Baseball Stars 2 (NeoGeo)

Datafile

Company: SNK
Year: 1992
Plataform: NeoGeo Consoles
Controller: Default controller of the console.

Foreword

Early 90s, SNK is still developing videogames for their NeoGeo consoles, with notorious success with some series, including many sports titles.

The baseball title Baseball Stars was really popular in the consoles where it was sold, and was successful enough to justify the development of a sequel bigger and improved.

And they made it, developing a really funny videogame, with a simple to learn and hard to master schema control, which for many of us is the definition of a great videogame.

Game

I think the runner is safe by now.

This videogame maintains the essence of the previous videogame, however the graphics were notoriously improved providing a cartoonish look to the videogame. Also the faces of the virtual baseball players which appear for the pitcher and batter. Consider that the number of distinct faces is a bit limited, and can become a bit repetitive, specially from the same team.

The controls are the typical schema control for a baseball videogame, even during the start of a match, the schema is explained in the screen. Where the instructions are for batting, or while playing defense. The controls are very responsive and it’s possible to execute double plays with great speed.

A new feature added to the videogame are the so called powerups, meaning that while batting, it’s possible to activate one. Then, the bat becomes bigger and, if hits the ball this one will travel faster and further. There is a limited amount of powerups per game, so don’t expect to use one in every at bat turn.

Casey at bat… errr… at pitch.

A trademark of the game for NeoGeo is that they can be played either in the arcade version, or in the home version. Considering that, while playing in the arcade port it’s mandatory to add a credit every now and then, to keep playing, regardless the score. This was made so no player could play forever while others waited hours to take a turn at the game. A side effect, is that for every credit added, increases the number of powerups available to the videoplayer.

If you consider that every two innings is necessary to add a credit, well, a powerup can be used once or twice per inning.

Finally, the videogame allows the videoplayer to choose from two fielding modes: an auto mode where the A.I. positions (quite accurately I must say) at the field, and a manual one where the videoplayer must move the closest fielder to the ball. In both modes it’s a bit hard to judge a flyball to rightly position the outfielder (moving them vertically), however it’s really easy to field in the infield (moving them horizontally).

Teams

As already mentioned, there are two modes of fielding, and each mode has their respective teams. Every team has strengths and weaknesses, mastering a certain skill.

LogoNameSkill
New York MonstersHitting
Tokyo NinjasSpeed
Napoli AngelsBalanced
Taipei HawksPitchers
Seoul IvoriesLuck
Sydney GriffonsFielding
Fightling League
LogoNameSkill
U.S.A. BisonsHitting
Japan SamuraisSpeed
Italian WavesBalanced
Taiwan DragonsPitchers
Korean Red VipersLuck
Aussie ThundersFielding
Exciting League

WHen the videoplayer chooses a team, it has to win 15 times to win the pennant. If able to do it, the final game is against a team from the other league.

Just like other game from the same company, I still don’t understand why an european team like Italy appears in the game instead of more traditional nations like latin american ones.

Other Ports

Nintendo NES

There was a videogame with this name for that console, but I’m not quite sure if it can be considered a true port of this game. IMO is more of a different game, even made form the same company, but with the same title.

Legacy

This game was really popular, which made SNK consider it a good choice to port it to their own handhelds.

Epilogue

Even the mascot goes to celebrate.

In my, by then, baseball-crazy hometown, this videogame was a true hit. The different skills of the teams caught the atention of many fans, specially in two-player contests.

I’m particulary bad at batting (quite the opposite pitching or fielding), so in every videogame I play, there are few homeruns. That was not the case in this videogame, it’s not an impossible mission to hit deep flys to the outfields. Of course, the powerups really helped to achieve that goal.

We highly recommend to play the videogame with auto fielding, specially if the videogame is a beginner in this videogame. Also it’s a bit easier to play with teams with skills in pitching or speed. I was really good with the Tokyo Ninjas team.

References

Sport Icon designed by Smashicons of FlatIcon licensed by CC 3.0 BY.

Console Icons taken from Retroarch.

EstadioRetro

Informatic guy and fan of retro videogaming. Mexican and spanish. I like to drink good coffee. My favorite sport is baseball, but I like to watch others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *