Baseball Stars, released in Japan as Baseball Star Mezase Sankan Ō, is a baseball video game developed by SNK. It was released first as a 2-player baseball arcade game and was later released for the NES in 1989. It became a major hit in many countries worldwide, particularly in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Baseball Stars was the first baseball game to have battery backup on any console, and the first NES sports game to have battery backup. This allowed players to create a team, configure baseball league & play a season, and the game's memory chip stored cumulative statistics. Baseball Stars was also the first sports game for the NES to have a create a player feature; giving gamers the power to name their players, as well as their teams. The game also introduced a role playing element; as each game played earns the winning team money, and the amount won is directly related to the sum of the prestige ratings of the players from both teams (as prestige determines how many paying fans attend the game). The money can be used to purchase upgrades to the various abilities of players currently on the roster, or it can be used to purchase pre-designed players (available in the Rookie, Veteran, and All-Star categories). Also a first, a hidden feature allows players to hire female baseball players.
Simple graphics are coupled with repetitive upbeat 8-bit music. The pitching is simple: curve balls, fast balls, off-speed pitches, and sinkers. The batting is a swing on a level plane, thus it is simply a question of timing. The fielding, at the time, was a revolution in arcade baseball; it achieved a level of realism unseen prior to its release. This realism, coupled with ease-of-fielding features contributed to the game's popularity. These ease-of-fielding features are characterized by examples such as off-screen fielders automatically drifting towards fly balls, fielders catching balls anywhere near them, the ability to jump and dive, infielders shifting to prevent extra base hits down the line when men are on base, etc.
It is possible to deliver unhittable pitches that would 'drop' as they crossed home plate, the only clue would be a high-pitched squeak as the pitch came towards home plate. However, despite the high sound, sometimes these pitches failed to drop and in fact crossed home plate for strikes.
Baseball Stars includes a simple one-off versus mode, but it provides the option of creating a mini-league of up to six teams, with each team playing up to 25 games against every other team. That means a season with a maximum 125 game schedule can be created. When making a season, one chooses how many teams, how many games, and which teams are controlled by the AI (computer) and which are controlled by the gamers. In vs. mode, no stats, such as wins, losses, hits, or home runs are kept but money can still be won when a player controlled team plays against an AI-controlled team. No money is won in this mode when it is player vs. player. Versus mode games can be considered exhibition games.
How to play:
Click on the joystick icon in the Baseball Stars online emulator to see how to control the Baseball Stars game