Major League Baseball



major_league_baseball_nes_title_screen

Yeah, this title screen is probably the best-looking part of the game.

“Have you ever seen kids play with junk, like throwing a broken bottle at each other or kicking a piece of rotten fruit back and forth, while they bask in the glee of blissful ignorance? Major League Baseball is like that.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

Happy Review A Bad Game Day 2013!

Seriously, August 8th is Review A Bad Game Day, if you did not know. It has its own official website and everything, which you should check out. Consider submitting a review; and if you do not make it in time, you can still enjoy reading the game-bashing by others, as we celebrate the communal joy of trashing crappy games. Fun stuff.

In fact, MLB is my pick for RABGD this year. It sucks. It is a bad game.

The line-up selection process is a nightmare exercise in tedium, ugliness, and unnecessity.

The line-up selection process is a nightmare exercise in tedium, ugliness, and unnecessity. Nothing about this portion of the game says “Hey, I was designed well!”

Sometimes, I feel like the best thing a bad game has ever done for me is affirm my reviewing beliefs. This game is no exception — when I examine this cartridge closely, I am further convicted of my opinion that a lot can be concluded about a video game from looking at its nitty-gritty details. I also think that context is important, yet objectivity is great as well.

In other words: No matter whether you compare it to other NES baseball games or just try to judge it on its own inherent entertainment merits in a vacuum free of the influence of other electronic gaming options, MLB still fails the test.

In fact, I made a silly little video, just to showcase how downright bug-ridden this stupid game is. This is a glitch occurrence within the top of the first inning I was playing, after the computer caught a pop fly while I had a man on first base:

Ridiculous.

Really, you should just read the full review for my lengthy beatdown of this bad game.  There are only so many words I can use to convince you that, indeed, MLB is terrible. It’s not even an LJN hatred — I have very fond memories of Jaws, and I really enjoy The Punisher, my favorite game from them. But with other carts out there like MLB, it is no wonder they have such a terrible reputation as an 8-bit publisher. Yuck.

Mid-swing. These brief moments of batting are, by far, the best part of Major League Baseball.

Mid-swing. These brief moments of batting are, by far, the best part of MLB.

Actually, wait, I do have one last question: Considering that even the real-life version of baseball is plagued with pacing problems, why were so many elements of MLB seemingly intentionally programmed to be slow? The whole roster-choosing sequence, the airspeed of thrown balls, that annoying brief pause after batting contact (seriously, does any other 8-bit baseball game have a freaking freeze, albeit brief, every single time you hit the ball?!), etc.?

You know what, never mind. Thinking about this game too hard is the sort of crawl down a dark hole that leads people to depression and suicide. Screw that.

Read The Full Review For: An epic (well, perhaps attempt-at-epic) takedown of nearly 2,000 words that examines this game’s flaws in both a general, overarching sense — and in a microscopic, specific, detailed perspective as well.

NES Gameplay Tips For Major League Baseball: As you practice your skills, focus on fielding; specifically, develop a sense of where your players are at the moment the opposing batter makes contact with the ball. Being able to get to that baseball ASAP is going to spell the difference between making outs and spewing a constant string of expletives under your breath.

In this sequence, I hit a fly ball out to left field. The computer fielder nearest to the ball decided to start running to the left, away from the ball, just so that some other shmuck can make the now-late play.

In this sequence, I hit a fly ball out to left field. The computer fielder nearest to the ball decided to start running to the left, away from the ball, just so that some other shmuck can make the now-late play.

Why did they even bother drawing people in the stands? It's like they gave the most minimal effort possible. Check out the random handful of different-colored fans in the upper-left corner. What's up with that?!

Why did they even bother drawing people in the stands? It’s like they gave the most minimal effort possible. Check out the random handful of different-colored fans in the upper-left corner. What’s up with that?!

 

One Response to “ Major League Baseball ”

  1. […] seem to veer too far toward either pole, but one review—1988 licensed sports title Major League Baseball—jumped out at me because it was both a favorite of mine as a child and a game often […]

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