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R.B.I. Baseball 4

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Reviewed by Inkhands R.B.I Baseball 4 is an average baseball draped in nice options and features. You won't find anything stunning about this game if you ever play it, but if you really like baseball you will admire some of it's better qualities. This game is for one or two players and it has four modes. The first mode is rather simply called Play Ball. This is basically your standard exhibition game, just simply nine innings of two teams of your choice. The second mode of play is the series mode. In this mode you can play a one game series, which seems quite pointless considering you could just play the previous mode. You can also play a best of seven series. The third type of series is a division series. You can play through one of the four divisions in this game. The final series option allows you to play against every other team in the game. There is a mode that allows you to take part in a home run derby. You can choose any player from any team you wish. You will be given twenty pitches and your goal is to knock all twenty of them out of the park. The best mode in this game is the game breakers mode. In this mode you select a team. You will then play through a season of seventeen situation games. Most of these situations stick you into the 8th or 9th inning. Sometimes there are batters on the bases, sometimes they are loaded, and sometimes there are none at all. Sometimes you have no outs, one out, or two outs. In a few of them you have to score to win, in others you simply have to hold onto your lead. This mode is quite impressive. The only available pitchers in this mode are the relievers, but try to play through and win all seventeen of them. It's not a long experience, but an interesting one. Other options allow you to view the teams and tour the stadiums. However nice all these options are, there is still no regular season mode, and this does hurt the appeal of the game. However, the intriguing game breakers and the addictive home run derby modes do make up for it somewhat. No stats are really kept during the game. Instead you have to get by with the stats of the real life players from the 1991 season that are used in this game. There are 26 regular teams and each league's all star teams. These 28 teams are divided into the National and American League divisions. There are 34 other teams to choose from, which are made up of 1983-90 Division Champions. All of these teams are divided into two divisions as well. The control in this game is fine during batting and pitching. You don't have any options on what type of pitches to throw or how weak or powerful to make your swing. You just simply move your player around in the box or on the mound and do your best. Where the control really is weak at is the actual fielding. Sometimes it is auto and your player will appear under a fly ball. However, I never know for sure, so I don't move the player. Then I will find out my fielder wasn't under the ball at all. Another fact is the lack of diving and jumping. Also, the players are too stiff. They don't move sometimes and then they move too far, making for a lot of missed catches. This game uses a password system. There are three difficulty settings; easy, normal and hard. Easy is very very easy. Normal is challenging enough. The home run derby is challenging if you want to hit more than 5 home runs per turn. The game breakers are difficult if you want to win all seventeen of the given situations. Playing the other modes is just like any other baseball game. However, I did notice one thing while playing this game. If I would spend a few turns in the home run derby mode and then go to play a regular game, my batting was much improved. Think of the home run derby mode as batting practice, and it really does help. This makes hits and home runs both much easier. Otherwise, challenge fits the setting you choose. Home runs come often in this game. It's quite easy to belt a few out of the park in only one inning. The only real challenge in the game comes from the control. Also, this game moves at a slow pace. The pace seems even slower by the fact there is a delay after every single play. The players in this game have different batting stances, but no faces, and their body shapes are all quite the same. The best part of the graphics in this game are the stadiums themselves. They are huge, about four times the size of most other baseball games of the era this one was produced in. The stands are very detailed, with some ball parks have upper decks, while others have fountains just beyond the fence. The crowd is fairly well detailed as well. The field is green and it looks freshly mowed, giving it a realistic look. The batting view is from behind the catcher, with first base and third base having their own little windows. Most of the time you aren't looking at the bases if no one is there. You will see pictures of players celebrating of the fans doing the wave. I still haven't decided if this is a good or bad thing, but I suppose it is something visually varied from other baseball games that just leave the windows empty. Home runs are celebrated, but nothing spectacular. There are automatic replays after home runs, double plays, and other notable plays. The music can't really decide what it wants to be. Sometimes it sounds techno and sometimes it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. Other times it sounds like you are at a carnival instead of a baseball game. For the most part I liked the music in this game and it never felt like it repeat itself too much. The voices call the game like any other games are called; "home run", "out", and "strike" are frequently heard. The effects are your typical hitting, sliding, pitching, and catching baseball sounds. This game has pretty good replay value. I've owned it for a few years. I don't really play it everyday, but I did play it quite a lot for a while. The home run derby is the most addictive feature of the game, though it's really nothing outstanding. The gamebreakers is certainly a good feature. This is a good baseball game, with some nice looking visuals and some pleasant music, but the control is it's main flaw. Also, just the design of the game, makes it look a little too cartoonish. The carnival music doesn't help the feeling. The game certainly isn't a ton of fun to play. It could never be considered a great experience. However, the game never bored me either. The challenge does fit the level you set it on, but the lack of a good control setup makes it a little harder and more frustrating than it should have been. The fun factor is pretty mediocre through most of the modes, but it really picks up in the home run derby and the gamebreaker modes. Basically, this is a fairly average baseball game with a couple of good modes. Not the best baseball game available, but a good one nonetheless. Graphics - 7/10 Sound - 7/10 Control - 6/10 Challenge - 7/10 Fun Factor - 6/10 Game Play - 7/10 Replay Value - 6/10 Overall - 7/10

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