TECMO SUPER BASEBALL / Tecmo / SNES
Tecmo created a classic series with their NFL license, but the rest of their sports output of the 90s ranged from "middling" to "terrible." Tecmo Super Baseball is one of the middling representatives, perhaps the one bordering closest on being outright decent. It's not without flaws, but overall it plays pretty well and at least offers you MLB players if not the actual team licenses.
The season structure is identical to that of Tecmo Super Bowl, but does not incorporate the limited trading and creation of new players that TSB 3 introduced. The best thing about the game is that the overall gameplay is solid, particularly the fielding, which manages a surprisingly fast and smooth transition to Mode 7 after each hit that overall works pretty well with only the occasional incidence of a fielder not responding to the inputs properly. Batting and pitching generally works like other top-down-view baseball games of the time and is OK, but having a menu pop up prior to each pitch is a little clunky and annoying and I would rather that hadn't happened.
As mentioned previously, the game was licensed by the MLBPA but not by MLB. So you've got real players (complete with black-and-white digital photos) on teams that sport only a city name, divided roughly into their actual MLB divisions of the time and with colors that are very slightly off from the teams they are meant to emulate.
Sadly, this was just over the border into where Tecmo had adopted the more boring and dry presentation style that used repetitive Seinfeld slap bass for what little music there is on the menu screens and cut the famous cinematics. I feel like a boppy Keiji Yamagishi score
would have done wonders to improve the excitement level here.