Neo-Geo

Baseball Anyone?

I'm talking about Baseball Stars 2 for the Neo-Geo by SNK from 1992. Easily, one of the best non-fighting games on that system.  As well as a huge improvement over the previous Baseball Stars Professional. Want some reasons, well here you go.

The graphics are vibrant and colorful. Even the details of those baseball players are insanely great too, especially when most players have the upper bodies of steroid freaks. Another positive is that the animation of this game are slick and polished. And yes, ANYTHING happens in Baseball Stars 2 like players jump around in celebrations, falls and slams their fist to the ground in disappointment, or breaking their baseball bats when they get a strikeout.

The sound is very crisp. But great. The overly ridiculous play-by-play announcer call every single part of the entire game. Whether the player gets a strike, changed a pitcher or batter, etcetera. The music is pretty cheesy, especially one half where it keeps saying the title of the game over and over again at the time. But still, its cheesy and good. Be aware, it'll might get stuck in your head after hearing it a lot.

The gameplay is pretty innovative for an early 90s sports game, as it bring fast-paced fun right to you. It's plays like a baseball game you see every time. Strikes, Outs, Homerun, Bunting, Pitching, Batting, Running you get the idea. However, there's some interesting additions in the game. For example, when you choose to use a timeout, you get the option to switch out a pitcher/battler or... you can use a power-up, and the bat beefs up into a bulky bat with a 'P' sign on it. Thumbs up to that! But be aware, those CPU fielders are fast, vicious catcher machines as they'll catch the ball pretty easily, resulting in a strikeout. Strikeout also happens when the fielder catches the ball form the ground and throws it at the base pitcher when the runner is running towards the nearby base. So it takes adjustment and skill to avoid the pitcher catching the ball pretty easily, and also avoid getting some fouls too.

But what really highlighted the game is the insanely fantastic presentation. The presentation! Where should I start? Oh yes, this game is presentation-heavy with split-screens, cutscenes, scenes of a pitcher catching the ball in midair. And yes, they even included fights into this game. It only happens when the pitcher throws the ball at the batter instead of the bat, resulting "Hit By Pitch". Once that happens, the batter runs up to the pitcher and sucker punched him in the face! Well done, SNK. And i really like how they tried to stop them. Hilarious. Even more insane, whenever you get a foul the ball sometimes starts flying backwards after hitting it, and it gets larger and larger like it's about to break through the screen!

Good. God. All this madness is gonna get your attention easily if you play this. A LOT. 

So, what my bottom line? Here's the kicker. Baseball Stars 2 is simply amazing from top to bottom. All thanks to its insanely face-paced gameplay, pretty amazing animation, great over-the-top presentation full of nonstop energy, and colorful graphics with an arcade feel to it.

It's baseball, in a ridiculously fun and humorous way. I 'dare' you to play this game. Go give this one a shot. Well? ...DO IT!!

 

FINAL VERDICT

Graphics: 9.5/10

Amazing animations and colorful graphics. Not to mention a lot of movements.

Gameplay: 9.5/10

Balls-to-the-wall fast paced gameplay, done in a excellent way.

Sound/Music: 8/10

Announcer talks nonstop, music is an odd mix. The "B-B-B-Baseball Stars 2" sample can slightly get a bit too annoying.

Presentation: 10/10

Splits-screens, cutscenes, there's too many to list that makes it fantastic.

Replay Value: 10/10

With or without a friend, you'll be playing this game several times. Trust me.

Overall: 10 out of 10