Brought to you by Ball Park Franks and Bud Light.
PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous
RELEASE DATE: April 1988
There are approximately fifty trillion baseball games for the NES, and I can say, with great conviction, that Major League Baseball is indeed one of them. It delivers exactly what it promises within the title: pick a Major League team and play baseball against another Major League team. In 1988, the Major League license was the main appeal for this game. No longer would NES players suffer by having to pit Team A against Team D. Now, in 2012, it seems silly playing with twenty-five-year-old statistics (in-game stats are from ’87, just in case anyone’s wondering if I can add). It also bears mentioning that, even though LJN got the Major League license, they didn’t get the rights to player names. Giving the players fake names seems like the next logical step, but they decided that stats would be enough. Basically, you’re playing with stats against stats, which felt strange to me. Sure, you could look up each stat from the game, and figure out which player it belonged to, but that’s even creepier than playing with a nameless character. But it’s all about how the game plays, right? There are three options to wet your whistle: a regular game (National League vs. National League, American League vs. American), an all-star game (National League vs. American League), and the World Series (the World fluffin’ Series). Batting and pitching are solid, but playing defense is like watching dogs in a dog show: some of the players understand what they’re supposed to be doing and some of them don’t. Other than that, it’s baseball. You like it or you don’t. If you can work with the defense and overlook the fact that there are at least ten more interesting baseball games one can play on the NES, Major League Baseball might intrigue you.