Some games feel just as good today as they did twenty years ago; others, not so much. Originally released in 1989, Baseball on the Game Boy was a refreshingly strong hardball experience that some of us, um, old enough to have it back then, loved. Featuring a couple of teams with unique player characteristics and the ability to strategically manage pitchers and hitters, at the time it was as good of a handheld baseball game as could be. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to Mario, Luigi, and friends.
The pace of play once the ball is hit is astonishingly slow. Players move as if they’re underwater and the ball takes a year and a day to get where it’s going. The controls are terribly frustrating when you’re going after ground balls and too often they get by you even when you’re in position to make the play. Also, each game is one and done; there’s no season or stat tracking available. Even when you factor in the surprisingly varied pitching options – you can modify pitch speeds and locations pretty easily – you’ll find yourself longing for a more modern baseball experience very quickly.
At most, Baseball is a pure nostalgia play. The old-school sounds, characters, and charming lineups will bring a few smiles to Nintendophiles, but the gameplay itself will get old quickly. Considering that a number of top-notch baseball games are available for the same price or less on iOS (Baseball Superstars 2011 is the best example), it’s hard to justify the $3 even if the 3DS is your only gaming platform. Baseball is more or less a way for Dad to show Junior what he had to deal with back in the day – and to be thankful that’s not the case anymore.
Aug 8, 2011