World Series Baseball
Copyright/Publisher: Imagine, Genre: Baseball,
Release Year: 1986,
Number Of Players: 1 or 2
Classic simulation of the American mega-sport.
Detailed graphics, with close-up video screen.
It's the ninth innings, two men out and the bases loaded, the visitors have a 4-3 lead.
You, the visiting pitcher, stride to the mound, spit out your gum and survey the field.
The wind up the infamous sidewinder pitch and let go. CRACK! The ball spins of the bat
and high into the air where a grateful first baseman takes the catch and ensures
victory over the computer.
This tale of thrills and excitement can come true every time you play the baseball
simulation. You can take on another player or the ace computer side in a struggle of
skill and bluff. The battle is over nine innings of the American game, which is like
rounders, only more sophisticated.
There are two sections, pitching and batting, and each requires skilful timing and
cunning tactics. The action takes place on a field of which you have a view of from
above and behind the home plate, where the batter stands. There is also a close up
video screen in the stadium which allows you to the pitching and the batting in detail.
The pitching is done by throwing several types of ball all of which are thrown using
the joystick. These range from fast and high to slow and low. Some of the pitching
options are illegal, but still very useful when playing a human opponent (though not
the computer!!), as you may trick him into swinging at an unplayable ball.
Your initial aim is to 'strike-out' your opponent by getting him to miss three balls.
If he does hit the ball your control switches to fielder closest to it. You can either
try to catch it, if it is in the air, or field it and try to get the runner out at a
base. You can throw between bases as well and even get more than one man out in a
single play. Once you've got three men out the sides change roles and you take over
When batting you see the ball fairly late and quickyl have to decide what sort it is
and how to hit it. You have fast, normal and slow batting strokes. Pick the right one
and time the bat well and you could see the ball sail for a home run.
A little triumphant tune is played as your man steams around the bases celebrating.
Your men run automatically when the ball is hit, so well placed blows are necessary
to avoid getting caught or run out, if you can get the bases 'loaded'
(a man on each base) and hit a 'homer' you'll get four runs and a massive psychological
boost over your opponent.
The computer plays a very canny game, fielding brilliantly and hitting nearly evrything
you throw at it. The only way to beat it is to close it down as much as possible when it
is batting and hope to score sime home runs of it's pitching. This is easier said than
done though and victory over the computer will be harder than against a human opponent.
It's a pity there are no wild celebrations at the end of a victoriuos game.
However after the first and sixth innings there are sets of cheerleaders who come on
and leap about to support their team. These are accopanied by a tune and other ditties
play at the start, on the title screen at the start, on the title screen and for home
The Imagine name returns to the market with a sports simulation. Will they be lucky
second time around? Well, judging by this game's standard they should do a lot better
than before. Detailed graphics, jingles and animation all add to the razzmatazz of the
game giving it true realism. Control is tricky and the computer will hammer you at
first, but with perserverance, revenge will be sweet. An excellent release.
I'm not exactly well clued up in the field of baseball and have never thrilled to the
delights experienced by your average American. But a couple of plays of this soon changed
my whole outlook. Love it! The excellent attention to detail is really good and adds
immensely to the game (Not that a'lot needs adding).
There's nothing quite so much fun as a last gasp win against a frantic opponent,
particularly if it's the computer. The graphics are passable and so is the sound but
the real key is the two player game and the atmosphere and competitive spirit that goes
with it. It's frustrating at first against the computer so I advise you to start
against a beginner friend and move up to the expert later.
If your human opponent is inattentive you may be able to steal a base from him by
sneaking your man along before he can get the ball to the base. Don' try it against
the computer though since it fields far too quickly for you to catch it out.
The pitcher also has a steal option which allows him to try and catch out a runner at
a base by throwing it there instead of pitching. This is particularly effective against
players who push continually on the joystick and can absent-mindedly run out of
their ground. Once again, though, you can't catch the computer out since it only steals when
the ball is actually in play after a pitch.