RBI Baseball (Nintendo NES, 1988)
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|RBI Baseball was the first console game of its kind to be licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and used actual MLB player names, unlike other baseball video games of the late 1980s. As it was not licensed by Major League Baseball (MLB) itself, it did not use team nicknames or logos. Instead, the game contained 8 teams listed only by city name: Boston, California, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco; their real-life, MLB counterparts were the first place teams in each division in 1986 (Boston, California, Houston, New York) and 1987 (Detroit, Minnesota, St. Louis, San Francisco) MLB seasons. The game also boasted two All-Star teams, American League and National League; the two featured established veterans such as George Brett, Dale Murphy and Andre Dawson—none of whom appeared on the other eight teams—and up-and-coming players like Mark McGwire, Andrés Galarraga, Kevin Seitzer and José Canseco.
Each player has different capabilities in the game; hitters vary in ability to make solid contact, to hit the ball with power, and their base running speed. Vince Coleman is the fastest player in the game; it is very difficult to catch him stealing second base. Pitchers vary in pitching speed, and the amount by which the player can steer the ball left and right during its flight. Pitchers also have varying stamina; as a pitcher gets tired, the ball slows down and is harder to steer. Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens are two pitchers in the game with the fastest pitches. Fernando Valenzuela, without a hard fastball, has tremendous movement in both directions with his pitches. Mike Scott has a sharp and deceptive breaking ball. The best pitcher is debatable, depending on how they are used by the players. There is no evidence that fielding abilities correspond to individual players.
The infield fly rule is not implemented.
The rosters for the eight teams are fairly accurate if simplified representations of the playoff rosters from their respective years. Each team has 8 starting batters, four bench players, two starting pitchers and two relievers. The player can start any pitcher they like, though the relievers have very low stamina. But if they play consecutive games without resetting the system, any starting pitcher used in the previous game will be unavailable. The player has to wait until the game starts before substituting players with pinch hitters, who can play any position. Pinch runners are not implemented.
Unlike Major League Baseball, R.B.I. Baseball implements the mercy rule -- if one team is ahead by ten or more runs after any number of completed innings, the game ends immediately.
After you finish a ballgame, this title displays a list of in-depth baseball stats for each player.
This Nintendo title features some colorful and vibrant graphics. Each character has a large sprite that is packed full of detail. The extra information on the screen, such as the speed of the pitch, is neatly tucked away into the corners. You won't need to worry about this information obstructing your view on either offense or defense. The sound in this Nintendo title is lifelike and will have you feeling like you're at the stadium. When you're done winning against the computer, you can play against your friends in the multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode on the NES supports up to two players simultaneously.
R.B.I. Baseball is the first title in a classic series that would spawn over 10 different sequels. This NES title revolutionized sports games and became an instant hit among baseball fans.
|Platform||Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Number of Players||1 or 2|
|Game Series||R.B.I. Baseball Series|
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