Reviewed in 2014 by Tibe

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Taking eyeful!

by Tibe (2014)

Baseball Stars Professional is the second baseball game made by SNK. The editor opened the ball in 1989 with Baseball Stars on the NES, which remained the benchmark on the Nintendo 8-bit. So the saga keeps going in 1990 with this title, which was one of the spearheads of the console "line-up" at its release. Back then, just by browsing the few screenshots of the game, it was legitimate to want more, as it was so gorgeous! Obviously we weren't all lulled to yank culture, with its bars full of big bikers wearing jeans vests and drinking Bud, its deliciously dumb blondes with advantageous silicon wafers, and its so particular ball sports having in common the Champion sock aroma brand. I understand that you're envious of being introduced to this exotic culture, so just for you, here are some basic rules to get you started in baseball.


Two teams face each other for nine rounds. One of them plays on offense and the other defence, each once per round. The offensive team lines up a hitter, while the defensive team has a pitcher, a catcher and seven players who can retrieve the ball once it's hit. The playing area consists of four bases forming a square, in the playing area in which the ball is can be landed. The hitter has to cross each base and get back to the starting point -fourth base- to score a point for his team. Hitter is eliminated if he misses 3 times the ball (provided it is properly launched), or if his shot is caught before touching the ground, or if he's stopped before getting on a base - if the ball is in possession of an opponent already on that base. If he performs 'Homerun' (ball hit out of bounds) the hitter automatically get a point, and more for the team if there are already other hitters on bases. When three hitter are eliminated, the phase ends, the attacking team passes on defence and vice versa.

Nothing but the intro, we understand that you are entitled to a demonstration of the Neo Geo capabilities: zooms galore, vocal digits at will, high quality musics, colorful and finely drawn characters... SNK unleashes the power! Oh for sure, now in 2014, this kind of kinematic strongman might not impress anyone anymore! But in 1990, it was something. Nostalgia stops there, because Baseball Stars Professional, despite the years that has passed, kept many of the qualities that made its charm. From its 50 mega high, the title still has a very special aura: at the release of the Neo Geo, it was one of the best titles available for the machine ! Critically acclaimed , also acclaimed by fans of baseball, our BS impresses the crowds. From a graphical point of view, the game is simple but finely designed, and perfectly colored. Lawns are beautiful and offer realistic colors , while the players and various accessories are greatly designed. Fantasy is still here anyway! The action is packed with small animations and intermediate screens punctuating the various phases of the game.

If the animation of the players is faultless, smooth and detailed, and the ball is also very well done. Public shrugs on three or four frames only, but hey, it 's a bit like the spectators in the background in any fighting game. But the real kick in the ass with Baseball Stars is the soundtrack. Voice digits are ubiquitous (and high quality) with a particularly talkative speaker, assisted with powerful sound effects and musics suiting particularly well the action. Gameplay is complete with intuitive controls: you can move hitter, perform a few different strikes, control the speed of your runs, steal bases, totally control the pitcher's launches... you even can play the coaching role with the ability to change players during the match. With sixteen teams in the roster and a well proportioned difficulty, our BS promises a lot of fun for the single player mode, and even more if you have the chance to play with a friend fan of baseball.



When it was released, BS was a real slap! No other baseball game was offering such splendid graphics. Plus, the game proposes two different stadiums... What could we ask more?
Real, Dynamic: for sure! Players' animations are pretty well made and the action always keeps clear, fast and taking. Intermediary screens are fun and numerous all along the games.
Here's the best feat' of the game: you feel like watching a baseball match on TV! The speaker comments the action all the way, the great musics and effects doing the rest of the job. Massive!
There's sixteen teams total each packing its own qualities and flaws; the single player challenge is high, but with a little practice, everything becomes possible. Games with friends still stand as the best part...
BS is simple, intuitive, comprehensive... well, it lacks nothing. Baseball aficionados will be pleased.



Baseball Stars Professional is one of the best games of baseball, all platforms included. Baseball Stars 2 is slightly better... and yet, it's just a matter of taste!


Usually costing less than fifty euros, BS is a good choice for any amateur of this sportor players looking for a sport game. BS2 is more ebulliant, have better graphics... but the sobriety of this first one still keeps some appeal, in a more "retrogmaing" style.

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