Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #63 : Base Wars

Title :  Base Wars

Publisher : Ultra Games

Genre : Sports (with ROBOTS)

Players : 1 / 2 Player

Release Date : 1991

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $5-$7

Baseball. One of the slowest sports, yet I still watch it. Playing it though, not so much. Especially video games. But when you add Robots to the mix, well now. That's a whole different story.

This was one of those guilty pleasure games I had when I was a kid. First of all, the very fact that you are controlling robots playing baseball makes this game absolutely epic. But what makes it even more epic is that you use BATTLE with these robots on the field. That's right. You heard me. You get to fight each other during close call plays.  And I'm not just talking about fist to fist fights. You get to use laser guns and laser swords.

Come on. What baseball game is complete without Laser guns and Laser swords?!

We shall skip all the baseball explanations, so let's jump right into it and choose an open game mode. The other option is a pennant race where you play a mini-season by choosing teams to go up against one another. The only cool thing about the pennant race is that you have an option to upgrade your bots between matches to improve their abilities. Spend a little cash, get a little bit of a robotic boost, eh?

The first thing you'll notice when you start playing a game, is that robots have HP. You wouldn't expect this from a baseball game, but you need this HP during the battles. You'll also see that each robot has a weapon equipped. Oh man, I'm getting excited just anticipating a battle. COME ON CLOSE CALL PLAYS.

Before we get to the battles, let's talk a little bit about fielding. The problem with fielding is that it's REALLY confusing to tell where your players are. When there's a fly ball, I typically just let the AI control my character as they are usually close enough to catch it themselves.

It's sad though, because the graphics take a real sharp dive in the fielding portion. But then again, it's the same for every other NES baseball game so I can't really complain.

But now the moment we have been waiting for. ROBOT BATTLES. If there's a close play or a force out the screen quickly changes to a side scrolling battle screen. Here your robots duke it out against one another using whatever weaponry they have at their disposal. The fielder always has more HP, while the base-runner has HP based on how far they got along the base path.

The losing robot can also blow up if their HP is drained completely. This leaves the team with one less robot on their bench. What makes it even crazier, is that if you lose three robots, you are forced to forfeit the game.

Too bad the fighting system is choppy and unresponsive requiring just a lot of luck to get hits in and a whole lot of button mashing. Ah well, it's a fun idea at least.

Base Wars is one of those games that has a great concept but poor execution. The baseball works fine on it's own, but the introduction of the battle system, whilst awesome as it sounds, doesn't work. Baseball fans are sure to just be annoyed by this game, while nerds obsessed with robots will get their quick fix but quickly shelve it.

Unless you have friends over...then it just turns into an epic baseball robot brawl.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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