21: Baseball Simulator 1.000

Genre: Baseball

Developer: Culture Brain
Publisher: Culture Brain
Year: 1989

Basic Idea:  Finally, a baseball game where cheaters win!

Review:  My favorite baseball game for the NES, Baseball Simulator 1.000 combines solid regular baseball action with awesome power-ups and an ability to create new leagues with custom-made players and a full-season mode.  Pretty much everything one would want in a game is here, and unlike Baseball Stars, the play control isn’t maddening.  While the diving and jumping functions could be better, they are there and are easy to use.

Playing with power-ups can be a blast, especially since you have a limited amount of points to use per game, so you must ration out your super-powers.  The game has pretty much every power-up imaginable, from cannonballs, phantom balls, rocket hits, earthquake balls, tornado pitches, and zig-zag hits, to laser throws, and super high jumping on defense.  You can even select them at the last second, fooling the pitcher or batter.  Hilarity may ensue as you watch your fielders try clumsily to catch a ball that can’t be caught, or your hitter’s bat break if he doesn’t hit the sweet spot of a super pitch.

However, if all the game was crazy antics, it would get old quick.  Season-mode is done to near perfection.  While only six teams are available in a league, there’s really no need for more.  You can determine the length of your season, even play 162 games if you’re up to it.  And each team in a league is fully customizable, from the team’s name to your player’s names, handedness, and their abilities which you’re given an allotment for.  You can even create your own super league and provide players with their own super-abilities.

The gameplay is crisp, about as good as it gets for the NES.  Fielding and throwing are a breeze. Pitching is pretty standard, though unlike a lot of games, fastballs are actually really fast and you have to have quick reflexes.

Another great feature is the variety of stadiums you can play in.  My favorite is Harbor, as you can hit the ball into the ocean or even make a ship blow its horn if you hit it.  There’s also Town, which has some Yankee stadium like fences in left and right where even pitchers can hit homers.  Space, while unfortunately having normal gravity, is also a homer haven with no foul ball room.

My only real criticism of the game, which isn’t unique to this system, is that the CPU is far too easy to beat.  Thus, playing by one’s self can get old pretty quick.  We played as a family, creating our own leagues and obsessing over the stats.

The sequel for the Super Nintendo is improved in several ways, especially with the editing functions, so it’s certainly worth a look if you love this game.

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7 thoughts on “21: Baseball Simulator 1.000

  1. YES.

    I loved this game so much. I didn’t have it (again, no NES), but two of my friends did, and I remember making a league with each of them. So much fun. The tornado bat very very nearly made my list of top video game moments.

    • My favorite was the rocket hit. Watching the shortstop get carried all the way to the outfield fence and splat against the wall was hilarious. Guaranteed double if you made contact. But mostly funny.

  2. Good family memories. Remember when we repositioned every single fielder in a straight line and then used a Rocket hit to send them all flying towards the outfield and impale them on the centerfield wall?

    Good times.

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