BASEBALL / Nintendo / NES

All of Nintendo's early sports releases for the NES are fairly primitive games. Some are borderline fun, nevertheless. Baseball is not one of those. It is a completely unredeemable game, quite possibly THE worst baseball game ever made for any system.

You begin by picking from a roster of teams identified only by a single letter, so you get the epic battle of Y v.s. C at Y Field or D v.s. P at the P Dome. Let's talk about offense first, then defense. It takes the computer about three hours to throw each pitch. First it has to do its little head-shaking animation three or four times, which is slow and takes forever. If you've got any runners on base at the time it'll toss the ball at them a time or three. Now, the runners automatically take a lead of a couple steps, and if they don't go beyond that it is impossible for the pitcher to catch them out, but that doesn't stop the game from trying OVER and OVER and OVER again regardless. After that and maybe another five minutes of head-twitching you finally get a pitch thrown your way.

Hitting doesn't seem to have any discernable physics to it; you can move the batter around in the box a little bit, but truth be told I think where the ball goes when you hit it is entirely a random event. The first thing you'll notice upon getting a hit, provided you didn't pop out, is that apparently you are playing on concrete and hitting a golf ball. The fielders seemingly don't respond at all to the ball until it's hit the ground at least once, which is great when you're hitting, not so good when it's your turn to play defense. They'll only pull the ball out of the air if it's hit right to them; grounders hit with sufficient force also seem to always skim right through their bodies even if they're right in front of them. While the baserunners get around the diamond at a good clip, the fielders take absolutely forever to shuffle over to the ball.

When you get on defense you'll really get to appreciate this firsthand. You seemingly cannot control the fielders at all, you just have to wait for them to drag their lard butts over to the ball. When pitching, you have to endure three or four of those stupid head-shaking animations before you are allowed to throw the ball, absolutely bogging down the pace of the game.

Yes, it's an ancient game from a time of much more primitive game design. But that doesn't change the fact that Nintendo apparently expects people to spend $5 on it at the Wii Shop Channel, when it is clearly a terrible mess that needs to be put in the past and forgotten about. Asking money for a turd like this seems almost an insult to the gamer.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video