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Baseball Heroes - The Atari Times

Baseball Heroes

This Portable Pastime Blows the Big Save
by Gregory D. George

January 8, 2001
I remember how eagerly I awaited the release of Baseball Heroes for the Atari Lynx. I would drool over the screenshots imagining the game would be as great as Sega's World Series Baseball for the Genesis. Alas, I couldn't have been more disappointed when I actually played it for the first time.

The biggest problem with Baseball Heroes is the slow speed. Now, some of you may say, "But, baseball is a slow sport!" Untrue, my friends. Once the ball is hit, baseball is one of the fastest sports there is. And to maintain the feel of baseball, a video game representing it must be equally as fast.

This is where Baseball Heroes fails miserably. It literally takes three seconds for a batter to finish his swing! Three seconds! In a real game, that swing would take less than a second. In BH, the catcher can throw the ball back to the pitcher before a swing is complete. Unbelievable.

Fielding is a total chore. As soon as you throw the ball, the control changes to whoever you've thrown it to. What happens is that your newly controlled player runs off in what ever direction you are holding which always makes him run away from the ball. Catching a fly ball can be challenging too. If you can somehow guess where the shadow of the ball will stop, you can catch it. Baseball Heroes really needed an outfield "target" like 99% of all baseball games.

The strange thing is that while the pitching/hitting game is very slow, the fielding game is way too fast. For a rabid baseball fan like me, these speed inconsistencies at the most crucial aspects of baseball totally ruins the flow of the great American pastime.

Graphics-wise, Baseball Heroes is wonderful and is the one good thing about the game. Sounds are barely noticeable and the announcer's voice is terrible. Hitting a home run, which you would normally expect to see a huge fan fare, is barely even recognized. Lineup changes are impossible. You can't even retire the pitcher!

And my final gripe: This game is called Baseball Heroes. But where are the heroes? No Bob Gibson. No Willie Mays. No Hank Aaron. Instead we get players like "Stinky" Butz and "Corny" Tyson. They're no heroes of mine!

When I bought Baseball Heroes, I was expecting a Mark McGwire home run. Instead I got a Ray Lankford strikeout. What a shame.

Looks promising...
Atari clearly tried to copy Sega's WSB.
How many baseball games have a fielding perspective like this? (Hint: This is the only one.)
At least there are a variety of perspectives.
Baseball Heroes
System: Lynx
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Sports
Graphics Score: 80%
Sound & Music Score: 20%
Gameplay Score: 20%
Control Score: 35%

Final Score: 40%

Reader Comments for Baseball Heroes

fielding perspective by Poem58 on 2008-01-24 10:30:32
Roger Clemens baseball on the gameboy and I believe the nes also had this perspective and I do believe one or two others out there did as well..it's extremely annoying and unnatural.
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