(Game Boy)

Baseball (Game Boy)

Game Review

Baseball Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

The Babe Ruth of bad games

Hey, kids! How would you like to revisit a game from the Game Boy's early years that wasn't very good to begin with and, in addition, has aged horribly? Sounds exciting, we know, but it gets better: the only marginally redeeming feature of the game – the ability to play it with your friends – has been disabled, leaving only a poorly-controlled, tedious, totally pointless single player game in its place!

If any of this sounds appealing, Baseball on the 3DS Virtual Console is the game for you.

The object of the game should be familiar to anyone who has played or watched the sport, so it's not worth recounting the rules here. Suffice to say that baseball (the sport) consists of three main activities: pitching, hitting and fielding, and Baseball (the game) mangles them terribly.

Pitching is an exercise in first-order tedium. You can vary the speed of your pitches but, ultimately, you're just pitching endlessly toward a computer-controlled player that either hits or misses as a result of the random number generator. Very little that you do has any kind of impact on what follows, which sort of sets the tone for the release: why bother?

The AI also has a nasty habit of "donating" home runs to the computer-controlled team if it falls too far behind. It doesn't always happen, but, when it does, it comes in waves. This would still make for nice practice, at least, if you were just killing time between games with friends, but since that mode isn’t available in this release, there's really no point in boring yourself.

Hitting is a little more exciting, emphasis on the "little". You at least get to react in some way to something that's happening on the screen, so that's an improvement, we guess. It's mainly timing-based and there's not much to say about it, beyond the fact that it's incredibly dull.

Fielding is a nightmare. If you're fielding, your team looks like it consists of legless insects suffering from spasms, with no hope of catching a slow pop fly that lands 15 feet from where they were standing. If the computer is fielding, their team consists of elegant gazelles that have no difficulty making it anywhere your ball is headed. Once again, this handicap would be much less irritating if you had the option to play with a human being instead but - say it with us now - that feature is no longer included.

The visual presentation is simple, but nothing charming or memorable. Music is relegated to periodic fanfare and the sound effects are less than annoying, which, when it comes to this game, actually qualifies as a plus. We'd discuss Baseball's other features here, but there aren't any, so enjoy playing the same uncustomizable game over and over against an AI opponent that doesn't care if you live or die.

Conclusion

Baseball was never a good game, but the ability to play it with friends meant it was a functional addition to any Game Boy library. Stripped of that feature the game stands naked with all of its flaws exposed, and it's difficult to be even slightly forgiving. There may be a limited amount of vintage games available in the eShop, but it's impossible to see why anybody would want to spend their money on this. Even nostalgia won't help; this is not the game you remember. Any fond memories you have of Baseball include a second player, we can assure you. This one is not worth chasing.

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User Comments (41)

Kid_A

#1

Kid_A said:

Bummer! I'd love a cheap little baseball game to have with me on the road, but this definitely sounds like a stinker.

zeeroid

#5

zeeroid said:

What is going through Nintendo's heads when they think that people want this game? Anything? Anything at all? Who makes these decisions, and to what address should I send him anthrax?

Blaze

#7

Blaze said:

That's the lowest score I've ever seen on NL! Does anyone know if NL ever gave a game a 1?

Hokori

#9

Hokori said:

hhmmmmm a GB game thats an early GB game thats bad.... and yet the GB was still an awesome system (hint hint guys)

yoyogamer

#10

yoyogamer said:

I thought this was OK. A portable version of the NES Baseball game for $3 seems reasonable. And with the suspend feature, I can play in quick 5-minute bursts. I'd give it a 6. Also, with the release of this game, all NA non-pack in Game boy Launch Titles are now available on the service.

Tasuki

#16

Tasuki said:

Couldnt agree more with this review. I remember having this game on Gameboy playing this game against my bother on the family car trip one year. I have to say I can probably count how many times I played this game on one player on one hand. Defiantly a whole lot better on with another player but since the 3DS doesnt do this option IMO its just not worth the 3 bucks.

TKOWL

#17

TKOWL said:

You know, this game could've been Super Mario Land 2, Pokemon Red and Blue, Tetris, Wario Land, Metroid II, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, or Kirby's Dreamland 2... but it had to be this.

MetalMario

#18

MetalMario said:

I have this game, never played the two-player mode, but it's fun for like 5 minutes...

JeanLuc_Vaycard

#20

JeanLuc_Vaycard said:

lol I actually kind of like this game. Call me crazy, but I had a lot of fun with it in my youth. I could just be blinded with nostalgia. I will admit though its nothing amazing.

Rawk_Hawk

#21

Rawk_Hawk said:

Sometimes I enjoy the simplistic Baseball titles like this one and the NES version.

Retro_on_theGo

#22

Retro_on_theGo said:

Seeing as the multiplayer was the only thing that made this game even remotely fun I can totally see Nintendo releasing Pokemon Red and Blue without the multiplayer. :(

Supremeist

#23

Supremeist said:

I didn't expect a 2... wow! I was about to pick it up because it didn't look too bad, but my mind has completely changed. What a shame.

BJWanlund

#25

BJWanlund said:

My memories of "Baseball" AREN'T with another person, it's the memories of playing against the computer players! I love this one, so I am thrilled it's on the 3DS VC. And I couldn't disagree more with this review.

BJ

Crunchy_in_milk

#26

Crunchy_in_milk said:

I have to admit, I read the "Hey kids" in a stereotypical tv/movie clown's voice then read about half the article in Billy Mays' voice.

Now that that's out of the way, I remember when I first got this as a hand me down game from my cousin, I loved multiplayer but, if I remember correctly, I played single player either once or twice, quickly got frustrated and never played 1 player again on it.

StarDust4Ever

#27

StarDust4Ever said:

Just like Tennis on the Wii VC (NES), Nintendo appears to be shoveling it's software with compete disregard to whether the titles are good or bad.

grumblegrumble

#28

grumblegrumble said:

I was hoping for the old NES version when I heard this was coming to VC for the eshop, then I realized it would (of course, duh) be the GameBoy version, and then I was like "Pfft..." lol ;)

Daisaku36

#29

Daisaku36 said:

This is vaguely sad, I always thought Nintendo's reasoning for putting games on the virtual console was that they were "classics", who has fond memories of this one? Maybe this is for them? Why, Nintendo, why?

TrainerOrange

#31

TrainerOrange said:

This was the first game I ever got for my GameBoy, and I played it all the time. I'll certainly be picking it up for the nostalgia, curious to see whether I still have fun with it or not.

OverlordMao

#32

OverlordMao said:

A 2!? oh my goodness! You, sir, have offended me!
...How could this possibly get more than a 1? :P

WanderFan91

#33

WanderFan91 said:

I remember having played this game one time while visiting my relatives when I was very little

Teh-Ray

#36

Teh-Ray said:

@36
Yes, yes it is. Probably the only reason to have the game aside from the multiplayer: To pretend you have a team of Nintendo Superstars!

I'm only following the crowd here, since I never played it myself, but based on this review and from what I've seen from this game, it looks dull enough to avoid playing anyway.

Seriously, Nintendo, is it really that hard to fix up a multiplayer option?

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