A new Card Baseball system is introduced for the Inner Success mode that replaces the turn based RPGs from previous installments. In it, a Baseball match is played as a board game and players can build decks of cards with various effects.
After 12 years and 15 installments (not counting Pawapoke Koshien), the Pawapoke series is over.
Outer Success Mode: Burning Magic Ball League Edition11 years ago, Glasses Clan members Yamada, Oda and Yuda found a dying woman on the streets and promised to raise the child she was holding. They decide to groom the kid into the ultimate Baseball boy. In the present day, their son "Hero 14" is an up-and-coming elementary school ballplayer who gains supernatural powers and must master them on his way to championship.
Inner Success Mode: Takeshima EditionWhile trying to pick up a lost ball, a boy falls into a hole and ends up in a world similar to Japan's Edo period. To return home, he must face the rulers of this land in Baseball card game duels.
Mini Success Mode: Koshien AssaultThis scenario follows a ballplayer from team Paraiso. There are two starting difficulty options and an unlockable hard mode. In each mode (Practice, Regionals, Koshien), the team is managed by different people from previous games and there are different events to watch.
This game features the following tropes:
- And I Must Scream: Get a game over in Takeshima and you'll be imprisoned inside a card.
- Art Shift: One enemy team is portrayed with photorealistic eyes during cutscenes.
- Back for the Finale:
- Yamada, Oda and Yuda return as the protagonist's parents.
- Ranger Red appears alive and well after his destruction back in 7 and, on the canon route, plays a big role in the end. It is even further implied that he and the wandering Hero 9 are the same person.
- The Ball Father from Dash also appears back from the grave as an opposing team's manager.
- Fukiko from 8 is also involved, but unlike the previous two she is Back for the Dead — her android body is expiring and leaves her sickly for the duration of the story. Her epilogue implies she dies peacefully some time later.
- The game's title screen displays the original illustration from 1 in monochrome and then shows Hero 14 striking the same pose Hero 1.3 did.
- You can visit the shopping district from 9, but most of its stores have closed. Ranger Red is living there, and he reminisces about the rivalry between the district's community and Judgment's supermarket chain such that he all but outright states he was Hero 9 all along.
- Towards the canon ending of Magic Ball League, Red introduces himself as a "tough and cool nice guy" once again.
- The Victory Finches team is implied to be named after the Boogie Woogie Victorys from 9.
- The opponent teams in Koshien Assault are high schools from previous games. Team Paraiso and the flag on the protagonist's cap are nods to the Inner scenario from 11, where the people of Paraiso city were brainwashed by flag devices.
- The credits roll displays every previous title screen.
- The Cameo: Hero 1.3 is mentioned on the normal mode of Koshien Assault, but he's ill from eating a poisoned bento and doesn't appear on-screen.
- Computers Are Fast: Which super move wins during a clash is determined by Button Mashing, so of course defeating the last few teams in the story, especially the Black Hole team, is going to be a pain in the ass.
- Denser and Wackier: It took the entire series, but the Baseball gameplay finally has special moves available to complement the supernatural elements of the game's story.
- Dramatic Irony: When Red talks to Hero 14 about his involvement in the events of the ninth game, the boy takes it at face value but the player knows that if he was there, then he was unmasked and was most likely the very protagonist of that story.
- Easter Egg: Again, click and hold the bottom left corner of the touch screen in the minigame menu to play a hidden one.
- Face Death with Dignity: Fukiko's epilogue is her monologuing that on the last day before her android body expires, she has no fears or regrets and is happy to have lived to the fullest. She doesn't even mind the rainy weather.
- Faceless Mooks: The Black Hole team is made of sinister Baseball dudes whose faces are cast in shadow.
- Final Boss: The Black Hole team crashes the tournament at the end of the story. You fight them in a normal Baseball match rather than some kind of minigame.
- Golden Ending: The ending where Hero 14 becomes an astronaut is the best and canon one for the story.
- Grand Finale: Wraps up the Pawapoke storyline, though a ton of stuff is deliberately left unresolved.
- Guide Dang It!: The new Card Baseball is complex enough one can't just fumble around in it without understanding Japanese.
- Happy Ending Override: The Boogie Woogie shopping district Hero 9 once fought for is in a state of desrepair, apparently because of the rise of e-commerce. Red, who is implied to be Hero 9, is heartbroken over it, and the fates of most characters from that game are left unresolved other than Kanta and his mother being said to have moved to another town.
- Has Two Mommies: Hero 14 is raised by three Glasses Clan brothers. Yamada is a hard-working Henpecked Husband, Oda is a Cool Uncle who teaches Hero 14 how to fight and Yuda acts like a house-keeping "mom" who pushes the other two around because of his Baseball acomplishments.
- It's a Wonderful Failure:
- Subverted for once. If you fail to beat the Black Hole team, the villains get away with reshaping reality but Hero 14 and his friends seem to be doing ok afterwards. You won't get a game over and lose your custom character, either.
- The final Pennant game over screen shows the ashamed protagonist walking into the night.
- Later Installment Weirdness: Oddly enough, the main menu cursor starts at the Baseball Mode instead of the Success Mode.
- Limit Break: Finally. In Super Moves Baseball mode, you get a special gauge with 5 slots. Effectiveness depends on your character's stats, and the opponent can spend a slot to counter it in a Smashing Survival minigame. A successful Level 3 super will either result in an instant strike out or a home run.
- Missing Mom: Hero 14's deceased parents are vaguely implied to have been established characters from previous games.
- New Game+:
- From the second playthrough of the Outer Success scenario onwards, you can use points to purchase up to three starting items.
- You can enter custom characters in My Pennant mode to play a year-long season.
- Rage Breaking Point: Unlike with Hero 1.3, 14 getting pissed off is a good thing, as it doubles his experience gain and ignores injures for a few weeks just like 9's Banzai Mode. The problem is that unlike with the Banzai Mode, the player has no real control over when it activates.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Koshien Assault mostly uses songs from previous games. The third match theme, however, is unique to this mode.
- So Proud of You: The epilogue scene you get for beating the Black Hole team shows the Glasses Clan brothers beaming with pride for their son.
- Tournament Arc: The Mini Success has a little storyline now but is still a quick chain of Baseball matches.
- The Unreveal: Red implies he is the vagabond protagonist from 9, but is never seen unmasked even in the Pocket Heroes' epilogue illustration.
- Younger Than They Look: Played With. Hero 14B is 12 to 15 years old, but he arrives in a Edo period-like world where the average height of Japanese people is quite low. As a result, several people think he's an adult.