Nostalgia can be an important factor when it comes to enjoying classic video games. Long-time TurboGrafx enthusiasts are well aware of this fact. Unfortunately, many Americans were not blessed with the opportunity to bask in the glory of NEC's highly esteemed console. Since few third party games were released in North America, there really aren't a whole lot of titles that will give Americans that good old Nostalgic feeling. Surprisingly enough, the PC Engine offered many titles with which Americans would be familiar, including the not so familiar sounding World Stadium Baseball.
Having nabbed this title in an eBay auction, I was suspecting that it would be a game that I would never have played before. However, much to my surprise, World Stadium Baseball is actually the Japanese equivalent to the 8-bit Nintendo blockbuster hit, RBI Baseball! For those of you like me, many hours were logged playing this game as a youth. As a result, it will be a welcome addition to the libraries of many TurboGrafx enthusiasts.
Upon first glance at the game, you'll see that it sports the classic look of RBI Baseball. Although the players are not all that fancy in appearance, Namco did add a few small graphical improvements to make use of the more powerful NEC hardware. The most notable of these is a little bit of a texture to the field graphics. Aside from that, the stadiums presented here are different than those in the US version, so it makes things a little bit more interesting (please note that screenshots are from the Nintendo version).
All of the original RBI Baseball sounds and music are here for your listening pleasure. Sure it's nothing of unparalleled magnitude, but you just can't stop humming that classic theme song. Aside from that, the voices are now in Japanese and do sound a bit humerous to North American ears.
World Stadium Baseball's gameplay is exactly how I remembered it. Although it has its quirks (like the fact that you can't control all of the fielders), I think that most would agree that they wouldn't want it any other way. What other game could boast of making the in-the-park homerun commonplace while throwing out a base-stealing runner a near impossibility. Don't forget the bunt, either. It can be a lethal weapon in your World Stadium Baseball arsenal.
All in all, this game can do no wrong for me. The chance to play one of my favorite classics on the greatest console known to man is an opportunity that cannot be missed. Do yourself a favor and beat the rush down to your local import game shop to snag a copy of this timeless title while supplies last!