I don't like sports aside from the occasional hockey game. I couldn't tell you
the first rule of baseball. I have no idea what pass interference in football
really is. No idea what offsides in hockey means. And until it was explained to
me, I thought a back-court violation in basketball was just another term for
unwanted buttsex. Yes, sports bore me to death. Yet somehow, some way, I've
ended up playing sports videogames and on a few rare occasions, I've enjoyed
them quite a bit. The Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl games are the first games
that come to mind when I think of highly addictive, simplistic, and enjoyable
gameplay. Why can't sports games be like THAT today? Why do they ALL have to
be so bloated with so much bullshit that you'd actually have to play the game
in real life to understand? There's just no room for fun these days...none
Which is why if I'm in the mood to play a damn good sports game, you can bet your
fat stinky, hairy, pimply ass that it's gonna be SNK's Baseball Stars. This game
wasn't licensed, so there's no real teams or players (though a lot of the pre-made
teams have players with some pretty familliar names), but who cares about those
steroided up dickfuck fuckfaces anyway? Listen to me. Seriously. LISTEN.
LISTEN! I SAID LISTEN GOD FUCKING DAMN IT!
This game is FUN! Fun on a motherfuckin bun!
They really packed a lot into this little cart. From the get-go you get 8 unique
teams to play around with. They all have varying strengths and weaknesses that
you have to work around in order to play a good game and it makes for some exciting
games here and there. But the real catch of this game, is the ability to create
your OWN team from the ground up! You can use money you earn from winning games to
power them up from scruffy little nobodies barely able to get one out of the park
to the full-blown home run hitting, base stealing, no hit throwing superstars
you knew they were destined to be. It's this RPG element of building your team
up that really helps give this game a lot more life in your NES than any other
baseball game might have. You can hire and fire new players right from the main
menu or just create your own! What more do you want? And once you've finished raising that team and editing
it to your own evil little desires, there's still room to do it 7 more times!
You could have an entire league comprised of only your created teams! I think
that's fucking awesome!
But it's not the stat building or team building that are central to making the
game FUN. Sure, those are awesome elements and initially what drew me to the
game in the first place, but the bottom line is that the baseball games
themselves are fun as hell to play.
Pitching and hitting are simple and intuitive. The pitcher can throw curves,
sliders, fastballs, and sinkers using only the D-Pad and the A button. Batters
can move around and find a good position to try and hit from needing only to
worry about timing their press of the A button to connect with the ball.
Unlike every other baseball game on NES that I've played, Baseball Stars also
Once the ball's in the air, it's not hard for you to move
the right man into position to try and get a play on it. The camera moves so
that the ball's shadow is always centered and all you have to do is move your
fielder under it in order to make the catch before it hits the ground. There's
also the option of making sliding stops and catches by simply pressing the
desired direction and A at the right time to snatch up the ball. Baseball
Stars is also the only NES baseball game I know of where once the ball's in the
air, the game remains fast paced. In every other game I played you could fucking
take a nap in the time it took an outfielder to throw to home plate. This game
keeps up the pace all the way through. And that's really what makes it a winner.
The action never slows
down and there's really no time to be bored. Even in games that reach the 30-40
minute mark, the action's still fast enough to keep players interested. HELLO, SPORTS GAMES OF TODAY! A GAME
MADE IN FUCKING 1989 IS STILL KICKING YOUR ASS IN TERMS OF BEING FUN! I HOPE YOU'RE
FUCKING LISTENING... Oh who the fuck am I kidding, since WHEN did game companies
ever listen to the consumer.
Anyway, the game does offer a few modes of play as well. There's your typical
1 or 2 player one-off exhibition game, but the real meat of the game lies in
the League mode. You (and up to 6 other people if you wish) can create a league
of any 2-6 teams, created or pre-made, and take them through a 1-150 game round-robin'ish
season. The cool shit is that the game keeps track of all stats accumulated
throughout the season including win/loss records, batting averages, ERAs, errors,
etc. That was some really cool shit for 1989 and it kept track of all six teams
involved, not just ones you were playing. It was really cool to see that kind
of detail back then and if you're playing your own created team, they could be
bragging rights for when friends came over.
And there's the beauty, my friends. A friend and I wasted almost an entire summer, both
creating our own team and going through the same season together. The fun
we had murderizing other teams (Yeah, fuck you SNK Crushers) and those games vs
each other was just nuts. It's an experience we STILL talk about today and
have even planned to re-live sometime in the near future. THAT'S the kind of
fun I want to have if I'm gonna fart around with a sports game and only this
game and Tecmo Super Bowl have ever managed it. You can not beat that.
The game does look good, but the graphics aren't what anyone would call a
spectacular package. Player sprites are nice and colorful and pretty big
for a change. Even when the ball's hit and in play, the game gives you the
feeling that you're playing on a pretty large baseball diamond and not the
little miniature shitty parks that most NES baseball games gave you. There's
enough animation for the game to get by without being called sloppy. The
predominant color is GREEN. Get ready to see some GREEN. They coulda done
a bit more with the grass in the field, but hell it is grass, so I guess I
can't find TOO much fault with it.
Sound department is typical NES. Lots of blips, bloops, and pitch-shifted
kazoo sounds that sound nothing like you'd hear at a baseball game, but it's
an arcade baseball game and not necessarily a simulation, so I doubt anyone's
gonna care too much. There's only 3-4 tunes that play during the game and
though they're not bad, they're not really memorable or recognizable once it's
all said and done.
Along with Tecmo Super Bowl, this is right up there with the most enjoyable sports
games that the NES had to offer. It's not officially licensed but I say who
gives a fuck. It's good enough to make me enjoy baseball when I FUCKING HATE
BASEBALL. This is not a game anyone should be lacking in their NES library.
God damn game is SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD and my backup battery from 1993 IS STILL
in tip top condition with my original created, fully-powered up team. Go SNK!
Way to fucking do it right when no one else can seventeen years later.