33: Dusty Diamond’s All-Star Softball

Genre: Baseball

Developer: Tose
Publisher: Brøderbund
Year: 1990

Basic Idea: Avenge those memories of being picked last for kickball.

Review:  A quirky game I never gave enough time to until I had some friends insist the game was awesome.  I wound up playing in an on-line league for this game a few years ago.  It was a blast.  I’ve played several baseball games over the years that advertised themselves as sandlot games, but this is the only one that truly feels like a bunch of guys getting together for some exhibitions at their local hangouts.

The basic idea is that there are no teams, and for each game you draft your team from a lot of sixty players.  Every single player available has a different skill set.  But the game doesn’t just limit the player abilities to power, contact, speed, and arm strength.  A few have the ability to climb fences, fly at night, or swim in water.  Yeah, a few fields have puddles in addition to the occasional tree trunk or rock.  One guy even has the ability to avoid being tagged out (occasionally).

There are options to play fast or slow-pitch. In one-player mode, you can play a tournament to earn the right of playing a team of Amazonian female softballers who are hefty challenge.  The play control isn’t always as tight as I would like, but it’s just so damn fun that it’s hard to care.



8 thoughts on “33: Dusty Diamond’s All-Star Softball

  1. Game that would be funner in casual exhibition play or on fast pitch. Pretty soon in the slow pitch league, everyone knows which pitchers to use and that you can just throw it over the extreme inside corner of the plate (no curve or speed necessary), which you can rarely get a hit on, but it is always a strike if you don’t swing at it.

    Hits are almost all singles or homeruns unless your opponent is terrible at fielding. Just not enough variety in ball trajectory or hit location. It got old, mostly because of that pitching issue.

    Still a fun casual game.

    Some highlights from one season: http://www.youtube.com/user/adobery/videos?flow=grid&view=0

    • On-line leagues for RBI Baseball tend to have a rule that you have to throw a straight pitch right down the middle. Considering the difficulties with lag and this loophole to exploit as a pitcher, I think it would be a reasonable thing to do for this game, too.

  2. I like the idea of this. It reminds me of an old basketball game that one of my friends had (I think it was on the Amiga?). It was sandlot basketball, and there were like 12 people you could pick from. One was slow, but made every shot inside the paint, one was ridiculously fast, but lost the ball a lot, one was impossibly good at hitting 3-pointers. It was fun, and seems a lot like this game.

  3. This is a fantastic concept. Back in Survivor V or VI I had a “Create a videogame” challenge, and Patrick Kozicky suggested a town league kickball game with unlockables like afterbars, theme costumes and unlockable D-level celebrities, and that’s sort of the feeling I get from this.

    It’s unfortunate that this series didn’t continue on to the present, but I can’t fault Dusty Diamond for getting that role on Saved By the Bell.

    • Yeah, the concept is great. The execution, unfortunately, is only mediocre. Not surprisingly, in Japan where the game originated the characters mostly were animals. So the guy who can swim was a frog. For the port they humanized everyone.

      (ignoring your bad joke)

      • The acknowledgement that you’re ignoring it is all the acknowledgement that I needed. Tee hee!

        Yet another incident here of American publishers ripping out so much of what gives a game its color. Why do so much work to give your game a greater feeling of sameness? It’s like porting SMB and deciding that Bowser is so significant to the series that every enemy should look like him. Okay, it’s not quite the same, but I’m surly this morning. And on most others, and at all other times of the day.

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