Ken Griffey Jr. Major League Baseball

Nintendo 64

Review by Jeff Cooper



Graphics: ?

Sound: ?

Gameplay: ?

Overall: 4

kengriffeyn641.jpg (42206 bytes)Nintendo's marketing and advertising crew deserves four stars and a gold medal. Their carefully crafted TV commercials create an astonishing illusion to make this shitty videogame look fun. Don't be fooled. This latest installment in the Griffey series is yet another flop in the amazingly uneven library of N64 games.

I struggle to think of anything positive to say about this clunker. The unimpressive graphics are blown away by other baseball offerings for the N64. The gameplay is so-so at best. It lacks basic features like create-a-player and even instant replay. The bland announcer adds nothing in the way of excitement with his shockingly limited commentary, and the AI would make you think this was programmed by the producers of "Dumb and Dumber."

Tie game, bottom of the ninth. Runners on first and second, one out. You crack a sharp grounder directly to the second baseman. He throws the ball to third instead of going for the double play! This sort of thing was intolerable five years ago. Was this game play-tested? Whiff a batter on a 40 mph change-up, and Griffey's voice will suddenly chime in with some insipid comment about the pitcher's unhittable fastball. When the computer's starting pitcher grows tired he responds by taking more time--lots more time--to deliver a pitch. You'll find yourself screaming at him to throw the goddamn ball and wondering why any moron (no doubt in a ridiculous effort to inject "realism") would add this painful slowdown feature to the game.

kengriffeyn642.jpg (38803 bytes)Griffey Baseball does incorporate some cool new camera angles and offers a choice of cursor controlled or standard "arcade style" hitting, an option that should be included in all future baseball games, but if you're looking for the next leap forward in sports programming, you're going to have to look elsewhere. This game has a rushed-to-market, "first effort on a new console" feel to it, which is amazing when you consider that they delayed its release for something like a year.

I rated this game a 4 not because there is no fun to be had (it's at least playable, in spite of the flaws) but to warn you not to buy it. You'll have much more fun with any of the highly rated baseball games for the Saturn or Playstation; more importantly, Acclaim's All-Star Baseball for the N64 greatly outshines the Griffey disappointment in every area.

A couple years back, Electronic Arts upset its fans by canceling the release of an impending football title, I think for the Playstation (Ed. note: Madden '96). EA explained that the game simply wasn't up to snuff, and they were going back to the drawing board. Nintendo should have shown a little integrity by doing the same thing with Griffey Baseball. Instead, Nintendo decided to rip off its loyal customer base, knowing full well that many people would buy this mediocre crap because of the Griffey name, the success of the two Griffey titles for the SNES and, especially, the fact that they would be the first to release a baseball title for the N64.


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Last updated: Friday, September 30, 2005 09:53 PM