MLBPA Sports Talk Baseball pulls the trick of tying Dr. Sbaitso-caliber voice clips to each action performed in the game, thus giving a form of running commentary. It's admittedly a pretty cheap trick, and the announcer often gets way behind the action (during a home run he'll still be yelling "GOING! GOING! GONE!" long after the ball has sailed into the stands), but for 1991 it was groundbreaking and impressive.

Of course, we're not in 1991 anymore, and the true test of a game is how it stands up over the years. MLBPA Sports Talk was a pretty solid title in its day, but it quickly became outpaced by more advanced titles, and there really isn't a lot of reason to bother with it now.

Aside from the commentary - which really is just kind of annoying now - there's some gameplay quirks that hold the game back as well. Pitching and batting is probably the best feature of the game, with a large view and big characters as well as solid mechanics. Fielding is a bit of a nightmare, though, as there's no auto-fielding, and making fielders dive for liners seems to be very arbitrary. Also, somehow the computer seems to get a ridiculous amount of base hits no matter how high a caliber of pitcher they are facing or how well you are pitching to them. Outfielders also seemingly have the weakest arms ever in a baseball game and regularly get beat by baserunners when they shouldn't; on the flip side, baserunners do not have any intelligence and just plow ahead on every hit unless you tell them to stay or return, meaning you have to tediously micro-manage them all the time. Pitchers also seem to weaken ridiculously fast.

The game has a player's association license but not an MLB license, so you get teams with city names only. The colors and uniform styles mostly line up, and the logos are a cheesy approximation of the actual logos, but only about half the major league teams have actually been included here. You can play an 18, 30, 81, or 162-game season, but it's as basic as it gets - no trading, no editing players, etc.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video