Monday, April 17, 2017

Major League Baseball (NES) Review

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a baseball video game developed by Atlus and published by LJN in April of 1988. Apparently, it was one of the first games licensed by the MLB. The creators got the rights to MLB hence that huge logo on the front of the box. This means that the game has all the real teams that played during the 1988 season.

Full disclosure, this was the first baseball game that I owned. I can remember the day I got it but strangely I don't remember what the occasion was where I was given two NES games, the other being Ghostbusters. My brother and I played this game for many years and we became pretty good at it. Other than a friend who had Baseball Stars this was our NES baseball game and we loved it.

When you start the game, which can be played by two people, has three modes to choose from. You have a regular game, All-Star Game and World Series. To start the game you pick your game and both teams, once that's done you have to make a roster. Setting your roster is tedious and designed poorly. The interface is slow and the buttons don't work the way you think they should. What they should have done is have the regular roster based upon where each player played and then if you want to make a change you can.

The game has great music, at least to my ears. You know how it is when you hear something from your past and you can remember it like was yesterday. Unfortunately, this is the extent of the good things in this game.

The gameplay is pretty standard for the era. The graphics are terrible, everyone looks like they were hit with double gravity and way to stout, like a team of hobbits. I did like it when a batter is hit by the pitch and they're head falls toward his chest. It looks less like being hit by a pitch and more like he's suffering from a massive heart attack.

Throwing the ball around is weird and it seems to me that runners need to be tagged or they are safe. Numerous times a ball would be hit to third and he makes the play like a seasoned pro but the batter beats his throw by a mile. I grabbed the ball down the foul line and somehow when I threw the ball it ended up in the stands. I can't think of any baseball game that allows you to do that.

So I loaded up a game with the computer playing the Braves and I was the Cubs. In two innings I had two hits and the Braves had 13 runs including a grand slam. This game is pretty tough today and I'm not sure if it's because of my skills or if it's truly hard.

Over this game is pretty bad even when looking at it through the glasses of your childhood. If you want to play a baseball game on the NES I would recommend Baseball Stars, I've only played a couple of NES baseball games but that was my favorite. For Major League Baseball I give it a 4 out of 10.

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