Everyone's getting into the baseball video game market, including TV's ESPN Baseball Tonight. If you want realistic, smooth-flowing graphics, this game has 'em. ESPN also has some of the clearest digitized speech of any game on any system, but that's it. It could've been a homer, but unfortunately this game falls short of the warning track.
ESPN Baseball Tonight has potential. You'll find all your favorite Major League teams here, but not all the player names (the players get numbers instead). The game offers four play options, ranging from exhibition games to a home-run derby.
One big problem is that weak controls make the game too difficult. Hitting is very tough, and stealing a base requires a series of complicated button presses. ESPN will frustrate beginners.
A Spark of Hope
The graphics are among the best of any game, as far as the players are concerned. If you didn't know any better, you'd swear these players were real. While not greatly detailed, the motions of a pitcher pitching and a batter swinging get our vote for the best in any baseball video game. As for the ballparks, everyone plays in the same ESPN Stadium, but it looks better than a lot of baseball games out there, and realistic billboards are scattered in the background.
The sounds of the ballpark are also better than average. In addition to the clear voices from the ump, Chris Berman, and Dan Patrick, you hear the crowd's roar and the ballpark organ throughout the game.
A Number-Nine Hitter
ESPN Baseball Tonight offers great graphics and sound, but it falls way short in fun. The game gets frustrating at times because the computer makes nearly impossible plays, such as throwing out a runner at first from center field. The game play lacks realism and depth: You can't adjust the defense, pitchers don't have to warm up, and the few stats have little bearing on the outcome. If you're a die-hard baseball fan or a beginner, steer clear of this game. It'll only frustrate you. Casual players and Chris Berman fans will get mild enjoyment, but you'll end up just watching the TV show.
- Always pick off the lead runner to keep the opposing team as far from home plate as possible.
- To catch a fly ball, run toward the big shadow in the outfield. If you can't get there in time, run behind the big shadow and anticipate where the ball is heading.
- When batting, hold Up as the pitcher winds up. As the pitch approaches, recognize whether it's high, low, or down the middle. If the ball is high, swing away. If it's in the middle of the plate or low, release the directional pad and swing away. You'll get a hit most of the time.
- Mix up your pitches. Pitch one way throughout the game and you'll be lit up like a birthday cake.
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ESPN Baseball Tonight should be loaded with exciting highlights, stats, and the witty play-by-play of Chris Berman and Dan Patrick, but unfortunately these elements are mostly missing in action. Ultimately, ESPN is a disappointment.
Back, Back, Back...Gone!
Baseball Tonight is one of the better-looking baseball games around. It features beautifully digitized graphics and the smoothest player movements of any baseball game.
ProTip: If a base runner steals second, he will most likely try to steal third on the very next pitch.
Unfortunately, the game itself isn't as strong. You have three standard game-play modes -- Exhibition Games, the Home Run Derby, and the playoffs. But the options are very limited: You can choose to turn off the sound and the errors, and you can pick between a two- or three-division mode. Even worse, you get no postgame stats (though at least you're playing with real Major League teams and rosters).
On defense, when there is a hard base hit to right field, try to throw out the runner at first anyway. You'll be surprised by how many times it works.
While the Super NES is known for its superior sound, Berman and Patrick's voices lack enthusiasm and are just plain annoying. The tacky organ music doesn't help much either.
Is It Juiced?
Ever wanted to see Deion Sanders hit three dingers in a single game? You will here, thanks to the efficient controls. There's little challenge with ESPN, so once you get the hang of hitting different styles of pitching, sit back and watch the home runs fly.
For maximum power, press Up or Down to adjust your swing to the pitch.
This game has the overall look and feel of an ESPN Baseball Tonight broadcast, but the highlights that made ESPN famous were left out. If you want a better SNES baseball game, buy Ken Griffey Jr. Presents.
Have you ever dreamed of being a pro baseball player? Well, now you can with ESPN Baseball. Listen to the announcer, Chris Berman, as he gives you play-by-play updates. Enjoy various player modes like Home Run Derby. As a single player, you can choose from the Season and Playoff modes. This action packed and hard-hitting, baseball extravaganza, measures up to the competitions, Super Base Loaded. This game started out as a PC game and converted over to various gaming systems such as SNES, Sega Mega Drive/ Genesis, and Sega Mega (CD). The graphics on the SNES are far more than the competition. While playing a regular season you have the option of creating your own superstar player or choosing from those listed. Choose from a variety of options in this exciting game that keeps you tuned in as you compete in the ultimate challenge toward the World Series. This baseball experience was backed by MLB; however, it did not gain the backing from the Players Association. Developed by Sony Image Soft and Storm Studios, this 1994 release is a sporting adventure for the entire family.
This is a simulator of pro baseball. The game is similar to its counterpart on SNES, in the graphics and sound, plus the game action doesn't have any remarkable distinctions. It is possible to play a separate match or play off and to train. You have the choice of the American teams. The game is not bad; the baseball experts won't have any difficulty in beating or throwing the ball at an other-worldly speed.