Review - Virtual Stadium Professional Baseball

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Trev
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Review - Virtual Stadium Professional Baseball

Post by Trev » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:05 am

** This game was released exclusively in Japan **

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I remember seeing preview screenshots of Virtual Stadium Professional Baseball back in 1996. It looked sweet, and I couldn’t wait for Electronic Arts to finish the U.S. version of the game! Well finish it they did … but not for 3DO. :( And while I did enjoy the PSX copy of what would be re-named ‘Triple Play’ I really wanted a baseball game for my 3DO. It always seemed odd to me that ‘America’s pastime' got two 3DO games in the Japanese market (the other being Sanyo’s Pro Stadium … which I still need by the way *hint hint*) but the rest of us were left high and dry. Anyway, VSB quickly became one of my highest sought imports. Finally years later I got a copy and although it didn’t totally live up to my admittedly high expectations I was pleased nonetheless.

One word of warning to start this review … I’m guessing in all likelihood few will want to do a full season in VSB. Besides the obvious language difficulties, the game simply sucks up too much memory! Unless you have a memory unit (the Game Guru can’t compress it’s file sadly) you’ll be forced to delete nearly every save game in your multiplayer’s nvram. Not worth it in my opinion.

For single games though VSB can be quite enjoyable, although several play sessions will probably be needed to learn your way around. Unlike some imports every menu in this game is in Japanese as is the instruction booklet. Trial and error will get you through the various options though, and a game will be running before you know it. As a bonus, there is some solid music to keep you entertained as you fumble around all the Japanese sub screens.

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Controls are another area of trial and error, although having knowledge of other baseball video games helps a very great deal. They are not bad by any means, but practice is a essential. Fielding is basic enough, but you’ll really need to experiment with the pitching unless you want to see homeruns left and right (I’ve even had pitchers with 0 hrs belt one out of the park thanks to my lousy pitching! :P ) Thankfully, if you can find it, there is a practice mode.

As an audio/visual package VSB delivers with a good showing. The graphics get off to a nice start with the usual snazzy EA intro. The ball fields seemed just a tad washed out to me, although this really is no big deal. A bigger deal perhaps is the player models which look fine but lack variety. Same shape, same stance … even the 8-bit ‘Bases Loaded’ had more variety! Oh well … VSB may not have the wow factor of Madden or Foes of Ali, but I admit I’ve always liked EA’s virtual stadium technology (which debuted with 3DO Fifa) In game music is sparse but good. Some nice sound effects, a lively crowd, and a female announcer help round out the audio end. :)

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Truthfully, many probably won't devote the time needed to really enjoy this game to the full. If you think you might be one of them, I suggest grabbing Triple Play ’97 for the Psx instead, to get an idea of what an American release could have been (unless of course you prefer the 3DO’s generous multiplayer support … up to six!). But if you are a patient gamer who doesn’t mind a challenge you can surely have a lot of fun with this game. After all it is from EA, who had a brilliant track record on 3DO. VSB is a game I revisit often. Hunt it down and grab a copy to round out 3DO’s impressive sports library!

-Trev

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Post by Trev » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:08 pm

This older review is far from my best, but the game is pretty fun for an import ... thoughts on this one?
Most wanted - Eye of Typhoon, 3DO Magazines issues #14 & #15, Pro Stadium, Defcon 5

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Post by BryWI » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:51 pm

What were they thinking not bringing a baseball game to 3do for US. Hockey too. :(

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Post by Trev » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:57 pm

BryWI wrote:What were they thinking not bringing a baseball game to 3do for US. Hockey too. :(
I know ... such gaps in the 3DO library. I remember how disappointed I was when this one, and NHL 96, were canned. :cry:
Most wanted - Eye of Typhoon, 3DO Magazines issues #14 & #15, Pro Stadium, Defcon 5

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