R.B.I. Baseball 4
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