Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


Complete with bat and ball, XaviX Baseball is one of the more impressive titles for the system. It’s intricate pitching does somewhat overpower the touchy batting, though it makes for some solid competitive gaming. This is one of the more impressive showings for the hardware, even with some limitations.

baseballxavix1.jpg (106405 bytes)The bat included is smaller than a standard one. It’s rubber tipped to prevent any injury giving it a lightweight. It can still sting or cause some damage making the smaller size a necessary trade off. The ball is regulation size in plastic. Buttons adorn the top to select from a variety of pitches.

Actual gameplay is simplistic. There’s no need to field the ball as an animation routine plays to show the results of the hit. The player cannot choose a different swing type, nor does it matter how the swing it made. As long as the XaviX can pick up the movement, it will generate a hit.

From the start, it’s a frustrating experience. There is no help as to the timing of a swing, and it’s impossible to know whether or not you’re missing the pitch or the console simply isn’t registering the swing. The included training mode is even less helpful tossing one pitch and expecting the player to nail the timing in that time frame. Until you finally grasp the mechanics, expect some frustration.

Pitching on the other hand works fine. Wide arrays of pitches are available, easily selectable by pressing a combination of buttons. It’s worthwhile to keep the manual handy until you know which set ups throw each pitch. No on screen indicators tell you which pitch you’ve tossed, obviously necessary to keep this information away from the opposing player.

To throw the pitch, you’ll need to master a timing mechanic. When the animation cycles to a certain point, that’s the spot you need to hit for a perfect throw. Baseball doesn’t register how fast the pitch was, so there’s no need to throw your arm out.

A decent selection of game modes is available, especially for multiple players. A tournament set up lets eight players face each other to determine a winner in playoff fashion, and thankfully the cartridge is able to suspend play. Solo play offers a short championship series against three teams while regular play is a single game affair.

Unlike other XaviX titles, flicking the bat or pressing buttons on the ball can handle menu selection. There’s no need to set up options on the console itself. Also, both the bat and ball require separate sets of batteries, which are thankfully included.

As a multi-player experience, there’s some enjoyment here. The lack of fielding is disappointing, though it’s hard to imagine how it could have been pulled off given the nature of the gameplay. Regardless, if you have the hardware, this is a solid example of what the technology is capable of once you past the learning curve.


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Last updated: Thursday, February 15, 2007 09:10 PM