LGR – Tiger Electronic Baseball Review

[jazzy organ music] I have a slight confession to make. I never owned a Game Boy or a Game Gear, or any of those proper
handheld game systems as a kid. They were just too expensive. And any money I had would go to
extra computer games and hardware. But there was one set of systems that actually made portable
gaming possible for my budget, which was…zero. Tiger Electronic Baseball, first appearing on store shelves
in 1987 from Tiger Electronics. There were also versions that looked like this, or even this, but they’re all identical, save for the artwork. This 1994 MVP Baseball version
with the skeptical-looking pitcher is the one I got for Christmas of the same year. Or maybe it was my birthday. I don’t remember. December 20th birthday
resulting in combined gift-giving. Three skill levels. Realistic batting.
Control your baserunner. Aw, man, these features were too
good to be true to 8-year-old me, since the only other way I had to play
games was on my Packard Bell 486. And while I adored that computer,
I couldn’t take it with me anywhere, so having something to play on
the go was a total game changer. All I needed was a pair of AA batteries,
and it was time to play ball! Not Major League Baseball, mind. Just baseball, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. There was no MLB licensing, no real-life players, not even the actual rules of baseball. But it *was* an interactive game in the palms
of my hands, and that was good enough! Tiger Electronic Baseball begins by letting you
select the number of players and your skill level, and then beeps out a triumphant ditty letting you know it’s game time! [triumphant beeping] Even though this is supposed to be baseball, which is a game full of technicalities,
strategy and split-second timing, Tiger’s Baseball is an exercise in restraint. Don’t be fooled by the gray
rubber options keys in the middle. There are only two buttons
you’ll need for the main event. The right button, which swings the bat, while the left button runs the bases. As you might expect, the aim of
the game is to score the most points, and that’s it! You’ll note that I didn’t say
“score more points than your opponent,” because the competing team never steps up to bat. They pitch, you swing,
and never the other way around. This is the idea of an existing game without the nuances of said game. Which sums up Tiger Electronics
games on the whole, actually. Much like Nintendo’s Game & Watch series, these Tiger LCD games were meant to be
a cheap burst of fun and nothing more, and I can kinda respect that. As I’ve said before, when you can take something
that’s complex and boil it down to its minimal form, yet have it remain unmistakeable as anything else, then that’s a type of beauty. Now I’m not calling this
game “beautiful” by any means, but I *am* saying that I can
respect those who develop things with such limited hardware and cost requirements and still create something memorable. With a system this cheap, gameplay is king, because it sure as crap isn’t going to
impress you with sound and visuals. Sound is nothing more than singular
beeps from an obnoxiously loud speaker, although it’s absolutely key to playing well. I played this so much, I can actually
play it by ear due to the sound cues. If you mute the sound–
which my parents often wanted me to do– then the gameplay suffered. So I opted to lower the
volume by covering the speaker with masking tape instead. And the graphics? Well, it’s an LCD, much like you would
see on a digital watch of the time period. You got preset text and graphics that lit up
at different times in order to signify movement, and a static, colorized background
to give it a little extra flair. As such, the graphics were sharp, but not exactly versatile. Tiger did do some impressive things with this tech, but baseball was not one of them. They convey nothing more than the bare details, and since they’re so insanely predictable, you can really rack up the points with ease once you get the timing of
batting and running down pat. Other than playing this blind, the only challenge in the game is
when you crank up the difficulty, which makes pitches more unpredictable with slow balls, curveballs, and fastballs. And you know what? I loved it! I still do, in a nostalgic sense, because it reminds me of when I was
happy with a game of LCD baseball that cramped my hands and hurt to
listen to for extended periods of time. These handhelds didn’t push any boundaries, and it would be hard to argue that
they hold up well gameplay-wise, but they filled a niche for several years and gave kids like me something to
do during otherwise boring road trips. A part of me deeply misses that, while the rest of me is incredibly
thankful that we have smartphones now. [rock music plays] And, hey, what are some of your
favorite Tiger Electronics games, or games made by other
companies of the LCD variety? There were hundreds of them. Let me know
some of them in the comments if you feel like it. And you can also just check my channel for other videos if you found this one interesting. I’ve done a whole lot of ’em. More of them
come around every Monday and Friday. And you can also do the social stuff:
Facebook, Twitter, Patreon. Well, Patreon’s not so much social as it is money. But if you like what you see here,
then that is always an option that is very much appreciated. And as per usual, thank you very much for watching.

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