Reviewed in 2011 by Tibe

NINE YEARS LEFT TO PLAY BASEBALL!

by Tibe

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It's funny to think now that back in the nineties,  people believed that after the year 2000, the world would be invaded with robots and everything would change... This is partly true, but now we are in 2011, and it's quite hard to imagine robots playing baseball and running after the ball on a lawn, even in a few years... Meanwhile, the concept was original and fun! SNK/Pallas propose here an alternative to Baseball Stars Professional, combining a well-crafted videogame of baseball in an epic atmosphere of future cyber-sport... Sounds exotic! After choosing between two championships (two different difficulty levels, in fact) and also versus or single player mode, you choose a team, among the six available in each league. Each has its own strengths: powerful hitters, talented pitchers, fast runners, balanced team... and a mysterious '?' factor!

A tin can performing a homerun... Breathtaking, isn't it?
A tin can performing a homerun... Breathtaking, isn't it?

The game sens good vibrations right from the beginning, with the cyber-speaker accompanying the choices in the menus, sort of robotic Bob Sheppard with the most beautiful voice effect, accompanied by a robotic melody. All this immediately put the player into the cybernetic XXIst century's atmosphere... It reminds a little Soccer Brawl! The party starts with a small sequence that leads to the field, the Cyber-Egg. Ground grid, manicured lawn, tribunes protected by glass domes... This stadium is very nice, and it better be as it's the one and  only you'll see during the game. Robots and humans share the spotlights on the playing area. When I tell humans, this is partially true... These beings are equipped with cybernetic arms or legs (and sometimes both, if you invest...) allowing them to provide outstanding performances. The players are very well drawn and move fast, it's nice to see! The action is fluid and the various gestures well decomposed, all this making the game very dynamic.

Nice kinematics punctuate the action.
Nice kinematics punctuate the action.

During phases of play, the four buttons are used. When we launch, we're able to control the trajectory of the ball during its flight and also determine its power with the direction of the stick, before hitting. The B button performs a base touch, ie throwing the ball to the corresponding base (with the four directions of joystick), when an opponent tries to steal it (running from one base to another while you're not looking). When we control recevers, we have to catch the ball, if possible before it hits the ground. If this is not the case, you have to quickly pick it up and throw it to the base that the opponent wants to take... If the ball is in base before he arrives, it will automatically put him "out". For the hitter, move him as you like in the hit area, then you can make several choices. Hitting the ball with A (the angle, the time you hit the ball, and the quality of the launch all have an influence on the result),  steal a base with B (provided you have at least one player set on a base already), make a small hit with C, and call a time out with D.

With a little practice, you'll send this ball exactly where you want!
With a little practice, you'll send this ball exactly where you want!

You can accumulate money gains during the game, rewarding beautiful shots, beautiful strokes, bases taken but also when you win points! Then you can upgrade the entire team, but also improve each player individually. It all depends on your budget and your strategy! Three power levels are available for each value, whether you want to "create" a great hitter, a great runner or an ultra-fast thrower... In fact, those are very nice opportunities that are motivating for the game. And it will not be too much, because the championship is not easy to win.: the CPU - as usual-  shows no mercy, and those upgrades might be very helpful. Of course, the two players game is still the funniest and the most entertaining mode. Including $ gains during phases of the game spices up the debates! The replay value is very good, every game is long... but first, you have to love this sport! The confrontation is usually addictive, but the duration of the matches might surprise the uninitiated. Anyway, there's much pleasure to play with 2020 Super Basebal. Honest realization, successful "cyber" atmosphere... a game that will delight baseball fans for sure.


GRAPHICS

74%

Fine graphics, with robots that are nicely drawn, but only one stadium available... So it's not too varied!
ANIMATION 87%
All moves are smooth in 2020 Super Baseball: the game is fast-paced, dynamic, and the zoom abilities of the Neo Geo are well used.
SOUND 81%
Futuristic techno music, digital FX and numerous robotic voices... Everything in this chapter has been made to throw the player in a future  era!
REPLAY VALUE 79%
Two leagues, many different teams and a tough championship to win! And there's still the Versus Mode of course, the most interesting one.
GAMEPLAY 76%
Traditional Baseball rules are used, with few new subtilities (mines, homerun zone, etc) and the possibility to gain money, allowing to upgrade your team. This is a very good idea which gives more will to win!

NEOGEOKULT

RATE

78%
Not as good as the superb Baseball Stars 2, 2020 Super Baseball is still a fresh game packing a lot of fun.

VALUE FOR MONEY

Count between 40 and 70 euros depending on condition and version. If you're a fan of the sport, some very good times await you. For others, go your way ...

Bannière bouton
Bannière bouton