These are the days I thank heaven for NES Emulators. Through the grace of technology and the magic of the interweb, I can relive my childhood days of playing my favourite baseball game of all time - Bases Loaded for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Don't get me wrong, Bases Loaded is not the very best NES baseball game around. RBI Baseball and Baseball Stars are far better, but for some reason one day my parents brought me home Bases Loaded, and I was hooked ever since.
Bases Loaded features 12 teams in total, some of which emulate real big-league teams. Unless you're familiar with the game, it's always a crap shoot choosing your team. Each team has it's pros and cons, and I always bounced from team to team as I remember not really having a favourite.
I discovered a few interesting features about the game after the fact. One, there are certain batters that a pitcher can provoke to charge the mound. There is also a stipulation that you can't hit more than two home runs in one game.
Another obvious case of programmers screwing around with the game, were the names of the umpires. You might remember that they were named Yuk, Dum, Boo, and Bum. This could be because the umps sit on their asses the entire game.
As far as the hitters in the game go, I really couldn't recall any players in particular. I just grouped them into 3 different types; fat guy, skinny guy, and Scott Rolen guy. For some reason, I always envisioned the skinny guy as John Olerud, and the fat guy as John Kruk.
One thing that sets Bases Loaded apart from many of the baseball games on the NES is the wealth of statistics. Each hitter has statistics (such as AVG and HR), and pitchers have win-loss records and and ERA. Another great feature of the game is the music. For it's time, Bases Loaded had a great array of sound effects and music. In fact, the music is so good that I sometimes wish it would play in the background as I watch Blue Jays games on TV.
My only real issue with the game is the degree of difficulty when fielding in the outfield. Fly balls are tough to judge, as I often found myself either coming up short (that's what she said), or would watch the ball bounce over my head into the outfield wall.
Overall, Bases Loaded is a pretty fun baseball video game experience. Although most gamers may not have the patience to play through the Pennant Mode, it's also fun to just pick up and play a game in Vs Mode. It might partially be nostalgia factor, but when I think back on Bases Loaded I remember a simpler time. A time when there were only two buttons on a controller. And as far as I'm concerned, "A" and B" are all we need anyways.