Genre: Sports Developer: BlueSky Software Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1-2 Released: 1995
Baseball is America’s pastime. There is nothing like sitting down with some friends, some bowls of snack food, your choice of ice cold beverage and watching your favorite team (In my case the top-standing Philadelphia Phillies) play some good old-fashioned ball. And when the season ends in the fall and the players take a break, what more fun to have then playing baseball on your Sega Genesis? After all, the Genesis is known for its awesome baseball titles such as Tommy Lasorda Baseball, Sports Talk Baseball, and plenty of other baseball games.
Seeing as my 32x doesn’t get enough use, I decided to check out what other games were released for the system that I don’t have. One caught my eye, World Series Baseball Starring Deion Sanders. While I was never a big fan of the WSB “behind the catcher” look on the Genesis, I LOVE the World Series Baseball games released for the Sega Saturn and figured maybe this game would be a good outing to try out on my 32x. Boy, was I wrong!
World Series Baseball for the 32x is quite possibly the most boring baseball game I have EVER played. It does everything totally wrong and then some. The game has a weird system of hitting different buttons for different pitches if you’re the pitcher and different types of bat swings if you’re the batter. You get the feeling of having no control over your batter, since you can’t move him around due to the catcher’s viewpoint that you bat and pitch from, and no matter what I did, it was hard to make contact with the ball because of this viewpoint. To top it all off, the game takes its sweet time in everything, and sometimes you just feel like you’re going in slow-motion. Every ball looks like a slowball. The players move sluggishly. There are absolutely no redeeming qualities to the gameplay in WSB for 32x, regardless of how many different modes there are in the game.
The graphics look decent for the 32x but are nothing spectacular, especially since you really don’t see much. All the players on one team look the same due to no kind of facial detail, something they apparently still couldn’t fix six years after Tommy Lasorda Baseball. In fact, that game actually looks more colorful than World Series Baseball Starring Deion Sanders. During fielding on a pop fly the camera zooms down on where the ball drops, and things look a bit pixelated, especially the players. What’s the point of that anyway? It doesn’t make the ball any easier to catch. Truth be told, it makes it harder as there’s suddenly a change in your depth perception and where the ball is falling from.
The sound is the lamest I’ve heard from any sports game. The announcer is nonexistent, a HUGE step down from Sports Talk Baseball with its many phrases and digitized voice. All the announcer says is “next batting, (player name) for the (team name),” after every… single… batter, and that’s the only thing that he says! There’s no commentary on where the ball goes, where the batter goes, what the fielders do, nothing. You could hit home run after home run and that announcer will still just say “next up…” in the same monotone fashion. Add in some inaudible strike and ball calls from the ump with a continuous dull roar from the crowd, and by the second inning you’ll want to mute your TV and put on something that might actually get you excited that something has actually happened in WSB for the 32x. There’s also no music either, which makes this game sound like the most uneventful crowd in the history of the MLB. Just do yourself a favor and put on something else. You can really tell they just phoned this one in.
Overall, while you might think that because World Series Baseball is on the 32x, and there’s some more power involved, a new game in a long-standing franchise could take the best elements of previous editions and add better sound and graphics to make for an enjoyable sequel. Unfortunately, BlueSky got very lazy and phoned this one in straight from its Genesis brother WSB ’95. it didn’t even bother to TRY and make use of the 32x hardware in any way to make this game look good. Totally avoid this one.