Bottom of the 9th

a game by Konami
Genre: Sports
Platforms: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64, Playstation
Editor Rating: 6.9/10, based on 3 reviews, 11 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: Baseball Games
Bottom of the 9th
Bottom of the 9th
Bottom of the 9th
Bottom of the 9th

An integral part of Konami's quest to build up its newly formed Konami XXL Sports series is this baseball title.

The game is loaded with features. It has all 700 Major League Baseball players, including career stats, 3-D graphics and an Al that gives players more control and options while up at bat or in the field.

The game's strong point is its depth in strategy, which forces players to think more like coaches.

For instance, you can purposely fly out or try for a grounder to advance the baserunner; it's just not swing the bat and hope for the best like in other games.

You can play a single game, an entire season or take part in a championship. There's a Training Camp Mode that will allow you to work on your pitching, fielding, batting and base running. Konami has included a Total Training Option that will help you improve your offensive and defensive Bag gaming skills. Total training is the same as playing a real game, except there is no changing after three outs.

When you practice hitting you can choose the type of pitching you want to face.

If you select a pitch your pitcher can't throw he'll shake it off. If you press the X button repeatedly during your pitcher's pitching motion, you will increase the power of his pitch. Yet, this will cause your pitcher's stamina to deteriorate rapidly.

Grab your controller and take to the field!

  • MANUFACTURER - Konami
  • DIFFICULTY - MODERATE
  • THEME - Sport
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

Download Bottom of the 9th

Nintendo 64

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

You may be wondering: Why another Bottom of the 9th when the first one (released last spring) is still leaving a favorable taste in you mouth? Well the answer is: improvements. In this '97 edition, players can expect more stadiums and more camera angles. The 3-D batting interface has also been improved, and they have even included night games in the season roster. A simpler Season Mode is another scheduled addition. Bottom of the 9th '97 even acquired an MLBPA license. As spring is slowly creeping up on us. what better way to spend your time than playing America's favorite pastime.

People say:

6.0

The first finished N64 baseball game of '99 to arrive in our offices is actually a lot better than I expected it to be. Bottom of the 9th does have a few problems, but on the whole it's a very solid baseball game that does a good job of catering to true baseball enthusiasts with its realistic gameplay, while at the same time pissing them off with its annoying shortcomings (no MLB license, no 1999 season schedule, no player creation, etc.). It's really too bad, because if the game had these missing features, I'd be pretty happy with it. The graphics aren't very good at all, but the game plays very smoothly, which is definitely an OK trade-off in my book. The controls are intuitive and the games don't drag on (you can usually finish a game in about a half hour, which is nice). The Scenario Mode in particular is very cool, though I wish some of the goals were a little more specific. For example, one of them allows you to finish off David Wells' perfect game...but in truth, all you have to do to win the scenario is win the ballgame--perfect game or not. What fun is that? Anyway, I'm nitpicking now. My only other complaints are that there are way too many errors, and there are no on-screen pitch menus (d'oh!). Ultimately, if you don't mind the missing details, you should enjoy Bottom ofthe9?h. Me? wait for ASB.

8.0

Like the PS edition, BotN has no MLB license. So what? I don't care! It has very good game-play, it's fast (games in under a half hour), and it's fun. Unless you're a sim purist, you'll appreciate a baseball game that's easy to learn and play, yet challenging and competitive at the same time. Perks include a useful training mode, TV-style cutscene cameras and fluid animation. The batting interface and play-by-play are really good as well.

7.0

I'm not a big fan of baseball, but I still enjoyed Bottom of the 9th, which manages to be both realistic and fun. The gameplay mechanics are highly intuitive. You can get through 3 game pretty quickly without fussing with a lot of options. Graphics are adequate. without a lot of extraneous animation to slow the game. I especially like the built-in scenarios--most of which are about as fun to play as an entire regular game.

6.

Bottom of the 9th plays well on almost all counts, despite its lackluster graphics and the fact that it's missing the all-important MLB team license. By default, it's going to appeal more to fans of arcade-style play (not having the real teams pretty much alienates "true" MLB fans), which is too bad because the gameplay is solid. It may take you a while to get used to fielding on the Manual setting, though (the only way to play!).

