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Baseball


Hoskat

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baseball-label

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Genre: Sports

Publisher: Nintendo

Total time played: 45 Minutes

Short review: The first baseball game on the NES which was probably revolutionary in 1985 but has not aged gracefully.


Interesting links related to Baseball


First

This is the first of 20 baseball games released on the NES and while it is almost unplayable in 2018 it did set the foundation for every single baseball game that came after it.

Something To Be Proud Of

The game is very very thin, here are some things that would be inexcusable in a current baseball game.

  • Teams don’t have names, they are represented by a single letter.
  • Players don’t have names
  • Players don’t have stats
  • There are no substitutions
  • Pitchers never get tired
  • You cannot be hit by a pitch (at least I never did)
  • You don’t control the players in the field
  • There is no season, a single game is all you get.
  • The game moves painfully slowly

With all of that said, in 1985 creating a baseball game that actually resembles the game was a very admirable thing to accomplish. What was set as a foundation in this game was used in every other game on the system. Think of this as a V1 beta release of a baseball game and the Baseball Stars game as the final version.

Things It Got Right

  • The pitcher animations are pretty decent, including him shaking his head at the catcher’s signs.
  • You can steal bases and the pitcher can attempt to pick off the runners.
    • Although, stealing bases is tough, I never successfully did it and the pitcher attempts to pick off the runner way too much. Sometimes he would attempt a pick up 5 or more times before throwing a pitch.
  • The batter can move around in the batters box
  • Homeruns are rewarded with fireworks.

Another Random Game

It has been a few months since I’ve beaten an NES game because the game I randomly drew to play is a nightmare, I’m 60% of the way through it but felt I needed to build some confidence and add another game to my beaten list. So, I drew another random game and it turned out to be this (thankfully) short and simple game. Sure, it took a few tries to finally win a game but it was worth it, confidence has been restored.

Final Thoughts

It is really hard to play a game that is 33 years old as if the hundreds of better baseball games that have come out since don’t exist. The best I can say is that the game was innovative for the time but there is no reason to play it today. It is slow, boring, simple, and the fielding controls are so bad I was never sure if I ever had control of the players. It doesn’t take much time to see everything the game has to offer, but, with over 600 NES games left to beat sometimes a short and simple game is just what the doctor ordered.

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