Baseball (Game Boy) Review
You know when you were given one of those games as a kid, and you played the life out of it no matter how bad it was? That’s Baseball on the Game Boy for me. I used to spend hours playing this game in the car – it was a ton of fun. Sadly now, I’m a little older and wiser and while I still had fun with Baseball, being older and having less time makes you realise just how slow this game is.
Baseball was a launch title for the Game Boy back in good old 1989. It shares a lot with the NES game of the same name but it plays and looks a whole lot different. This game is baseball at its most simplest; there are only two teams to pick and whichever you do dictates whether you start pitching or batting first. If you’re the Bears, you bat – if you you’re the Eagles, you pitch. You can also choose to play the game in either “USA” or “Japan” mode. The only difference between the two is that you have Mario and Luigi leading your team in the USA version, and a bunch of random Japanese people in the other. I like the player called FUKU for obviously hilarious reasons. Besides the names, there’s no other difference, you don’t even see Mario or Luigi in the game – all the players look the same. Like, small pudgy black dots for the fielders and a rather plumper batter. The fielding is quaint and the view from behind the bat is an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective. That’s about as detailed as it gets – this is a black and white game we’re talking about.
The game plays out like normal baseball; you have your innings and then you swap, unless three people get struck out or you do the striking out (if you’re pitching) earlier. Batting is fun and the sound the ball makes when you successfully hit the ball is quite funny. Pitching and fielding thing is another matter entirely though. It’s slow. I don’t mean in the sense that you’re Randy from My Name is Earl, but slow in the sense of speed. Fielding is slow, the players all move slow, throwing is slow and even trying to make sure your players line up correctly to catch the ball is slow. Remember, this is a portable game, and a full game can take up to 20-30 minutes in some cases. In the world of rechargeable batteries and save states, we don’t have to worry about this so much these days, but it doesn’t stop the actual pace of the game from being lethargic.
The game’s soundtrack is quite chirpy and happy and doesn’t get too annoying at any stage. Sound effects do their job. You will be teased on the title screen with the “2 Player” option, though you can’t select it and frankly it’s really the only way to play the game. Playing with two people is much faster than against the CPU. Sadly, not an option.
Baseball on the Game Boy is a very simple experience and there are much better examples of the sport out there in video game form than this. It’s cheap enough though if you want to give it a whirl.