Review by Psycho Penguin
"Stinks worse than the Atlanta Braves in October"
When Nintendo first released the NES (the single most important event in the history of the universe), they decided to produce a bunch of sports games, with a quality that has never been seen before. If you're talking low quality, that is. While Soccer and Tennis were surprisingly good games, games like Golf and 10 Yard Fight represented the complete opposite end of the spectrum. But one game took the cake as being perhaps the worst sports game released on NES. Yes, it may just be worse than Major League Baseball! And it ties the horrendous 10 Yard Fight, which tells you a little something about how crappy this game is.
The name of the game? Baseball. You all know the sport (unless you live out of the country, then why the hell are you reading this review?), and you all know that it's very easy to make a bad baseball video game. Major League Baseball proved this, with the awful batting mechanics and camera that made playing defense seem like a trip to the ER for an anal rupture. Somehow remarkably, Nintendo actually made a worse game than that. The only thing I can say nicely about this game is that the camera is pretty decent, meaning it's somewhat easier to play defense.
Unless you take the crappy controls into consideration. Sure, you can SEE where the ball is going, but can you actually get there? Nooo! The controls are extremely unresponsive, as players take days and days to get to a routine ground ball. Recording outs is frustrating because of the slow player movement and their inability to make throws past three feet in front of them. Batting and running the bases is somewhat decent, until you realize that it's more about luck than skill. And pitching.. dear god. Usually, I like my pitcher to pitch the ball when I ask him to. Sometimes he just throws the ball like 4 seconds after I push the button. That's not very nice of him.
And don't worry, it gets even worse. There's absolutely no modes of gameplay to choose from, as you may expect. You actually do get a list of teams to choose from, but they're all named after LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET. No, I'm not kidding. If you ever want to lead Team B over Team Q.. well, just play as Team Q. Winning in Baseball is something that takes an incredible amount of luck. The fielding mechanics of this game are so off, as routine plays turn into bases clearing doubles as singles roll into the outfield and my slow ass outfielder takes 5 minutes to catch up to it. It's absolutely horrific.
I also like how the opposing team likes to crush home runs every time I throw a pitch down the middle of the plate. And if I throw a pitch outside the strike zone? Oh, no, they'll rarely swing at it. If they do, it will turn into a pop-up triple. The game has a lot of weird aspects, as well, including the fact that the MPH system is replaced by a KPH system. Anyone who wants to see a 158 KPH fastball can check this game out! Seriously, I don't know why Nintendo did that.. they do know we use MPH in America, right? Sure did confuse me growing up. Damn you Nintendo!
And it's not even like the game looks good, because it doesn't. Picture what a baseball game made in 1985 would look like, and then add a brightly colored field with horrific player designs and a flat crowd. There isn't much graphical breakup, thank god, but the lack of graphical detail leaves much to be desired. Would it have killed them to add in a scoreboard in the outfield or something? At least make the game look somewhat realistic. Of course, the game is made a good 18 years ago, so I won't knock it too bad, but the game just doesn't look very good no matter how you slice it.
Hey, I've heard this song before! It's the same song as in Soccer, Golf, and Tennis! Absolutely astounding, that four sports titles could share the same damn song. What's more astounding is that the song actually doesn't suck at all. Sure, it gets a little annoying (as any NES MIDI would ater playing four different games hearing it), but overall it's not as bad as everyone else seems to claim. The sound effects are horrible, though. They're very grating and just very sad. Not as bad as the umpire voices in the Bases Loaded series, but still pretty horrible regardless.
The game has a severe amount of challenge due to the simple fact that it is nearly impossible to play any sort of consistent defense. Your players run way too slow, it's hard to control their throws, and missing one ball is recipe for disaster. Pitching is also a problem, as your pitcher will seemingly pitch on his own sometimes, and you have to be remarkably accurate with your pitches to even get a decent play in the field. Batting is probably the easiest thing to get through, but you'll already be down by 6 runs before you know it anyways. I don't think I've ever lost a game by less than 2 runs.. I lost 5-3 yesterday which was pretty cool.
With over 20 different baseball games to choose from on the NES, as well as hundreds available on other consoles, why would you choose to play one of the originals, especially when it sucks so bad? There are far better choices out there, especially classics such as World Series Baseball and the classic All Star Baseball series. Hell, Baseball Stars and Baseball Simulator 1.000 are on NES, and they're ten times better than this crap. Only play this game to check out how far baseball games have some since then. You won't find any reason to stay, anyways.
Overall, there's not much nice I can say about Baseball. It's an extremely boring game that has horrific controls and slow players that makes playing a chore whether than a fun playing experience. The lack of licensed teams is not that big of a deal, as the game is not supposed to be TOO realistic (and it worked in Soccer and Ice Hockey), but the horrible gameplay experience IS a big deal. Avoid this game like the Atlanta Braves avoid world series titles.
And yes, I know they won one. That doesn't mean you should play this game once, though. Unless you don't value your sanity.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 11/04/03
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