Genre: Sports Developer: BlueSky Software Publisher: Sega of America Players: 1-2 Released: 1994
It just didn’t seem right. All of the other baseball games you’ve ever tried were normal! I mean, all other games had the fan-behind-the-plate view. This made for easy pitch placement and more challenging hitting. Any other view is impossible. Hell, if it was tried, the game would be horrible! What’s wrong with these game screens on the back of this game? Oh my, it seems as if the camera is right behind the batter! It’s like I’m a catcher! My, maybe this game has a chance. What’s it called again? World Series Baseball? Hmm, I think I’ll get it. And much like many other curious baseball fans did in 1994, they purchased a copy. When they came home and popped it in their Genesis, they knew that baseball video games would be changed forever.
World Series Baseball had many good ideas thrown in. The most obvious is the oh-so-close-up view of the batter. This made the game look very realistic, something missing from older games. The stadiums were VERY detailed for the day. The various corporate logos are barely bad enough to not pay extra for permission, but still recognizable enough to know what they are. Even though all the players are blank-faced and their uniforms nameless (Not even a basic city label), the sprites themselves are so gorgeous that it’s easy to look over. The graphics were a bit ahead of their time, especially with the outfielder animations. Home runs and strikeouts make the scoreboard go crazy, with little cartoons playing.
The modes are now basic for baseball games (except of course for a franchise mode). You’ve got the single game, home-run derby, season, and playoffs. The extra menus don’t really matter, as the real fun is in the actual game.
Pitching is done by a simple system. Pick the position, the pitch type, and the speed. Every different pitch actually has a specific route to get to the plate, keeping the player from just repeatedly pressing buttons to get the pitch across. While this helps, the batting system is REALLY dumbed-down compared to other games of the era. With the camera so close, you can’t move the batter in the batter’s box. This ensures that making contact with the ball is the easiest thing to do in the game. Something that has been constantly talked about with the series is the easiness to hit home runs. Well, I won’t lie, that IS true. Hell, with the right pitch, you can easily have guys like Pat Borders, Omar Visquel, and Felix Fermin boast four-homers games. Hell, I’ve even had Jose Mesa have a two grand slam game occasionally!
With that aside, the fielding is also very easy to control. The basic icons on the field make for easy catching, especially when the fielder is most likely under the ball before you know what’s going on. Ball control is the simple “C+ direction of base” controls. Base-running is actually one of the more complex things in the game. Hold B and the directions of the next base to run, A to go back a base. This can get a bit tedious when you can’t figure out exact directions, but that’s nothing.
Well, not much else can be said about a baseball game. Especially a baseball game as simple as this. But remember, back then this game WAS marveled for its innovation, and the graphics were phenomenal for the time. World Series Baseball should be REAL easy to find, and for cheap, it being a sports game and all. If it weren’t so easy to hit home runs, and if there were trading, I’d probably go ahead and give this a 9, but I’m going to stick with a good 8, and leave it at that.
SCORE: 8 out of 10