- Baseball Stars (1998 on Neo Geo Pocket, 1999 on Neo Geo Pocket Color)
Description official description
This NES version of Baseball Stars is the very first game in SNK's popular series. It is also the most comprehensive game in the series. You can create, name, upgrade, and manage your own team, as well as customize the team's logo and colors. You can also change the stats of each individual player by paying him or her more money (earned from winning games).
There are eight already-created gimmick teams that you can also play with, including the American Dreams, Lovely Ladies, and the Ghastly Monsters. You can set up a custom league which will keep complete stats on all players in the league. All games are played in the famous SNK Stadium.
Average score: 86% (based on 8 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 3 reviews)
Everything. From the ability to create and manipulate your own team, the season mode and of course, STATs. This game had it all. When I was a senior in college in 1990 we played this game practically every night for a solid semester. In fact, I had one friend who became so possessed by this game that he let his grades slip so badly he didn't make it back to school the following semester.
The game play was simple, fluid and extremely easy to pick up. Still love being able to scale the wall to rob someone of a homerun
The Bottom Line
14 years later this is still the most fun baseball game I've ever played, and I have all 3 consoles (PS2, XBOX & GC). Obviously today's graphics are quite superior, but nothing has matched SNK's gameplay. I just fired up the game today for the 1st time in 10 years. It was like finding an old friend.
This will remain as the standard bearer for all baseball video games. A true CLASSIC!!!!!
NES · by Eric W (2) · 2003
Once upon a time, there were sports games that did not feature the latest in professional jocks. While this is almost unthinkable today, it was quite common in the 8-bit and 16-bit console eras. Rather than being a detriment, however, this was turned into an overwhelming positive by creative game developers.
Enter Baseball Stars. Baseball Stars is a clever mix of a baseball game and team management simulation. A number of static teams come with the game, but the whole heart of Baseball Stars is the ability to create your own team. A number of logos and corresponding team uniforms are available for selection. Created teams start with a (very) modest crew of ballplayers, and players upgrade their team by earning money in season play.
The method of upgrading players is a very interesting one. Each player has a "contract value" (which corresponds to their general ability level). By "paying" that value, you get a random number of upgrade points (1 through 6) which you can allot to any skill attributes you wish. After being upgraded to a certain point, the player's contract value will increase, making the next upgrades more expensive. Players can also be fired, and you can buy free agents to take their place. Players have maximum skill values, so the smart game player will look for players that have a high maximum, and upgrade them to that point.
None of this would matter if the on-the-field gameplay was weak, but nothing could be further from the truth. Especially when compared to other NES (and even Super NES) baseball games, Baseball Stars plays like an absolute dream. Play control could not be any tighter, and while some things do take some getting used to (like knowing where outfielders are even when they're offscreen), the large majority of play is very strong.
There's very little to dislike about Baseball Stars. Unlike a number of old NES classics, the gameplay holds up incredibly well today.
One complaint would be that the game does not have an ultimate goal. Granted, most sports games don't (outside of the completion of a season/playoffs and such). However, Baseball Stars is not the average sports game, and it seems that once your team is maxed out, there's little left to achieve.
On fly balls (particularly shallow ones that require running up on), you will often need to control an outfielder that is not onscreen. This turns out to be easier than one might expect. The player usually aligns himself with the ball very well, and you only need run down (or down-and-in, if it's a left/right fielder), and the player will run right onscreen and into the ball's path. Still, it's not the most intuitive thing in the world... some visual feedback like a location arrow pointing offscreen would help. After a little practice, however, this becomes a non-issue.
Also, like many NES battery-saved games, Baseball Stars is perilously susceptible to memory wipes from turning the console off "incorrectly". My trick: don't try to release Power and Reset simultaneously - a finger slip can cost you. Hold Reset, press and release Power, and THEN release Reset.
The Bottom Line
Baseball Stars is a game that has never been topped. No other baseball game has captured the unique gameplay aspects of Baseball Stars - even the game's own sequels fall short. The core on-the-field play remains very solid, and the game is still a favorite when it comes time to fire up the old NES.
NES · by *Legion* (136) · 2003
Ahhh the memories.... This game is like an old friend. It brings back very warm memories of my childhood. I remember me and my 2 cousins sitting around and playing this game just about every day during the summers of 1990 and 1991.
This game had it all! It had great gameplay, was easy to control, and you could make up your own teams with all your favorite players. It was also very much ahead of it's time. It was the first baseball game that kept track of stats, and was also the first where you could trade players. Being able to make your players better by paying them was also a very cool thing.
Sure, this game may not have all the eye candy and features that today's baseball games have, but back in the early 1990's this game was pretty hard to beat as far as features go.
Well, there's not much that I didn't like about this game. The music did kind of get on your nerves. Also the graphics weren't the greatest, but then again this game was made in 1989! Can't be too picky in that area. Also playing a full 162 game season was impossible because the game would always erase our teams at about the halfway mark in the season! Then we'd have to start all over by rebuilding our teams, but then again that was part of the fun.
The Bottom Line
It's a very simple baseball game. Very little flash compared to today's baseball games. If you were old enough to be playing the old 8-bit nintendo system in the late '80's early '90's then this game will probably have a warm place in your heart. If you've never owned an old NES and the only game systems you've ever owned are PS1,2 X-Box, and GameCube, then you're probably not going to appreciate what this game is all about.
NES · by Matt Hill (2) · 2003
- Electronic Gaming Monthly
- November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #87 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (NES version)
- Game Informer
- August 2001 (Issue #100) - #63 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Rogee.
Arcade added by Michael Cassidy.
Game added November 11, 2002. Last modified February 20, 2024.