Ken Griffey Jr. Presents: Major League Baseball

a game by LJN, Software Creations, and Angel Studios
Genre: Sports
Platforms: SNESSNES, Nintendo 64Nintendo 64, NESNES
Editor Rating: 6.8/10, based on 5 reviews, 9 reviews are shown
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: Baseball Games, Major League Baseball Games
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents: Major League Baseball
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents: Major League Baseball
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents: Major League Baseball
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents: Major League Baseball

Ken "The Kid" Griffey Jr. has his own candy bar, he's an All-Star MVP, and now he has his own video game. Ken Griffey Jr. Presents: Major League Baseball for the SNES might not impress the true baseball fan. but it's good enough to make it one of the better baseball games for beginners.

Sacrifice Squeeze

Ken Griffey Presents tries to be a playoff contender, but it sacrifices too much. The game claims to be realistic, and you do indeed get Major League teams and stats, but all the players are fictitious, except for Ken Griffey Jr., of course.

The game lacks realism in other important ways, too: The ballparks are not very detailed or accurate, and you can't adjust your defense. As for realistic pitching, this game lets you control the ball after it leaves your hand -- just like in real-life pitching, right? Not! Some amateur pitchers may enjoy playing around with this control feature, but hard-core baseball fans won't.

ProTip: Get acclimated to the game by turning on the Auto Fielding option. It'll enable you to concentrate on pitching and hitting until you build up your skills.

In this game's defense, even though your favorite players are missing, the game has a built-in editor to change the players' names (though the stats remain the same). In addition, Ken Griffey comes with one of the best manuals for a baseball game, featuring lots of interesting info on baseball history.

  • Even though your favorite sluggers may not be in the game, you can add 'em with the name editor.
  • If the runner at first is threatening to steal, throw over to the base to keep him honest.

No Heat Here!

One of the most disappointing aspects of Ken Griffey Presents is its mediocre graphics.They're not the worst out there, but they're certainly nowhere near the best. The players crouch in very unnatural batting stances, and their bodies look strangely pumped up. Some of the sluggers have arms bigger than their legs! These stylized renderings of the players only detract from the game. Even the opening sequences lack realism.

The music and sounds, on the other hand, are much better. An upbeat rockin' tune plays throughout the game, and if it gets annoying, you can turn it off. The sound FX sport the clear digitized speech of the ump calling strikes and outs, and you hear the crisp crack of the bat hitting the ball.

To win it all, stand deep in the box, swing early, and drill it.

Swinging for the Fences

Wanna hot baseball game? Look elsewhere. If you're not into realism, Ken Griffey Presents would probably satisfy. The game offers easy play for beginners but not much else. It's a Triple-A game, not a Major Leaguer.

With a runner on first and no outs, bunt. The batter might get thrown out, hut you'll easily advance your runner into scoring position.

Download Ken Griffey Jr. Presents: Major League Baseball

SNES

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

Nintendo 64

System requirements:

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

NES

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

Game Reviews

In development now for well over a year, Angel Studios' Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey . is looking better than ever. Recently shown at Nintendo's Gamer's Summit in Seattle, Griffey was (according to Nintendo) only about 40-45 percent complete. Still, it played like a nearly finished game, and it looked like one too. The game provides an arcade-style (read: fun) experience without sacrificing any of the things serious baseball fans want: full stat tracking, official player and team licenses, all 30 stadiums and most important--realistic, smooth play.

Griffey features four different main modes of play: Exhibition, Season, World Series and Home Run Derby. In addition, there are three different skill levels to choose from, as well as multiplayer capabilities for up to four players. Of course, the game supports the Rumble Pak too. The first thing we noticed when playing Griffey was the extremely polished batter/pitch-er interface. The pitcher selects a target in or around the batter's strike zone and then chooses a pitch and unleashes. Sounds standard, right? The innovation lies in the target cursor, which slowly fades in and out of the screen--in sync with your pitcher's heartbeat. As your pitcher gets tired, his heartbeat will increase, and the accuracy of the pitch will decrease. It's a unique feature that works quite well. As for batting, you have complete control over your swing-the analog control stick provides for extremely fluid movement, allowing you to swing in just about any direction you'd like. Fielding is simple too. The four C buttons correspond to the four bases, making it almost impossible to throw to the wrong base by "accident."

