Super Baseball Simulator 1.000
It’s that magical time of year when most of the American populace turns to baseball to help get them through the drought of sports between the NBA Finals and the start of the NFL season. It seems like the perfect time to review a baseball game. Thankfully for me, Alex Weiss participated in my 2 Decades Late Reader Request series, and requested Super Baseball Simulator 1.000, a game I have yet to play. Well, I do love me some retro baseball so I popped this one in and gave it the old college try.
Right away I felt very familiar and at home with this one. It reminded me of a more polished Bases Loaded II on the NES, which is my favorite sports game of all time. This one features the behind the plate camera though as opposed to the behind the pitcher camera. It has no MLB license but it does feature a large selection of fictional teams. You are able to choose your stadium, alter your lineups, and choose your starting pitcher which I liked. You are also given the option to play the game yourself or play the role of manager, which is where the “Simulator” part comes in. For my first game, I chose to play. I believe Ron Burgundy said it best when he said, “I immediately regret this decision.”
The gameplay is rough. Rough is a nice word for terrible. Batting is odd as you are able to move your batter around the batter’s box while the pitch is in motion. Swing timing is way off from when you actually push the swing button. Baserunning is not intuitive in the least and makes a real chore of something that should be simple to control. The timing of how your player runs the bases in relation to how high and far the ball is hit is atrocious. For example, you can hit a ball off the top of the wall and still wind up getting thrown out at second base.
Just when you think that the nightmare is over, you quickly get to your third out and have to take the field. Pitching is aneurysm inducing. The ball rarely does what you have asked of it and you quickly resort to throwing nothing but fastballs. Good thing, too, because if you weren’t throwing such easy pitches to hit, you might never see how bad the fielding is. You never know which fielder you have control over so you frequently run in the wrong direction because the player you think is in a better position to make the play is rarely the player the computer has bestowed this distinction upon.
On plays where the second baseman is playing towards first and picks up a ground ball, the first baseman moves off of the bag and once you get the ball, you cannot run for some reason so your only options are to throw the ball into foul territory or hang on to it and let the base runner aboard. Did you want to dive for the ball? Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 cares not for your mortal requests. 99 times out of 100, your player will dive in the opposite direction making it appear as though he has a phobia of baseballs. Fly ball? Well good luck tracking it. The shadow does not change size and does not seem to move in time with the ball. If you were hoping to actually throw out a baserunner from the outfield, keep hoping. Once you lose sight of the infield, you must rely on the little baserunning map in the bottom right corner. It does not give you an accurate depiction of where a runner is on the base path at any given time.
After struggling through my first game, I decided to see what the management part as all about for my next game. Really, all the manager does as it pertains to a baseball video game is change your pitcher and position players. The rest of the time, you are just watching the game. You learn fairly quickly that 5 innings is the limit for your starting pitcher because he starts giving up home runs to everyone as of batter 1 of inning 6. In watching and managing the game, I had far more fun than I did playing it. This lead me to the devastating truth that this is a game that is far better if you aren’t actually playing it.
I had also heard legends of Ultra mode. That is essentially where the game is turned more into an arcade baseball game where players all have ridiculous powerups. I played a game like this and it is a lot better. I can see where this mode could be a bunch of fun with your friends as you use your fiery flaming 131 MPH fastball and your friend uses whatever powerup it is that literally spins the baseball field as you are trying to field the ball. I like the idea and can definitely see how this could make this a multiplayer baseball game of choice for some.
Presentation is nothing to write home about either. Soundtrack is fairly annoying and it loops and is never broken up with any other sound effects or quick jingles or high pitched screaming or anything. The game looks pretty but fails to impress on extras. There are no animations for home runs or player substitutions or even winning the game. Player substitutions just magically occur with no fanfare. For home runs, the view just switches to the scoreboard that says home run on it. It’s disappointing considering that even the NES predecessor of this game had fireworks for home runs. That just makes it seem lazy here.
Overall, you should
walk run 1,000 miles away from Super Baseball Simulator 1.000. It is a clunky excuse for a baseball game and it baffles my mind that so many people hold this game in such high regard. If there is one thing that this game did, it was to inadvertently allow me to kick off the Review a Bad Game Day ceremonies a tick early. Once again, that will be held on August 8 of this year. You can find out more information here. Many thanks to Alex Weiss for his reader request. If you have a reader request for me, please let me know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org