be the first to reach 2000 points and so on) in each mission. There are no penalties associated to coming in second (or even last), just fewer rewards. While each fast-paced mission seldom lasts longer than a minute, you're probably going to find yourself losing a good chunk of time to the system. Fair warning, though, much like in the first game, winning seems impossible without a suitable arsenal of equipment, a fact that may rub certain players the wrong way.

Like the original, Homerun Battle 2 has a customization system for you to play with. It's a little more comprehensive compared to what is found in its predecessor; you'll finally get the opportunity to play a wasp-waisted babe in this one. Unfortunately, the prices in the in-game store are tantamount to highway robbery. I mean, you could theoretically spend the next week farming golden balls but it feels ridiculous to demand five thousand of those for a new hat. I understand that Com2uS is trying to turn a profit here but this borders on extortion. What if I don't want to buy your virtual currency? What then? I'll spend my hard-earned money on frivolous virtual items when I feel like it, thank you very much!

I can't help it. I'm a little bitter. I don't like the idea of a game trying to bribe me. I also don't like the idea of it attempting to strong arm me into an undesired purchase either. Homerun Battle 2 has all the elements that made the original such a hit and more. It's fun, it's easy to learn and it'd keep you occupied for a considerable amount of time. Unfortunately, it also exemplifies everything that I dislike about this type of pay model. Get this one if you're hankering for more of the same, or if you're looking for a polished take on the whole 'casual sports' thing. Just don't come with the need to be number one unless you're ready to pay for it.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Anonymous

    Just sad. You pay an upfront price of 4.99 which isn't exactly cheap in comparison to iOS games. Then they want you to pay to win. Absolutely absurd, but becoming common place in the app store. It takes forever to get enough of their currency by playing the game to compete. It's insulting. These pay to win models are a embarrassment to gaming and will be the norm any time now. And people wonder why everyone likes "retro" style gaming. 

    • http://twitter.com/aagold3 Aaron G

      I'm a cynical, skeptical person by nature, but I'm not so sure about this model being the norm. For every Com2Us and Zynga, there's 50 smaller developers trying to put out a quality product that doesn't try to milk it's gamers for every dime. They will be around for a long time, too, as long as us gamers make the conscientious decision to purchase their apps and remain loyal to the cause. We can all do our part by buying apps when they aren't on sale and leaving thoughtful, quality feedback for the games that do it right. Because, at the end of the day, it's a lightly controlled free market and the big businesses will do what they can to maximize profits while the going is good.

    • Anonymous

      I also would not be such a pessimist. The freemium model (which I define as Free + Consumable In-App Purchase, i.e. game money, as opposed to Free + Durable IAP i.e. (usually) actual content such as full game unlock or additional levels) is still quite new and developers are pushing the model as long as it works and makes them money.
      But I feel more and more contempt is expressed by players for this kind of model. People are learning to recognize the mechanics behind pay-to-win. Then, hopefully, the trend will reverse when developers see the opportunity to appeal to users with more ethical game design.

  • http://twitter.com/josh_hofer Josh Hofer

    This review couldn't be more perfect, you hit the nail right on the head. Hopefully Com2uS takes serious notice and makes a change or two, there needs to be an easier way to win gold balls to level up your gear. I'm not paying more money to Com2uS to improve my character, that's ridiculous.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/E6VZH7UB3UQ52CXJQDQE74WDVU Bill

      I have 5 accounts and play all five of them.Iove the game  but found the forst thing i had to do is buy a good bat.I tryied useing the one that was giveing to at the start ang with 1000 winpoints.I soo found out i was getting a lot of hits
      [infield hits]so i bought a bat and it took care of the problem.
      I'm chamption in 4 accounts and.I enjoy the game its and it can humble you real fasdt.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

    No point in reviewing anymore Com2Us games since they all have annoying IAP systems. Frankly I miss the times before Apple implemented it.

  • http://twitter.com/StPats40 Kevin Agot

    The first version was one of the first games I bought and really enjoyed the game.  I plunked in a good chunk of change for the suits, upgrading my ability to hit for more power while wearing some good eye-candy.  I bought the second version and was impressed with the upgraded graphics and animation on my iPad 2.  The graphics for the HD version of the first iteration weren't optimized for visual clarity so I was looking forward to 2.  After buying the game on the day of its release and having played it since then, my honeymoon with Com2us is over.  I deleted BOTH versions of this game.  The only way to progress through the  ranks is to buy the upgrades.  I knew that coming in.  However, while 2 has been upgraded visually, the gameplay has severely degraded.  Unless one plays in the Burning mode, it is much harder to hit homeruns.  The strike zone consistency from one version of the game is different.  After having played version 1 for a year and a half, I was surprised at the lack of continuity in the strike zone.  One of the consolations of NOT having to purchase all of the cool upgrades in version 1 was the pleasure of hitting homeruns and viewing the subsequent animation, maybe not as far, but the frequency  wasn't significantly impacted.  However, with 2, the strike zone seems to have changed making for more near misses whereas when playing 1, the strike zone seemed a bit more generous.  Also, I wish there was a way for folks who have bought the uniforms in 1 to be transferred to 2.  The upgrades/packages are essentially the same and I'm being asked to buy them again for this version?  Blatant highway robbery and a disregard for the faithful fan base.  Goodbye Com2us and good riddance.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/E6VZH7UB3UQ52CXJQDQE74WDVU Bill

      I agree why mess with a good thing
      I play against a lady who is wearing high heels.Anothe player with wings.
      one player has glasses that looks likw crap,along with a red ball planted on the player nose.

      It hard to get serious when you compeet against goofey charcters.
      Keep it up your slowely tearing up what was once a good game.

  • Anonymous

    great review. sums up my thoughts nicely.

  • http://twitter.com/Mayzse Dave Amburn

    What is the problem? Mainstream gaming is going mobile. Nobody seemed to complain that console games cost $50-$60. I've had just as much fun playing HRB2 as I have any console game in the past 30 years. The multi player is awesome and I don't have to be home in front of my TV to play it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/E6VZH7UB3UQ52CXJQDQE74WDVU Bill

    I play HR3D and 2D like 2D better.
    I have 5 accounts nd buy a lot of Stuff,
    I win some and lose a lot,but it does what it is suppose to do[ enjoyment]......
    Don turn 3D and 2D into a silly stubit game.

    I'm retired.
     and spend a lot of money and time playing these gamesDON'T SCREW THEM UP.
    i'M 71 AND RECOVERING FROM A BACK OPERATION AND BASEBALL IT WHAT I DO MOST OF THE DAY.
    MRCOOL4-
    BILLY533
     HAPPY HITTING FOLKS 

  • BillSabre

    I've played this game for about a year. It is fun and addictive. However, I have payed close attention to gameplay and have become increasingly frustrated. Game is easily rigged. Not so much in the sense that they care who wins or loses, but how they deliberately frustrate you into buying upgrades. IAPs are the devil here , so to speak. Too many cheaters are allowed to play as well. The network itself has become unbearable as well. The roulette wheel is a joke too. Honest developers these guys are not. Last money these guys will ever see from me.

  • MADANDBAD

    Great game but addictive. But this game can piss you off. Its rigged in the roulette and in the game its self. I shouldve been higher then 1800's by now. I've been playing over a year and I'm still stack as a 4 star champion. I'm research king the game to see if there are any pointers. To the makers though. Take the rich off.
    You

Homerun Battle 2 Reviewed by Cassandra Khaw on . Rating: 3