All Star Baseball '99
Reviewed by Cameron Bird
With three baseball titles for the N64 coming out in a matter of three weeks, it
most likely seems difficult for baseball fans to decide which one to buy. For one,
if you're a die-hard arcader and don't care about graphics as much as gameplay,
you'll surely want to go out and buy "Mike Piazza Strikezone" or "Major League
Baseball Staring Ken Griffey Jr." But if you are a die-hard baseball fan who has
to have accurate statistics and realistic gameplay then you will rush out to purchase
"All Star Baseball '99." For me, it was that choice because of my love for the sport.
Graphics 98 out of 100
The graphics on this game are the best I've seen in ANY sports game EVER! From
start to finish you feel like you're standing right behind the batter as the sweat
drips off your face. All 30 real ballparks look real down to the hot dog stand in
Section H. With over 700 players you'd expect the features on the players to be all
the same except for the skin color. But, actually, even the facial features on each
player look different from any other player. With an all-new polygonal engine used
by Acclaim, it gives the players a smooth skin look. And use of Hi-Rez graphics it
adds an extra zest to the game.
Music and Sound 78 out of 100
I feel really disappointed in Acclaim for their choice of not using sound to pump
up the gameplay. The crowd in the background seems to be all mutes until somebody
hits a homerun. This is not good for Acclaim because Ken Griffey's game uses sound
as its weapon. Although Acclaim didn't make a smart decision on this, there are
still some notable sounds in this game. What is really cool is the play-by-play and
color calls by New York Yankees broadcasters John Sterling and Michael Kay. They
call almost every player in the game when they come up to bat.
Game Challenge 86 out of 100
Although this game may seem very difficult for most people the first few times
they play it, after a few games they'll most likely be able to hit homers 1 out of 3
times they try. But most of the challenge in this game lies in the general manager
standpoint. While you're playing a game you also have to think about how you're
players are feeling and if you need to substitute them for a less tired or better
player. But seriously now, it really isn't that hard unless you're playing without
Game Play-Fun 94 out of 100
Many hardcore gamers say that great graphics always take out the gameplay value.
Well, the gameplay in this is the best I've ever seen in a baseball game. For instance,
if you get tired of playing a game by yourself, you can just plug in three more controllers
and get three of your best friend's together to play a game. But you'll never get tired
of watching the same thing over and over again because Acclaim decided to add over
600 player motions to watch or control. And with a little work you can be able to
make monster catches by just pressing a button. With unprecedented batting controls
it makes it easily possible to push, pull, hit down or under the ball depending where
you want to hit it. And when the 7-foot batter comes up and you don't want him to get
the ball past you, jut press the B button to move your players back in the field. But
don't worry, maybe with a specialty pitch that only your pitcher can pitch, he may
not even hit it!
Rumble Pak 90 out of 100
Although not a big factor (usually) in sports games, the Rumble Pak was a nice
addition to this game. It just feels like you're there at the ballpark when you feel
the crack out the bat as it strokes across the leather ball. The only disappointment
was that was about the only time the Rumble Pak was used in the game. Not a huge
deal but it just seems like a waste of the battery in it!
The only problem that annoyed me while playing this I noticed was the difficulty to
hit the ball. If you don't know, when the pitcher pitches the ball, you have to line up
a fairly small circle with the hardly visible ball. It took me about an hour until I
could really crank the ball out.
Game Value 97 out of 100
If you can't live without a realistic baseball game for N64 then go but it! I guarantee
that if you are a die-hard fan of the sport then you will want to play this game over
and over again. So for a suggested price of $59.95 I think it is greatly worth the price.
Overall 90 out of 100
With unbelievable graphics, average sound, and great gameplay I'm recommending
"All Star Baseball '99" over its competitors. Why? It's because I'm a baseball player
and fan. Maybe if I had never started playing the sport and didn't care about realism,
I'd go for one of the other two. But I do, so there's nothing else to say except that I
can't wait for next year's game!