The demise of the MLB 2K series left a massive gaping hole in the baseball video game market. Never fear baseball video game fans, cause a classic title from the past is now rushing in to fill the void.
Can you say “RBI Baseball for next generation consoles?”
People under a certain age are saying, “RBI Whosawhatsis now?” Sit down young man and let me educate you.
Back in the days before XBoxes and Playstations and WiiUs, there was a little console called the Nintendo Entertainment System. And this system, also known as the NES, featured a game called RBI Baseball.
RBI was the first baseball game that had real player names. Yes, there was a time when pro sports video games weren’t licensed by unions and therefore weren’t allowed to have real names. All you had were the players’ numbers and stats. And your imagination.
Admittedly, the game had its limitations. It only had eight teams. And because the game was not licensed by the league, only the players’ union, the teams’ nicknames and logos were not allowed.
It also didn’t keep stats as you went along. And the players, let’s face it, they kind of looked like blobs. And what was up with those bats? They looked kind of floppy and weird like they weren’t even made of wood.
Okay so maybe those games sucked in certain ways, but in certain other ways they were awesome. Anyone who’s gotten frustrated and angry playing one of these super-complicated modern day sports games can appreciate the relative simplicity of the old games, even if the graphics aren’t pretty and the game-play isn’t all that realistic.
In the end it’s about fun, and RBI Baseball was fun. Not as much fun as Baseball Stars, the greatest early console baseball game of them all, but still.
We’ll see what this new RBI Baseball has in store when it’s unveiled this spring. I’m sure it will have all the next gen bells and whistles gamers expect. But hopefully it will include something for the old-time gamer as well. Maybe a classic mode where everything looks like crap and there are only eight teams and you can make the ball curve and dance at will while it’s in mid air, as if your pitcher were some kind of magical wizard?
Retro gaming baby.