Konami's semi-popular PlayStation baseball franchise is now making its way to the N64. That's right kids. Bottom of the 9th has arrived, and it's already complete--not bad for a game whose existence we weren't even sure of slightly over a month ago.

Bottom of the 9th is strikingly similar to the PS versions, only with slightly smoother graphics and better control. As far as gameplay is concerned, it doesn't offer anything drastically new or different from other baseball games. It's got good, solid control, a decent (though slowly becoming dated) batter/pitcher interface and average graphics. The Scenario Mode is easily the coolest feature of the game, allowing you to take part in 20 different key scenarios that took place last season. On the downside, there's no Create-A-Player feature, and--get this--there's still no official MLB team license (the PlayStation versions don't have it either). It's too bad, because that "minor" omission is going to cost Konami a whole lotta sales. "Real" baseball fans want "real" teams. If crap like Mike Piazza's StrikeZone can pull in a team license, there's no reason why Bottom of the 9th shouldn't be able to.

If you can get past these faults, you may want to give Bottom of the 9th a try. All things considered, it's still a surprisingly playable game, if all goes well, it should be on sale by Opening Day.

  • MANUFACTURER - Konami
  • THEME - Sport
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

Bottom of the 9th hits the field to take on Triple Play and All-Star 2000. While BOT9 does feature straightforward controls, its uninspired graphics and lack of the MLB license keep it on the bench.

BOT9 hits the field with all the teams (denoted by the city, not the franchise) and a full roster of players. In addition to the standard play modes, BOT9 throws in a list of 20 fantasy game situations that enable you to change their probable outcomes, such as batting in the bottom of the 9th with two outs and down by four runs. Graphically, BOT9 sports cool mo-cap animations, but the players appear blurry. The in-game effects produce a nice ballpark mood, while the control is very straightforward.

Without an MLB license and snappier graphics, BOT9 will get lost in the N64 hardball shuffle. But if less-than-perfect graphics don't bother you, or you're a baseball newbie, BOT9 is for you.

  • PROTIP: If there's one out and your opponent has a man on third, pud in your first and third basemen to have a better shot at gunning down the runner at home plate.

Konami steps up to the PlayStation plate with a baseball title much like its other sports games. Bottom of the 9th has a respectable set of standard features and modes, and the action goes down in a raucous, arcade-style pace. The unique multiview window takes some getting used to, but works great with practice. At this early point in development, the Virtua Fighter-style polygonal graphics won't dazzle you, but there's plenty of room for tuning.

After a solid but unremarkable showing last season, Kon-ami's back on the mound with Bottom of the 9th '97. While this update strongly resembles the first BOT9, it sports some cool new features, including a behind-the-pitcher view that makes hitting much easier, current 1997 rosters with all the pro players (but teams named by city), more stadiums, and a new Training mode where you can brush up skills like base running and fielding. The pace of BOT9 is also much speedier, delivering fast, rowdy games without the sluggishness of real-life baseball. However, in the unfinished 60 percent version we played, BOT9 was hitting foul with slightly clunky controls and chunky polygonal graphics--just like its predecessor. Hopefully, Konami will remedy all that before the game ships, but it faces stiff competition from the outstanding Triple Play '98. Stay tuned for the review.

Kudos to Konami for trying something different with Bottom of the 9th '97. Unfortunately, though, this game can't compete with Triple Play '98 or MLB '98.

The Big Whiff

Innovation can sometimes be a game's worst enemy. With BOT9. Kon-ami attempts to bring something unit|ue to the baseball genre, but the results backfire, rendering the game almost unplayable.

Specifically, the pitcher-batter interface spoils whatever good Bottom of the 9th may have had going for it. Like last year, using the upper box with the behind-the-pitcher view to determine the location of a pitch (which is a reverse image of the main behind-the-catcher-view) creates unnecessary confusion while you're batting. Pitching should be smooth and easy in a baseball game--not clunky the way it is here.

