All-Star Baseball 2001
www.nintendo.com – Nintendo 64
Acclaim's new diamond Pak hits to all fields.
With last year's N64 diamond contenders EA Sports, Nintendo and Konami sitting out this season, cynics might expect Acclaim to trot out a tired retread of its venerable sim.
Instead, the company took the risky move of farming out coding chores to Chicago's High Voltage Software, best know to N64 fans for kiddie-car Pak Lego Racers N64. While this year's version boasts no earth-shaking innovations, it's a muscular Pak that should amply satisfy your baseball jones.
Right from the get-go, ASB 2001 lets you play with recent Cooperstown Legends such as Joe Morgan, Nolan Ryan and Whitey Ford. Despite an oddball default lineup (sluggin' Willie Stargell batting third?), it's a fun team. Our only beef is with the hackneyed Field of Dreams ballyard in the middle of a cornfield. It would have been far cooler (and pretty cheap, probably) to pick up the rights to a genuine ballpark of yore, like New York Giants' Polo Grounds.
Back to the present: rosters were set quite late, so Ken Griffey Jr. is a Red. However, Kent Bottenfield is still the Cardinal's number one starter.
The development team has obviously taken great pains to accurately model more than 100 different batting stances. Fans will instantly recognize Griffey's calm, erect stance and Rickey Henderson's cobra-like coil.
In a move calculated to appeal to Slugfest fans, High Voltage has added an Arcade Quickplay mode that strips out the fancy-schmansy cursor graphics for both pitching and batting.
Instead, moundsmen heave the ball plateward and batters whack indiscriminately, generally resulting in a yard job or at least a long drive. Deft use of Pitcher Aftertouch, which allows you to control a pitch in-flight, can the damage to, oh, about four or five runs an inning.
Fortunately, both Arcade Quickplay and plain-old Quickplay let you pick a team, something you couldn't do in last year's Quickplay.
For players used to free-swinging rival games, ASB's batting options ? contact vs. power swing, the ability to guess a pitch and direct the ball ? can be daunting. Imitation being the sincerest form of game development, High Voltage has added a Batting Practice mode inspired by Konami's Bottom of the 9th. An inside forkball from a submarining southpaw is but one of the choices you can specify in this mode's exhaustive configuration menu.
Loathers of interleague play will be happy that ASB 2001 gives you an option for playing a full season within your own league. You can also play a season as short as 13 games, with each game lasting a scant one inning. You can also skip the preliminaries and go right to a postseason that starts with the Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series.
ASB's extensive general manager options for trading, calling up minor leaguers and claiming free agents will especially come in handy if you've green-lighted spring training, injuries and ejections. Like a dedicated letter carrier, you can play in the snow or rain and at day, dusk or night. High Voltage has even tossed in an abbreviated version of baseball's official rules.
It's an Acclaim sports game, so no one should be surprised that menus tilt heavily to the complex side. Kudos to the publisher for promoting literacy among America's youth with a highly detailed manual.
Responding to user complaints, High Voltage has dumped most of Michael Kay's oft-forced color commentary but has retained John Sterling's plain-vanilla play-by-play. Overall, Sterling's calls seem a lot smoother, without obvious pauses between stitched-together voice samples (e.g. "Slider ... way outside").
ASB 2001 includes the spanking-new home fields of the Giants, Tigers and Astros. The fields with striped turf look particularly good. For reasons best known to High Voltage, the Enron scoreboard blares "Evea Mike says he looks better in hi rez."
This solid hitter is available now.
Added by Evil Ryu (49941) on Aug 15, 2005
Acclaim US website - Nintendo 64/Game Boy Color
The best baseball game for the Nintendo 64 just got better!
All-Star Baseball 2001 is the home run-swatting, double play-turning, hit and run, throw-'em-out-at-the-plate phenomenon that is the answer to all your baseball prayers. Have a look at the features that truly do honor to America's Great Game!
Added by Xoleras (66397) on Sep 05, 2004
Press Release - Nintendo 64
Acclaim Sports' All-Star Baseball 2001 Ships
Only New Baseball Game for Nintendo 64 Already Drawing Critical Praise
GLEN COVE, N.Y., March 30, 2000 - Acclaim Sports, a division of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKLM), a leading worldwide interactive entertainment company, today announced that All-Star Baseball 2001 for the Nintendo 64 has shipped to retailers across the US. Developed by High Voltage Software, Inc., All-Star Baseball 2001 is the only new baseball game for the Nintendo 64 this season, and is already drawing rave reviews from the industry. In their May issue, Incite Video Gaming magazine gave the game a five-star review, calling All-Star Baseball 2001 the "slickest, smoothest, most scintillating baseball game this season, spanning all systems."
Endorsed by New York Yankees' superstar Derek Jeter, All-Star Baseball 2001 features the first ever Hall of Fame team with players like Reggie Jackson and Nolan Ryan. The game also includes key features such as: third-generation Hi-Rez(tm) graphics and realistic player animations unmatched in any baseball title; all 30 Major League Baseball teams and over 900 players; all-new batting practice mode; faster gameplay and easy batting/pitching options.
"Having the only new baseball game for the Nintendo 64 didn't mean that we could rest on our past successes with the All-Star Baseball franchise," said Rick Mehler, marketing manager for All-Star Baseball 2001. "We've taken what everyone loved about last year's game and made it even better - it's safe to say that fans will be blown away by All-Star Baseball 2001."
Nintendo is co-marketing All-Star Baseball 2001 with Acclaim Sports to make it the must-have baseball title for this season. The release of All-Star Baseball 2001 is supported by a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, starring all-star shortstop Derek Jeter. Beginning on baseball's opening day, television spots will run on national network, cable and syndicated programs. Supporting the campaign will be print advertising in major gaming and sports publications, targeted online advertising on gaming, sports and baseball websites, a major in-store point-of-sale program including floor graphics and wall posters, and national cross-promotions with New Era Cap, Fleer/Skybox trading cards, and Sports Fan Radio.
More information regarding All-Star Baseball 2001 and Acclaim Sports can be found at http://www.acclaimsports.com/.
Acclaim Entertainment Background Information
Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and mass marketer of software for use with interactive entertainment platforms including Nintendo, Sony Computer Entertainment and Sega hardware systems, and PCs. Acclaim owns and operates six studios located in the United States and the United Kingdom, and publishes and distributes its software directly in North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Australia. Acclaim also distributes entertainment software for other publishers worldwide and publishes comic books and software strategy guides. Acclaim's headquarters are in Glen Cove, New York, and Acclaim's common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol AKLM. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.acclaim.com.
Added by skl (1149) on Mar 14, 2004