I like this title screen with letters made of baseballs.

Review Date: February 15, 2021

Release Date: October 18, 1985

Platform: NES

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Sports

I have to pick a team. It can be any letter in the phrase “dry cap.” I’m going with C, which obviously stands for Coldcuts.

Anecdotes: (Note: the order of the games is done roughly by North American release date. The fact that “spring**” training starts this week is a coincidence.) It’s barely above zero outside with a Winter Storm Warning for a foot of snow here, but never mind any of that. It’s time to get out the bats, bases, balls, and gloves. As kids, my two brothers and I really only played this on rainy days, mainly because we’d be out actually playing baseball on any surface imaginable. Possible fields included three back yards, two front yards, the street, two areas on the school blacktop, and an actual baseball field behind the school. A baseball game could break out anywhere. We had eight boys old enough to play; girls were welcome but the only girl on the block was a baby. At least on screen, Dad could join us; I played my dad and he easily won, despite repeatedly complaining that the computer wanted me to win.

**-February and the first 20 days or so of March are not spring. The only part of “spring” training that is actually in spring is the final week.

I scored three runs in the top of the first, but now I’m in a bases loaded, nobody out jam. Can I get out of it?
Sort of. A line out, throw to first double play delayed the damage, but the others, plus one more, eventually scored.

Description: It’s baseball, simplified down to an easily digestible form. You control the pitcher, batter, base runners, and throws from the fielders.

Positives: They did a nice job of simplifying the game. Fielders are automatic, so no need to guess where the ball is to catch a fly ball. All you do is choose where to throw. Pitching is just speed control and a little curving. Base running is simple. Hitting is mostly just hitting a button. I do like how the umpires only appear to make a call, then quickly disappear, at least on the infield screen. The wide shot has the umpires on there at all times. The game is also very likely not to devolve into a home run derby.

And just when I say that, I hit a 2 run homer. I’m up 5-3, top of the second.

As shown below, the developers used a technique to simulate scaling.

I popped a ball straight up; the catcher didn’t have to move. I like the scaling effect used here. It looks good even though scaling technology didn’t exist at the time.

Negatives: Way too often have I seen a shortstop or second baseman move out of the way of a ground ball. The dugout areas and walls of foul territory are not ever shown. The pitcher also takes too long to get out of “taking signs” stance when I just want to throw a pitch.

It’s stretch time at Robot Stadium. Can my Coldcuts hold off the Robots?
Coldcuts win! I had some trouble in the eighth, but never gave up the lead.

Grade: B

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