Ninja Baseball Bat Man


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7.5

Ever play a game, finish it, then realize you have no idea what the hell just happened? Ninja Baseball Bat Man is of those games. It's so weird, sick, twisted, insane, and demented you can't help but be drawn to this wholly Japanese title.

NBBM centers around a group of baseball artifacts stolen from the Hall of Fame, though it's not called the Hall of Fame (lawyers, gotta love 'em). These artifacts include all the pieces to a statue which has a startling resemblance to Babe Ruth. To get everything, you'll have to travel across the US, beating down countless enemies looking to impede your progress.

Oh, the enemies? Well, there's a lot of 'em. You know, the usual. Giant upright walking baseballs, kitchen appliances, mobster dogs, pogo sticks, baseball gloves, playing cards with a top hat, living cooked double cheeseburgers, a dead bull head made alive via various table decor, and some that are pretty much impossible to describe. Animation is slightly choppy, but the sheer variety of opponents is more than just about any brawler on the market, ever. Some of the bosses are so colorful, there's hardly anything else like them in video game land.

Gameplay is pretty standard with 4-player support, the quick, slow, all-around characters, basic controls, and nicely implemented combo system combined with pin-point hit detection. Enemies can be beaten when down and specials come off flawlessly with a combined button press.

Everything is right with the world until the volume is turned up. I think (stress think) that this is supposed to be some kind of techno, but it's more along the lines of "kitties tail being stepped on while it's nails claw a chalkboard." There's a grating beat under the action and the boss theme is simply impossible to comprehend. It's enough to drag the entire game down a point or two and possibly even turn off a few potential players.

Very few games this Japanese ever make it to these shores, but Irem took a chance. It's the right choice based on the gameplay, but I can't imagine a more mainstream gamer selecting this one over one of the more popular BEU's of the period. The few who can turn the volume down and understand the underlying humor will be seriously surprised by this niche' title.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:29 PM