Baseball Stars 2


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 9

Simplicity is truly an art form and games like Baseball Stars 2 on the Neo Geo prove it. No "pitch meters," no "batting squares," no advanced controls, just good ol' fashioned baseball. Not only does the game look great, but the gameplay is just a blast, especially with 2 people.

The first game in this series was a decent, if somewhat hard to control, game of baseball. Baseball Stars 2 revamps the game engine completely and ups the graphics to levels never seen before on the Geo. Players chew gum, spit, break bats, collide with each other, and even charge the mound after a pitcher takes a cheap shot at the batter. (still a rarity even in today's "advanced" games) Still frame cinematics also pop-up to enhance the game, much like Tecmo's classic Tecmo Bowl series of football games.

The game offers a few features that only a select few games have featured. 5 times during the game, players have the ability to "upgrade" (for lack of a better term) their batter. This will most likely get the player a HR if contact is made. This adds a great deal of strategy to the gameplay as using these too early will leave you open later in the game. No season mode is available, a tournament feature will keep most gamers happy. Of course, most players will find themselves so engrossed in the 2-player game, that they won't even know that the tournament is an option.

The sound in the game is also fantastic as great play-by-play accompanies the action. Smacking a ball for a long shot gives the player a satisfying thump of the bat and the music changes depending on the current situation. The crowd recognizes their favorite players on the made-up teams and makes sure you know when you've screwed up.

Die-hard baseball fans may gripe about the lack of control over pitching or the simplistic batting interface, but these people take their sports games way too seriously. The best way to describe the game to those who don't know anything about it is to imagine a baseball game made by Midway that closely resembles their classic NBA Jam series of games. Simple, fast, fun, with little regard for the rules. Anyone with a Geo owes it to themselves to own this one as it's one of the best games the console has available.


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Last updated: Friday, December 26, 2003 09:19 PM