Bases Loaded 2
- Manufacturer: JALECO
Machine: Nintendo Entertainment
- Graphics 8
- Playability 7
- Overall 8
Sequels. Everybody loves to hate them. In the Hollywood industry, it's said that a movie sequel earns approximately 80 percent of what the original film made - and is probably only 80 percent as good. In the computer- and video-gaming world, sequels maintain about the same love/hate relationship with the general public. But the difference between a movie sequel and a video-game sequel is that the latter can afford to be an improvement - or revision, if you will - of the original, rather than just being a continuation.
That's the case with Bases Loaded II: Second Season. Actually, the more appropriate title for this yet-another-baseball game from Jaleco would be Bases Loaded: Version 2, as this sequel is an enhancement of an already fine NES sports game.
Bases Loaded II gives you the option of playing against either the computer or another person. There are six teams from each of two fictional baseball leagues, Western and Eastern. A full 130-game season is played against the computer. Win 75 games and you'll get the pennant and play in the World Series.
Your team can be altered by switching players or changing the team lineup. What makes Bases Loaded II a bit unique is that performance ratings are provided for every ballplayer in the form of a biorhythmic chart. These charts show a player's rating in the categories of physical and intellectual ability and sensitivity. How high or low a player's numbers are affects his pitching and hitting. These biorhythms are incorporated into the game's programming to simulate the streaks and slumps that real ballplayers go through, adding a "realistic" human element that's been ignored in many sports video games.
The original Bases Loaded had bragging rights for being the NES baseball game with the best-looking graphics. And, of course, Bases Loaded II gives us more of the same. The sound effects and music aren't all that enthralling, but the digitized umpire's voice is a treat to hear and useful while playing. You only need to listen to him bawl out the plays, instead of having to read a captioned call.
Unlike some other, more recently released baseball titles for the NES, Bases Loaded II offers no option for you to edit individual ballplayer ratings or team charts. However, the instruction manual provides 13 pages of detailed statistics on all players. This comes in handy, especially when you need to quickly edit together a powerful team to go against your opponent's, without having to plod through the necessary information on the game screen.
The intention of all this, it seems, is to challenge you to assemble an appropriate team from available players to match certain conditions that arise and the nuances of a new opposing team. Playing baseball in this way - the way a manager would - is probably much more realistic than just being given the power to easily create your own superhuman players from out of thin air.
Nearly every detail in Bases Loaded II is portrayed as realistically as in true-to-life baseball. Except for one minor thing: all the ballplaying takes place in the same nameless ballpark. In an actual baseball season, teams play at several locations, on various kinds of fields and inside stadiums that look different from one another. But this is no big deal and probably won't be missed by most gamers. It is, however, a disappointment when you consider how simple it would have been to add such a selection, making Bases Loaded II the perfect rendition of a video baseball game.
All in all, Bases Loaded II: Second Season falls just short of qualifying as the perfect NES baseball contest. The lack of options - though really a minor consideration - can be limiting to those desiring a little more liberty in player selection and editing. As a sequel, Bases Loaded II doesn't provide enough to set it apart from its predecessor. But considered as a video game with an identity all its own, you can't fail with this one.
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Every baseball lover knows there's much more to the game then pitching, hitting, and catching a little white ball. If you're an ballplayer who's prone to ponder the poetry of "hitting streaks," "double steals," "backdoor sliders," and "hustle," check out Bases Loaded II: Second Season, Jaleco U.S.A.s heavy hittin' sequel to Bases Loaded.
Bases Loaded Basics
In BL II you manage one of 12 teams during a 125-game season against the computer or head-to-head versus a friend. Should you win your division, a seven-game league championship series awaits you.
ProTip: The strongest teams are Jersey, Boston, New York, and LA.
The Real Thing
BL II retains Bases Loaded's most impressive quality-realism. Unlike most baseball games, Bases Loaded 2 displays real-life baseball strategy and logic. For example, your fielders back each other up during game-play and they all jump and dive for balls out of reach. Likewise, your computer opponent has flashes of baseball smarts. For example, it won't be fooled by the same pitch too many times in a row.
When the computer gets a hit, get the ball quickly back into the infield or the computer players take an extra base.
Seasoned Bases Loaded players will appreciate the fact that the base-running controls have been moved to the В button. Now you can hit and run, steal, double steal, and take long leads with ease.
The umps are blind when you slide into a base! During close plays, you might be called out even if your player's foot is on the bag. Take this into consideration when you gauge whether to advance or retreat.
Batting and Biorhythms
Another nice bit of realism is the biorhythm system, which is designed to help simulate the streaks and slumps major leaguers go through during a season. The system rates pitchers and hitters in three categories. Pitchers are rated for stamina, power, and control. Batters are rated for hitting, clutch hitting, and power. Although this feature causes players to fall into "off days," they can also take off on hitting streaks, but it doesn't make the game unrealistic. A positive power rating fa a light-hitting shortstop will not enable him to suddenly start belting homeruns. However, it may cause a single to travel a bit further and become a double. Likewise, a .356 hitter with a negative power rating is still a better batter than a guy who's barely hitting his weight.
Bases Loaded vets will find pitching in BL II familiar. You still get a view from the mound looking in on the batter (something unique among NES baseball games). The difference this time is in what your pitchers can do with the ball.
Every pitcher on your team has different abilities. With some practice, you'll have your hurlers tossing nasty breaking stuff-vicious curves and back-door sliders. You can effectively set up a good curveball with a fastball. As in real baseball, mixing up your pitches and locations will help stifle your opponent's bats. Even the pick off play works!
Bases Loaded Is Loaded
Bases Loaded II: Second Season not without a few flaws, but you really' have to dig to find them. The background music is annoying and nonstop, and it seems that much of what the umpire says is garbled. See what I mean?
To call Bases Loaded I a mere upgrade would be unjust. BL II dwarfs the original in every category, including graphics, playability, and realism. In fact, this game should serve as a benchmark for other companies vying for video baseball's top spot. Bases Loaded II: Second Season is a pennant contender for sure!
It's here-the Second Season of Bases Loaded. This long awaited sequel to Jaleco's classic Bases Loaded takes you through another season of nonstop baseball action. Play a full 130 game season against a friend, or the computer. Your team is from either an Eastern or Western division of a fictional league. Win 75 games and you'll take home the pennant and head for the World Series! But what really makes Bases Loaded II stand out from the crowd is a special system designed to simulate players' streaks and slumps.
Each player's performance will peak, slump, and then peak again. These changes are based on Player Performance Ratings in three categories: Physical, Sensitivity, and Intellectual. As team manager you'll have to decide when to bench a player, and when to put him back into your lineup. In addition Bases Loaded II features complete infield and outfield control, as well as better graphics than the original title. The game manual will also include the complete team charts. Looks like another winning season for Bases Loaded.