Friday, January 25, 2019

All-Star Baseball 2005 XBOX

O.K. so this Isn't really a "retro" game ,but All Star Baesball 2005  has been around now for nearly 20 years!Over 20 years If you count It's inception on the N64 back In 1999.The franchise came a long way and quickly became a worthy opponent ,going head to head with games like MVP 2005 and the  MLB 2k series.This Is a quality baseball game with great graphics and some cool bonus modes for the baseball historian .The one gripe against the game lies In the player animation.Players make  catches or plays In the field and oddly get back into a baseball  ready position.It looks really awkward and unnatural.Also ,the batter animations look a little stiff.The sound Is fantastic .The crack of the bat when you make contact is pretty satisfying.Tom Brenneman and Steve "Psycho" Lyons   do a great job of calling the game. 

The game ,at It's core ,Is enjoyable.You get all the normal bells and whistles of  a 200X gen baseball title like season and franchise modes and you can even create your very own expansion team!Cool,right? But wait,there's more ;)Bonus play offers a nice selection of extra game modes.The other day ,I decided to kill some time before dropping the kids off at school by playing the TWIB challenge.It was surprisingly fun.Tom Brenneman and Steve Lyons start off by giving you a quick synopsis of what the challenges entail.There are many different in game scenarios of  noteworthy plays from the 2004 season to choose from but only a few are available at the onset.The first challenge involves the infamous interference call,or should I say non call that took place at Wrigley.All Star Baseball 05 is a great baseball game that still holds up today.It's super inexpensive and with all the extra modes of play,totally worth checking out!


                                     IS IT PLAYABLE TODAY RATING 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Triple Play '97 PS1

Triple Play baseball dates back to the Sega Genesis.It was one of the more realistic baseball games on the market ,along with Sega Sports World Series Baseball.I remember liking World Series better but after  having problems with the save function , Triple Play became my go to baseball game.Triple Play 97  was EA's  first crack at a baseball game  on Sony's revolutionary 32 bit system.I never got to play It back when It released ,sticking mainly to Sony's SCEA  MLB series  of games.I played tons of Triple Play baseball on the Genesis so I decided to pick this title up to see If  EA made any monumental improvements with an extra 16 bits to mess around with.Prior to making this post ,I played a quick 9 inning,rookie mode  exhibition game as a refresher.

                                                                 The game Is leaps and bounds better than it's  16 bit predecessor,but that was expected.The opening FMV sequence of generic ballplayers turning a triple play Is pretty cool.One thing that stood out as being a little funky to me were the generic player models.While the stadiums are all In 3D ,the players seem to be 2D. Maybe I'm describing this  wrong but that's just how It comes across to me on the screen.It works,I guess ,but still looks a little odd.Especially when fielding.Graphics are  a little grainy by today's standards  but must have wowed gamers back then.Add to that a new to the franchise , live ,albeit repetitive play by play announcer.The sound Is decent.Even today ,I play this on a 24 inch TV with a blue-tooth speaker connected to it and It sounds pretty crisp.If you turn up the sound effects In the in-game options you can really hear the pop of the mits when the players catch the ball.I love how the player stats roll out under the batter when he comes up to bat but hate the fact that there are no complimenting player pictures.In fact the only time you'll get to see an actual player pic In this game will be when you look at the cover . Gameplay Is simple.Throw the ball and direct It with the directional pad,ala R.BI. baseball.In "rookie" mode anyways.I tried playing a season on "Pro" and It was way to difficult.Opposing hitters went deep way too frequently,making games longer and more drawn out.In "rookie" mode the game flows better,quicker and keeps things close for the player.

Overall your getting a decent baseball game here,but Is It playable today?You won't get sucked into it and want to play It over and over again,obsessively.There's very little micro managing involved ,just bare bones baseball.Stat tracking keeps It interesting but Its definitely just a game that you play for a week or so ,and then stash for a rainy day.Speaking for myself ,of course.

           Is It Playable Today Rating 


Sunday, August 5, 2018

MLB The Show 2016

I know this one doesn't qualify as an "older " sports game as It It Is only a couple of years old,but I had to write this post due to the amount of angst this game has caused me.Holy crap,where do I begin?

This past winter ,I received my first ,somewhat, next gen system.A PS3. Naturally, I was going to add the most recent MLB title available  so  MLB The Show 16 It is.Up until playing The Show ,I was gaming mostly on my PS1,original XBox and Sega system,rocking out on games like World Series Baseball,High Heat etc.I wasn't prepared for the level of realism I was about to be exposed to with The Show 16 .This shock,however,would soon be replaced with utter  rage!

If you haven't played any of the Show's yet,prepare yourself.You'll want to start off on an easier hitting difficulty  before putting your big boy pants on and stepping It up to All-Star,HOF and Legends levels .You'll probably find yourself wanting to move up immediately as the easier difficulty levels can be ,well,too easy.The problem with that Is that the harder levels are so challenging that the game won't be fun anymore.No my friends,much like In real life you will be grinding out at bats,striking out a ton and losing ALOT!And ,again,much like In real life,losing Isn't fun.Not to mention your players stats plummeting to the point of little snowflakes being placed next to their names In the lineups due to them slumping.Pitchers will change speeds on you,fastballs will actually rise and entice you to swing ,that is,when they're not tying you up inside.You'll be swinging and missing  early at change ups  and by the 9th inning , when you find yourself losing 1 to nothing with a total of 3 team hits,you'll want to throw a 98 mph controller.

