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Baseball Stars 2 by BMan2
Game:Baseball Stars 2Company:SNK
Type:SportsPlayers:1-2

Baseball is a fickle game for the outside observer - and one I think definitely not to be taken under the non-influence of beer. From an outside (ie international) perspective - the real life game is slow - and often drawn out to epic proportions. So how is a game able to accurately portray the excitement the players obviously feel - in a compact way that all gamers can grasp?
Baseball Stars 2 does just that. Coming out of left field with a mix of well drawn funky graphics, an equally sonic soundtrack - and a well controlled system of gameplay that makes the fine game of baseball accessible to the masses.
Of course you all know the object of baseball - so no explanation is needed. All that is added to this game - is the ability to "power up" your players so they can whack the ball that little bit harder - call it the steroids section :P Limiting gameplay somewhat in the arcade version - is the implementation of a time limit - requiring you to take another credit to progress past the four minute limit - making a full game of baseball a somewhat expensive proposition.
Technically, there are fewer perfectly emulated games for Neogeo - with sond and graphics working quite adequately within MAME. And what sound and graphics they are. Pictures are crisp and colorful. Sprites are well animated - and each character has it's own personality - further embellishing the gaming experience. Phonically, Baseball Stars 2 provides a thumping funky soundtrack - that although it becomes a little grating after a while, is appropriate to the situation. Sound effects further add to the atmosphere, with the announcers voice echoing throughout your game with information - which is both informative and well done. A top notch job by all.
However it is the control system that Baseball Stars 2 presents that is it's highlight. For once in a baseball game, you truly have what seems to be control over your whole team - not just a computer chosen player. Hitting, pitching and fielding controls are intutive and well layed out - providing all the impotus for you to enjoy the action. The difficulty level is set just right also, as when you first master the timing of hitting the ball - the computer giving you ample opportunity to hit the ball in the outfield - and not simply programming fielders everywhere. Despite this - the computer will not sit and lie down - and it will take all your joystick prowess to outwit it in the field.
Overall - this is what Baseball games should be about. Why? Because it feels right. It's quick, it's catchy - and it's easy to get into. Pinch hit this one into your collection. It's a sure winner.
Graphics
9
8
Sound
Play Control
9
7
Challenge
Replay Value
7
8
Performance
1999 EmuViews