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Both the one and two-player version highlight great pitching and batting action, fantastic graphics and some of the best sports action you'll ever find.
Kicking off their Cyber Stadium Series, Konami has introduced Base Wars. While it is similar to baseball, the players are mechanoids and the action can get pretty rough.
Skill at baseball is
secondary to combat, but the game is still enjoyable, especially
against human opponents, and the graphics and sounds are lively,
with nice voice samples.
Base Wars is not the world’s best sports game. However, the fighting system and the RPG upgrade system are unique enough to merit a look. It seems a shame that these concepts were never again applied to other sports titles. The ability to take a team and purchase upgrades should have been refined and sequeled, but as it stands Base Wars is little more than a good game, not a classic.
One-player is tolerable, but be forewarned, the computer will make mind-boggling comebacks. I was ahead 8 to 2 in the 3rd inning (out of a five-inning game) and at the end of the 3rd, the computer had scored 8 points, bringing their score to 10. I mention this particular game because I was actually winning for awhile; prior games, the computer slaughtered me every time. Point being, as with most sports games, two-player is definitely the way to go for maximum enjoyment. If all you have is a six-pack of PBR, a Bright Eyes mixtape, and yourself, you might be saddened by Base Wars‘ poor camera and the computer’s cheapness… among other things.
Aside from the mechanized players — who retain their novelty through the first couple of games — Base Wars' main innovation is that it requires hand-to- hand combat for possession of bases on force plays (though it doesn't happen that often in the average game). During pennant races, managers can buy spare parts for their players, enhancing speed, catching ability, etc., but the resulting changes are too subtle. Most of the time Base Wars plays just like a standard, respectable, human ball game — which is a shame.
If the tedious fights were taken out of Base Wars, or if the faulty computer intelligence had been fixed, a better baseball game would have been produced. As it stands though, Base Wars is just an inferior hybrid. The concept is fun to play with for a few hours, but it quickly runs out of gas.
The characters are large but their attack controls are rudimentary at best. Cornering the other guy and bashing him in the head repeatedly is usually the best strategy. Of course, when playing against the cheap CPU you'll be lucky to get in one punch! Another annoying aspect of Base Wars is how every other hit is a freakin' homerun - enough already! Still, I enjoy the brisk pace of the game and its over-the-top action. Base Wars certainly is unique and should appeal to most arcade-minded sports fans.