Obviously Griffey's got great graphics. But what you don't see here is the amazing animation, the lifelike crowds and stadiums and the realistic sounds. Some of the camera angles (particularly fielding ones) are just sweet, too. You've definitely gotta see this one in motion.

MLB Featuring Ken Griffey Jr. is due out on May 25, and right now it's at the forefront of the N64 baseball games headed our way (development-wise, anyway). Hopefully there won't be any more big delays, as this is one game sports fans aren't going to want to miss.

  • MANUFACTURER - Angel Studios/Nintendo
  • THEME - Sport
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4

People say:

6.5

Argh. Another disappointment for me. What's going on this year anyway? MLB Featuring Ken Griffey, Jr. was supposed to be the best baseball game yet, and from what I played of earlier versions, it looked like it was on pace to be just that. Unfortunately, the final version is still lacking in many areas. Why on earth it took SO long to get this game out is beyond me, because there's hardly anything here that hasn't been done before. And since All-Star '99 came out, there's really nothing that hasn't been done better already. Griffey has decent graphics (with really cool camera angles) and very nice sound effects (great crowds), but it's missing a lot in the gameplay department. You can't create your own players, the season schedules aren't authentic, there's no difficulty settings when you play a season (about 35 games in and I was murdering every team I played), and so on. I realize perfectly that Griffey is meant to be more of an arcade-style baseball game (the 106 mph fastballs kinda gave it away), but that doesn't mean they can't accurately represent all of the sim-style aspects of play. The batting and pitching interface is really nice, and the fielding controls are smooth and responsive, but some of the animations are lame and the ball physics are floaty. Fun for 2P, but way lacking if you're looking for realism.

7.0

For a game that's been in development for so long, this sure doesn't have much to show for it. Light on features, full of animation glitches, and littered with gameplay bugs, it seems like Griffey could have used a lot more refining. Fortunately, it is a fun game, but only if you're looking for an easy-to-learn arcade-style baseball sim. If you're looking for any depth or realism, however, you should definitely go for All-Star '99 instead.

8.0

To me Griffey is equal to All-Star '99, maybe even a little better. Granted it's more arcadelike, and it's not high-res, but it makes up for that in other areas. Game speed is swift--no waiting for the pitcher all day. Also, the batting interface is every bit as challenging as ASB's. In fact, they're very similar. Gameplay is right up there as well. I don't like some of the throw times (they seem long), but I can tolerate it. A very solid game overall.

7.5

If it weren't for last month's excellent All-Star Baseball '99, I'd be really digging Griffey a lot more. I can't find much to complain about; Griffey is a solid game that should provide hours of fun. But after playing All-Star '99, Griffey feels like a step backward in many areas: realism, player models, gameplay and graphics. But if you prefer action and excitement over realistic simulation baseball, then Griffey's your man.

  • Manufacturer: Nintendo of America
  • Machine: SNES

A game that captures the fun that made baseball the national institution it is. Responsive controls and entertaining game play are its solid foundation.

Take your Game Gear out to the ball game with Sega's latest sports title, The Majors Pro Baseball.

Select your players in this MLBPA endorsed game, using the authentic roster or hear all the umpire's calls with the unique voice digitization. Bunt, steal, or just hammer one out of the park in the animated cinemas. You can even choose from 3, 5, 7 or 9 innings and three different stadiums in this grand slammer!

People say:

7

Sports games are a hard sell to me and being on a portable doesn't make a cart's case any easier. But I found a lot to enjoy in this GG offer, especially some nice animations and easy play control. The computer puts up a decent battle, but the combination of strategic and head-to-head BB overtones left me happy.

