Plataform: Sega Game Gear
Controller: Incorporated in the handheld.
The handhelds became a great way to popularize videogames, in good part for the feature of carrying the handheld and play the videogame anywhere as long as the batteries had energy. The company Sega entered the handheld market with its own Game Gear, which in its 90s catalog had a solid and really funny baseball videogame.
The handheld featured a nice handling of colors, and proccessor more than acceptable, which were really well put to use in this videogame. It had the MLB license, also the one from the MLB Players Association which included teams and players (although not the full rosters) from the 1993 season, which is possible to players recognize some of the players in the teams.
As you can expect, the changes are not only of team colours and players’ names, the abilities of the teams also change. It’s not the same hitting with powerhouses like Texas or Colorado, than pitching with Atlanta. Of course, if you choose to play with a bottom-tier team, prepare yourself to have a hard time.
The game provides various game modes: you can play one match against the AI, or go through a season (it’s possible to specify the number of games per season, I highly recommend using the 32 games variation), it even manages play-offs. It’s also possible to go head-to-head against other human player, of course you have to use a second Game Gear and the connection cable. Also it’s provided the feature of creating our own team, drafting players from other teams, so you can create your own All-Star team to kick ass.
Now we’ll write about the playability of the game, the controls are the usual standard in baseball videogames:
With the controller you can indicate to which base goes the action, either running of throwing the ball. This directions are: right First, down Second, left Third, down Home
Offensive: With one button you can hit or advance to the controller indicated base. With the other button you can go back to the previous base or trying to steal a base. If you can press both buttons at the same time, you can try a bunt.
Pitcher: With a button you throw a pitch, indicating a fastball, curveballs or changeup. With the other, you try a pickoff indicated the base to which throw the ball.
Fielding: You have to move the fielder with the controller. If you hold one of the buttons, it’s possible to dive or jump trying to catch a line. Once you get the ball, with the same button you can throw the ball to the desired base. Funny thing, if you want to go to a base, you have to move the fielder with the control, without pressing a button.
Batting is implemented in a way considered standard on baseball videogames by now, which is seeing the game from the back of the player without catcher, instead than from the pitcher’s back. This way it’s easier to hit the ball, at least to me, consider that is my main weakness in these games.
Now it comes what in my opinion is one the best features of the game: the pace. Every match fells really quick, however if you measure the time of another baseball videogame from the ones we have covered so far, it’s very similar to this one. I think the main reason is that apparently every match is played at the equivalent of a matchbox. I comment this because pulling out a double-play is practically impossible (apparently even to the AI) by two reasons: 1) There is barely time to react to a hit, 2) You can reach any base really fast. Also the throws from the oufield reach the infield sooner than you are accustomed to, so you’ll have to think twice to try scoring with a deep fly.
But I’m not saying this is a bad thing, quite the contrary, this gives the matches a sensation that the time runs faster, which I’m grateful for. I think this was done so the player can finish a game before the batteries ran dry, which was one of the Game Gear’s main weaknesses.
Another feature I liked, is that the pitchers get tired. There is a bar in the lower-right section of the screen, which shows how tired is the pitcher. When that bar begins to turn red, consider relieving the pitcher. I hope this bar exists in real time. Fortunately I have not seen in this game a pitchers which gets removed from the mound after only one batter and/or before the bar turns red. Now, at the next match, the relieved pitcher is ready to pitch again as if the previous match did not happen at all.
There are other games, made by Sega with that name for the following platforms:
- Sega Genesis (or MegaDrive)
- Sega Saturn
I’m not too sure if these can be considered direct ports of this videogame. Probably in the upcoming update of this entry, I’ll see if, after more revisions, I make new entries for them, or write about them in this one.
Para la consola Game Gear hubo dos secuelas, que más bien parecen actualizaciones de roster ya que no percibo, de entrada, diferencias significativas. Probablemente en la mandatoria actualización de este artículo veré si incluyo hablar de ellas aquí o en sus entradas particulares.
I can mention that this videogame was the first one of a series with the same name made by Sega for many of the consoles manufactured by them, reaching the point where one of the included in its name the great player Deion Sanders.
Really funny videogame. Particularly, I have mixed feelings for this game, because if it’s true that I played a really good amount of a season, it was while I was vigil a relative in the hospital. I played with Seattle of Griffey Jr, Randy Johnson and the Martinez. Sometimes with Houston of Biggio and Bagwell. In the first time I played, due to patriotic sense, used Colorado or Milwaukee but I got my ass really kicked.
Great option if you liked the so called “sport king”, also has a nice amount of free time, and like handhelds. Believe me, you’ll like this game, and of course, as the technology for handhelds advanced, Sega was getting better and better at making baseball videogames. Definitely we’ll get more entries in this blog for this kind of games.
Console Icon taken from Retroarch.
Console Image taken from ProgettoSnaps