Graphically, the blocky polygonal players fail to move realistically and arc downright ugly, lacking the detail of, say, Triple Play '98. Ball speed is inaccurate (line drives t;ike forever to reach their destination), camera angles are bad, and the lack of a MLB team license is shameful.

On the plus side, the Scenario option is a real treat. This feature places you smack dab in the middle of 20 do-or-dic situations. If you can withstand the game's numerous shortcomings, you can at least be a hero in a clutch situation.

Training Camp, Anyone?

Baseball games have become too good recently for sorry efforts like Bottom of the 9th '97 to be considered for the big leagues. This series badly needs an overhaul.

ProTips:

  • When runners are on base, thru» a Int of fastballs to prevent stolen bases.
  • Be careful when throwing forkballs or any downward-breaking pitches. They often get away from the catcher, enabling a runner to advance.
  • Press X repeatedly while the pitcher is in his windup to make him put a little extra oomph on the ball--but don't do it too often or you'll deplete his stamina.

At last, solid baseball arrives on the PlayStation. Despite the hard-to-leam controls and minor-league graphics, Bottom of the 9th delivers tough but fun sim-style action.

Play Ball!

Bottom of the 9th fills the dugouts with all the major-league players, but the teams are named by city only, which still works just fine. In eight fantasy stadiums, you hit the fields in Training. Exhibition, Season, or General Manager modes.

The tough A.l. eats you alive for the slightest errors, demanding a tight, strategic style of play that sim fans will love. Unlike World Series, 9th is no wussy homerfest.

Even pros will need major practice with 9th's unusual controls. Once you're up to speed, though, they clearly represent each batter's and pitcher's real-life abilities, building a realistic feel. The manual fielding goestoo far. though, providing little indication of where the ball's headed.

Virtua Baseball

Graphically, 9th goes for those trendy polygons, but they head foul with a look that's too chunky and unrealistic. Even worse, the screen's confusingly overcrowded with info and views. As with the controls, however, time and a little practice smooth over these rough edges. As far as sounds go, a clear, on-the-ball announcer tracks the action, and the respectable sound effects pull thei{ weight.

Serious baseball fiends will enjoy this ballpark's authen tic, challenging gameplay-at least until the next wave of Play Station baseball games arrives this summer.

ProTips:

  • When pitching, aim as far away from the batter's cursor as possible to decrease his chances of contact.
  • Most pitchers have only a few trademark pitches, so keep your hatting cursor waiting in a likely location.
  • Begin moving your offscreen tielders into position as soon as the ball leaves the bat.

After delivering some excellent gameplay in its first at-bat, Bottom of the 9th '97 returns to the diamond, looking to shine with a new list of features and an improved 3D batting interface. At press time, Konami was being tight-lipped about gameplay options, revealing only that there will be night games, more stadiums, an MLBPA license, and added camera angles. These pix give you an idea of where the game's headed. We'll have more info in an upcoming issue.

The competition between MLB '99 and Triple Play '99 has taken the PlayStation pennant race to a whole new level. Unfortunately, Konami's still stuck in the minor leagues with Bottom of the 9th '99, a spectacularly average hardball game.

All of BOT9's features are in a slump. For starters, it doesn't have the MLB license, so the actual team logos and names aren't used. Secondly, the players are built with far too little detail, and they don't have the eye-catching animations the competition overflow's with.

Although BOT9's pitcher/batter interface is intuitive, the controls suffer because everything requires memorization, as opposed to the menu-based matchup screens in TP and MLB. Finally, perhaps TP's two-man commentary and MLB's use of the legendary Vin Scully were spoilers, but BOT9's stoic and repetitive commentary is just plain bland. This year, Konami struck out looking.

ProTips:

  • Use your cutoff man when throw ing from the outfield. Although there's an extra throw involved, it gets the ball back to the infield quicker.
  • Because of poor collision detection, throw to the bases to get an out instead of trying to tag the runners or the bags.

Snapshots and Media

Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

Playstation Screenshots

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