The PSN now offers the old Neo Geo title, Baseball Stars Professional. Considered a great game back when it was released in 1990, it hasn’t aged well.
The second you start the game, you are bombarded with weird music, weird voice overs and a pretty weird menu. The music gets pretty decent as you continue through the game, but the voice overs and frustrating menus do not help the experience.
As far as gameplay goes, I have one word for you: square. The square button controls every facet of the game. Wanna pitch? Square. Wanna throw to first? Square. Wanna swing your bat? Square. It’s simplistic and frustrating at the same time, as most players (or I am at least) are accustomed to using X for most things. But in Baseball Stars Professional, square is the only button you’ll need.
This simplicity makes the game sound easy to play, but this is not the case. The gameplay is incredibly clunky. It’s hard to pitch, and the computer always seemed to know what was coming. It’s hard to play in the field, as it’s very difficult to gauge where your player will be, or where the ball will drop. Playing offense is not that bad, but when you’re not grounding the ball to the pitcher, you’re popping it up to right field.
The graphics on the other hand, are pretty decent. It’s got a great retro feel, and the crowds are some of the best animated crowds I’ve seen in a sports game.
The only other positive I can take from this game are the brilliant and downright wacky names of the teams. Names range from the “World Powers” with a bear as a mascot to the “Creative Brains,” a team with a light bulb man as a mascot, and featuring players such as Einstein, Da Vinci and Picasso. The greatest of all of them, however, has to be the “Ninja BlackSox.”
Other than that, there’s nothing much else to take from this game. If you’ve got a nostalgic feeling for this one, or you really, really like baseball, try it out. If not, I suggest you pass.