In a time when baseball video games were plentiful — unlike now when there’s only a handful — the innovation in sports games was at an all time high. We would feverishly pick up any new baseball game that was released, each providing a unique spin on the representation of the sport.
None were more unique than Base Wars.
Ultra Games — a division of Konami — released Base Wars in 1991 on the NES, two years after the equally awesome Baseball Stars was released by SNK.
The premise is simple: instead of humans, we control a team of robots. The game featured four classes of robots, from nimble to heavy, that specialized in different aspects of the game like running, pitching, fielding or hitting. But what made the game really unique was that it threw in a Street Fighter influenced mechanic that resulted in characters fighting each other to advance bases, using swords and lasers to attack, or exploding after being hit by a pitch.
I fondly remember playing matches against my kid brother in which our games would regularly end in forfeit as we would destroy enough of each other’s players.
It’s fairly bonkers, but hella fun. It holds up fairly well, too, thanks to the big detailed sprites on screen during fights and the nice character design. The only down side is the EXTREMELY REPETITIVE SINGLE TRACK THAT PLAYS THROUGHOUT THE GAME.
Happy Throwback Thursday. Let’s play ball.