This past weekend I knew what a real MLB team  felt like after losing 14 games In a row.It was the most games I'd lost consecutively In any sports game ,EVER!I exhibited every negative human emotion  possible  except for crying.In fact,they say crying can be a positive thing and now that I think about It,I probably should have cried a little .It might have helped.My poor dogs had to suffer through sudden outbursts as I shouted out  expletives that even as an adult would have most certainly got me sent to my room.Finally,after binge playing all of Saturday morning,I won an extra inning game In the bottom of the 10th on a Conforto walk off,snapping my 14 game skid.I am now 11.5 games out of first and In last place.I'm not exactly sure If I ever want to play this game again.Frankly,I'ma little frightened at the prospect of another losing streak.Nah,who am I kidding.In fact right after this post I'm gonna fire up the old PS3 and see If I can't get this team on the right track.But first I'm hitting the cages ;)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

NFL QB Club 97 PS1

If you love sport games , PlayStation  Is the console to own.Not only are there multiple brands and franchises for  each sport ,but most can be found used and sometimes brand new for under 5 bucks!Not all  games are playable today ,but for the price ,they're at least worth picking up  for a test drive.Seriously,you can walk into a used game shoppe with 10 bucks and easily walk out of there with 3 to 5 decent PS sports games .Enough to  curb that  adult attention deficit disorder  for a good couple of hours.

NFL Quarterback Club 97 was an impulse buy.I wasn't about to pass up on that .99 cent price tag.

I'm always taken by the box art and screen shots on the backs of  jewel cases .Game company's do a good job of  making a game look better than what It actually was. I remembered playing QB Club all the way back when It was on the Genesis and Super Nintendo.One of my favorite aspects of the franchise was the QB challenge mode,which Is mysteriously omitted from the PlayStation version.There are a few other knocks against this game ,like season mode.You see down there under the "Gridiron Gameplay" heading where It says that you can track your own team and player stats ?Well,It means exactly that.You can only track YOUR stats ,so there's no  league leaders or league stats for you to look at during season mode.Oh,and you can only check your players stats in game by pausing It and scrolling down to player stats.Also ,there's no coin toss at the beginning of games.WTF!?!?I like the graphics ,though.The players are small but chunky and while the animations are less than stellar,the stadiums are vibrant and the sound is pretty solid.  

Is It playable ,today?

I think so.On the pro level with realistic player stamina It can be pretty even steven as far as the AI opponent goes.A human opponent might be a better experience.You'll fumble a lot In this game so be prepared for lots of late game losses when your fatigued running back decides to cough It up at the very last minute. Like a lot of other football video games,there Is always that fail safe pass or running play that comes In handy late In the game . Once you find yours,It's pretty much anybody's game.Another positive  is the length of time It takes to finish a game.With the game clock set to accelerated you can get through a game In less than 20 minutes.Having less time on my hands these days,that always comes In handy. The one glaring disappointment Is the lack of a QB challenge mode.Other than that,for the price,you could do a lot worst.

Is It Playable Today Rating 


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Video Game Legendz Series 1

Sorry about the lack of posts.The holidays, snow shoveling and dog walking has got me In a frenzy.This will be a quickie post displaying another custom sports video game themed card.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

If It's In The Game,It Might Be In The Game !

EA Sports famous slogan -" If It's In The Game,It's In The Game".And then later on It would be shortened to a more, straight to the point  - "It's In The Game".This was true of all the newer  installments of their sports video games.Not so much for the introductory releases.Every year ,my nephew and I couldn't wait for the new Live for the PS1 to hit  store shelves,because,even though EA claimed to put everything that was In the real game into the video game,such wasn't   the case. That's how EA got you,by incrementally adding content to each years release.We knew that EA did this gradually,adding more and more realism with every release.For instance ,It wasn't until NBA Live 99 on the PS1 that we would see the bench players along the court side .<Funny how the majority of 16 bit NBA games all had visible bench players along their court sides

NBA Live 98 was the third released game from the series on the PS1  ,and while not much changed graphically from the year before ,new game modes and color commentary lent more credibility to the "It's In The Game" claim.

Is It playable,today?

Meh.It's a little bit on the easy side but I guess you could mess with the settings to remedy that  via the "keep scores close"  feature.Even though I hated the idea of the cpu interfering with the outcome of my games.Also,If your a fan of  that late 90s dynasty Bulls squad with Dennis Rodman (you'll have to create Jordan ,though)then this Is definitely a game you're gonna want to snatch up at some point.You can get the game  complete  for about $4 bucks  shipped .That's not bad considering the re play-ability.Plus you get to air It out from beyond the arc with  guys like Reggie Miller  and Detleff Schrempf  while recreating greatness with the likes of Malone and Stockton.

Is It Playable Today Rating