Hardball '94 is Accolade's attempt to recapture the glory of the original Hardball game. Unfortunately, the competition's stiffer these days, and Hardball '94 comes up a bit short, though it does boast good graphics and lots of options.
Some Control Problems
A stadium full of options makes this game a contender. To start with, you choose from actual major-league players (with actual stats based on last year's performances) to fill your rosters. Although you don't have actual teams and logos, at least you get decent representations of all 28 ballparks.
You can select many different offensive plays, such as a hit and run, and different defensive alignments. Pitchers can throw curves, off-speed pitches, and more, and batters have three kinds of swings: power, contact, and bunt.
Baseball requires three basic skills: hitting, pitching, and fielding. The latter is Hardball '94's major (league) shortcoming. You'll be frustrated with outfielders who seem to bumble over each other. Imagine the feeling when you're down by a run and an opponent scores from first because your outfielders can't get a handle on the ball. Pitching is realistic, hitting is easy, but the minor-league outfield antics will drive you crazy.
ProTip: With runners on base and less than two strikes against you, select the Power option and swing for the fences. With two strikes, select the Contact option, which gives you a better chance of putting the ball into play.
While the behind-the-catcher graphics don't measure up to intense games like World Series Baseball, they hold their own and will be familiar to anyone who's played Hardball III. The only notable improvement over past Hardballs is the fluid movement of pitchers and batters. As in previous versions, this game also has cool cinematic clips of close plays on the base paths.
- When bringing in your relievers, try to pick a pitcher who has a different repertoire of pitches. You don't want your opponent getting used to one style of pitching, do you?
- One of the best ways to advance a runner with less than two outs is to lay down a sacrifice bunt. While the batter may be thrown out at first, the base runner will easily advance into scoring position.
The great sound effects will make everything from the crack of the bat to the crisp speech of the ump calling a strike sound like a trip to the ballpark. Ever-present organ music pops up in tense moments, and familiar Hardball themes play at the title screens.
A Solid Performer
Major-league players, stats, and plenty of options make this game a solid game. Is it worth the price if you've already got Hardball III? No. But if you're a first-time buyer who's looking for a well-rounded baseball game, Hardball '94 will score for you.
Download HardBall 94
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
- Game modes: Single game mode
- Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
- Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
- "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
- "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
- "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)
Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.
- Manufacturer: Accolade
- Machine: Genesis
This is actually kind of a 1994 statistical update for Hardball III, but, if you're one of those people who sits for an entire summer baking your brains out in the bleachers, this cart is what you're looking for.