7

Easily the best baseball game for the system. The key items such as pitching, batting and fielding are very easy to control and can be mastered in just a few games. There should be a way to make the game more difficult as the computer is really quite dumb. The addition of the real players is a feature that baseball fans will like.

6

This is an average baseball game for the GG. The graphics are pretty good and there are quite a few options. The game play is OK, but needs a little polishing. Running the bases is difficult because of the tiny players on the screen. The computer is too easy to strike out and the game get boring and repetitive easily.

6

Major Pro Baseball is a good baseball game for on the go, but it can sometimes get irritating with the tiny sounds. It plays fairly concrete, and gives you plenty of options to toy with. The graphics are well done in the behind-the-plate scenes, but break new wind in the overhead shots. It is a decent GG sports title, however.

Nintendo pretty much owns this guy and is making sure that, if they're going to pay him more than the GNP of a small country to play ball for them, they'd sure as hell better milk him for all he's worth.

The first version of this game was released a couple of years ago and wasn't all that good. Then again, until this year, almost all the Super NES's sports games have sucked, and royally. Well, that trend seems to have come to an end. On the tail of some excellent EA Sports titles, Ken Griffey Jr.'s Winning Run maintains this new level of quality.

Rare, the guys who gave us DKC, were at the center of the development for this title. Using motion-capture and rendering, they were able to bring us the most realistic looking players and stadiums. From the Green Monster of Fenway and the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley to the immense Skydome in Toronto, Winning Run looks great. But seeing so many baseball games lately without the MLB license has really begun to annoy me.

There's the game's biggest problem: licensing. It have the MLB, but not the MLBPA.The stats of your favorite players are there, but under pseudonyms.This is the only major flaw, though.The good stuff ranges from the ability to control the ball's direction to the inclusion of stat-tracking.

Ken Griffey Jr.'s Winning Run is the best baseball around for the Super NES.While not a perfect sim, it has all the necessary elements to sustain the suspended disbelief of a real game, while not bogging you down in too much little stuff.

After it's had so many delays, you'd think that Griffey would step up to the N64 plate and smack one of those trademark homers. Unfortunately. MLB Featuring Griffey manages only a check-swing single, making a decent but unremarkable appearance; and with All-Star Baseball leading the standings, there aren't many reasons to head to this ballpark.

Skimpy Roster

In a great upgrade from the SNES days, Griffey now provides all the pro players, teams, and stadiums, as well as trades, drafts, on-the-fly defensive strategy, and the standard modes. Although that's a respectable lineup of features, Griffey has some huge holes. Speed bursts, switching between defensive fielders, instant replays, player creation, power swings, gamer-controlled slides, and changeable views are all missing--and sorely missed. Gamers expect these kinds of features from a baseball game, and their absence really hurts Griffey's fun factor.

If you're the forgiving sort, however, you'll uncover a fairly fun round of fast, action-packed baseball. It's not realistic--pitchers hurl 108 mph heat, the game bleeps to warn you when your opponent's stealing, and long fly balls seem to float forever--but it is the kind of arcade-style baseball that will appeal to the youngest end of the N64 spectrum.

Cracked Bat

Cursor-based batting and pitching rarely feel natural, but Griffey's has worse problems: Lining up the batting cursor on a pitch with the jittery analog stick is an exercise in sheer frustration. Fortunately, you can turn off the cursors and just tap Button A to swing away, which makes for a much more entertaining, arcade-style slugfest. Still, without a power swing or the ability to call, say, a hit-and-run, the limited depth gets annoying.

The pitching's fine, but the fielding isn't as tight as it should be. The outfield feels as big as Yosemite National Park, and without a speed burst, it's often difficult to move your sluggish fielder into position and cut off what should be a single before it hits the gap.

