CGRundertow RBI BASEBALL ’94 for Sega Genesis Video Game Review

I’d just like to point out I haven’t played
RBI Baseball since the Clinton administration, and I’ve never even played this one. But
I still go up there first-pitch swinging because I’m a winner, and that’s what winners
do. Winners like me and Jay Bell. That’s one of the many reasons RBI Baseball
has always been such a tremendous video game. You can rest up for an offseason or two decades,
it doesn’t even matter. When you finally come back to Tengen’s pixelated diamond,
it only takes one swing. And then you remember why you used to play this every freaking day. But again, I mean…not this game specifically.
This is my first experience with this particular version and with this franchise on a 16-bit
console. And although it’s the same awesome baseball game at its core, I
actually prefer the older versions. And there are a few reasons why. RBI Baseball ’94 was the second game in
the series to use the year for its subtitle, having dropped the numerical sequels after
1992’s RBI Baseball 4. But there’s more separating RBI ’94 from the games preceding
it, and for the most part, that has to do with aesthetics. In my opinion, games from the 16-bit era have
aged better than any other. An older game can just look old, and frankly, there are
plenty of newer games that just don’t have the same visual polish and timeless charm
of some 16-bit games. And so, obviously, it makes sense that RBI Baseball ’94 would
emphasize those. Unfortunately, that emphasis gets in the way
of the gameplay just a bit. So gone are the basic ones of earlier games,
and in their place are some slick new player sprites. You also have the pixelated portraits
of the actual big league players, which pop up during each at-bat and were probably cool
in 1994. For example, there’s Bo Jackson. Unfortunately, he can’t run in zig zags
in this game. And frankly, he looks pissed about it. Of course, with such fancy new graphics, you
want to show them off. And so this version of RBI Baseball has a much tighter camera
than the older versions, which makes the players look bigger and more detailed…at the cost
of gameplay. See, the camera is so tight, in fact, that
you can’t really play defense. Your team automatically plays defense, and you sort
of just throw to the bases. The problem is, when there’s a hit they can’t play, you
can’t tell. So you’re waiting for them to make the automatic play, because you can’t
freaking see…and when they don’t, that’s an automatic double for the opposition. Again, the gameplay is basically still the
same as prior versions, so it’s still an outstanding game of retro baseball. But these
changes, most of which seem to be based on the aesthetic improvement of the 16-bit era,
actually get in the way. The formula for this franchise was always simplicity. And as RBI Baseball ’94 proved, sometimes
simpler is better.

9 thoughts on “CGRundertow RBI BASEBALL ’94 for Sega Genesis Video Game Review

  1. Ultimately, RBI Baseball '94 has remained to be debatably the best and fastest game in the RBI Baseball franchise to play and watch, and to a more noticeable degree, it is the utmost complex of the entries from the original seven, if only because of the multitude of bonus material and Easter Eggs that you get in this one:

    ~ Returning from RBI Baseball IV and '93 are the Home Run Derby, Stadium Tour, Game Breakers, Team Creator, and Defense Practice minigame, each of which have been optimized for RBI '94's engine and bugfixes; add in the ability to play a Lockout Season or 0I62 Game Season, as well as the new Pickles minigame to improve your Ground Level defensive tactics, and you have debatably the greatest array of variety that virtually any Baseball video game from the time had ever delivered.
    ~ The game's switch over to the GEMS Driver for the audio was undoubtedly Tengen's greatest move in the development phase of this game: Not only did we get the greatest music of the franchise, but we got the best DAC samples out of any entry, save for '95 (which recycles the lot of late sportscaster Jack Buck's cues).
    ~ Track 0I3 is the utmost notable track in the entire game for its ability to deliver Note Pattern Manipulation: If you listen to the start of the track at a very specific timeframe, you will hear the notes play differently before the entire percussion comes in, which can cause a musical debate that is rather on par with the Blue and Black Dress topic of 20I5; you can also witness this Note Pattern Manipulation in Sonic the Hedgehog CD's Stardust Speedway (Past) if you offset your listening by about a quarter second during the Piano Chorus, and the beginning of Rick Astley's "Take Me to Your Heart (Autumn Leaves Mix)" also has this scenario in the same fashion as RBI '94's Track 0I3, simply play the track and offset your listening by a certain amount of centiseconds and you will hear the musical phenomenon.
    ~ The Password system is known for having hidden goods such as programmer messages and the Animation/Sprite Viewer; what you probably didn't know was that if you type in THECHALLENGE as a password, you can then play as Team Tengen (featuring Tengen's development team as the players) and the Dream Team (a team composed of names that are literally pronouns and common slang terms of the time), these two teams are the ultimate challenge of Endurance and Skill to take on and you must better bring your A Game or else they will give you a blowout victory that could go deep into the hundreds. If you play the Game Breakers mode in a Tengen versus Dream Team matchup or vice versa, pay close attention to the screen that you see after you win the game: Team Tengen and the Dream Team will be running across the Title Screen's baseball field endlessly until you press a button, but the runners will form either a letter, number, or symbol; it is very likely that it words out "RBI Baseball '94" but I have still yet to confirm this at the time of this post, though wait for my commentary of the game at some point, where you will get to see that in action full throttle, truly an underrated Easter Egg that almost nobody outside of Gamewinners (when it used to show off Cheat Codes) truly talks about nowadays.

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