Super Baseball 2020

Neo Geo

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


The beloved Baseball Stars series ended with only one sequel. Before that incredible second entry, there was Super Baseball 2020, a fun, light, and enjoyable game of futuristic sports. It's an obvious testing ground for Baseball Stars 2 as the engine is familiar, but 2020 stands on its own.

superbaseball20201.png (9665 bytes)Unlike most sports games that set themselves in the future, Super Baseball still maintains what makes the sport enjoyable to play in backyards. The changes to the rules make sense, and haven't been switched or manipulated simply to make it different. The same number of players enter the game, there are still three strikes, and blasting a shot out of the park is still a homerun... almost.

The major change, aside from the players, is the field of play. A homerun is only good for a run if it hits a specific spot in centerfield. Foul balls are only such if they pop behind the batter. Everything else is fair game, off the glass-topped stands or not. The field will eventually be filled with mines (!), so it's imperative to watch your step.

superbaseball20202.png (8306 bytes)Fielding is where things don't go smoothly. The view is overhead, but too close to the field. There's no radar to indicate where you need to be, and the speed is incredible. It's been programmed however to put a player near the ball's eventual resting place. There's always a player nearby, limiting how much time the base runners have to make it to their destination. Jamming on the buttons increases their speed.

That increases the games obvious arcade feel, as does the roster. Players are armored (or robotic), the rather bland graphics being serviceable. Rosters can be broken down as the game goes, and those who have taken a beating need replacing. You can also use cash earned through play to power them up. This is one of the best features in the game, balanced so the losing team still has a chance to comeback. Great defensive play here is awarded even more so than offensive (there's still plenty to be made there too).

Pitching and hitting is of course plain. There's no real strategy on the batters part, keeping the game accessible to someone who just pumped a quarter into a MVS cabinet. It doesn't lessen the experience in the least. It makes it easier to get into, and stay involved.

These varied features make the game unique, add to the fun, and make this one of the best sports games on the hardware. If baseball does eventually turn out like this, this can be considered Baseball Stars 3. It's that much fun, and it's a perfect accompaniment to the two other national pastime games offered to Neo Geo players.


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Last updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 01:42 PM