Goofy Griffey

As for graphics, Griffey's players gleam with cool stances and slick, realistic animations. However, their proportions are occasionally off (some players have freakishly skinny legs), and their overall look is muddy in comparison with All-Star's.

On the sound side, Griffey himself chimes in with comments like "He's got heat" after a strikeout--but he comes off pretty weak. And while the sound effects perform nicely, the umpire's too eager, often calling balls before they even cross the plate (which unfairly tips off the batter).

While Griffey's definitely not a bad baseball game, it pales in comparison with All-Star Baseball, providing little that shines through All-Star's shadow. Unfortunately for Junior, this one's a rental at best.

ProTips:

  • A good way to freeze batters is to start a breaking pitch outside the strike zone, then move it in to trim the edge.
  • Another way to rack up strikes is to start a pitch just inside the strike zone, then use aftertouch to move it out of the batter's reach.
  • At the plate, it's easy to focus on the ball cursor, not the ball. But like the old cliche goes, you gotta keep your eye on the ball--if you don't, the pitcher will sit you down by varying ball speed.
  • When pitching, you can prevent batters from locking on the ball cursor by applying aftertouch (use the analog stick) to add movement to the pitch.
  • If you wait for the helpful yellow arrows to show up before fielding the ball, you'll be left out of the play. Instead, begin moving your fielder as soon as the ball's hit and chase its shadow until you see the arrow appear.

Ken Griffey's game for the N64 is almost here, and the beta version we played rocked the diamond with great graphics, fairly smooth gameplay, and excellent sound. Junior is almost set for big-league play!

Junior's Mint!

There's certainly good reason to be excited by MLB Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.: Not only is it one of the few N64 baseball titles this year, riding on the tails of Piazza's StrikeZone and All-Star Baseball, it's also one of the better-looking games. The stances and movements of the rendered polygonal models add a solid sense of realism (you'll notice the players practice their swings, chalk their bats, dust their uniforms after a slide, etc.). The nicely rendered stadiums and crowd movement also enhance the gameplay experience--spectators sometimes stand when a foul is hit in their direction.

A Spiffy Griffey

A major improvement over the SNES version is the sound, which has never been a strong point on the N64. For this Griffey, however, it blasts straight through with crisp bat cracks, ambient crowd noises, and thumpin' disco-inferno music as players come to the plate.

Gettin' to Third Base

Baseball purists might find the cursor-based hitting a little frustrating at times, and there are certainly problems that should be addressed before Griffey's released, like its inaccurate fielding physics and delayed reactions to close pitches. In the unfinished version, though, the game's major oversight was speed, which can be described as stodgy at best. For instance, when an outfielder targets a ball, it seems to be a laborious run to reach the mark where the ball is dropping. If the speed is intensified, Griffey could certainly be in a league of its own on the N64.

Major League Baseball's E3 unveiling drew raves from showgoers. The N64's first baseball game sure seems headed for a season as outstanding as Griffey's potentially record-breaking run with the Mariners.

Ballpark Sights & Sounds

MLB's developer, Angel Studios, reportedly packed in 35,000 frames of animation, which should make for eye-catching realism as fielders make diving catches and pitchers wind up and deliver. At the plate, batters swing in their real-life styles--Griffey's trademark stance is of course painstakingly duplicated. Finally, the "smart" crowd reacts appropriately to the umps' calls and the home team's feats and blunders.

Stadium Stats

Despite our best guesses to the contrary (see "Sports Pages," June), Nintendo's putting the finishing touches on a much-needed dose of N64 baseball just in time for a season-end September release. Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr. will poke balls toward the fence in Season, Exhibition, World Series, and four-player Home Run Derby modes.

However, the best news for fans of the Super NES series is that the game has both the MLBPA and MLB licenses, so gamers will find all the pro teams and players, as well as all 30 pro stadiums rendered in 3D. As for controls, the yellow arrow buttons will represent the diamond for fielding and running, while players will use the analog stick to position a cursor for pitching and swinging.

Snapshots and Media

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

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