There are many android/smart phones on the market today. There are some that feature touch-screen capabilities, while others feature vast selections of apps to choose from. The question is: What are the best of the best? Which android phones stand apart from the rest? Does the best android phone feature the best interface? What is the best android phone? All of these questions will be answered within the top five android phones available on the market today. 5. Samsung Behold II
– The heir apparent to the original behold, the 2nd generation model features a brilliant AMOLED display, and easy web apps such as facebook and youtube. With a display of 3.2,” and five-mega-pixel camera, the behold II features a vast android marketplace, and provides easy navigation for its users. The only drawback to the device is the clumsy touchwiz interface. The device can be purchased at any T-mobile store for approximately $149.99.
4. Mytouch 3g
– T-mobile’s quick answer to the Iphone, the 3g features an improved app store and easy to use interface. Although the original that came on the market lacked a 3.5 mm jack for headphones, the company was able to incorporate this feature in the “fender” edition of the device. At a reasonable $150.00, the Mytouch offers a 3.2” display and compact design. The weight of this device is only 4.1 ounces, compared to the T-mobile G1’s weight of 5.1 ounces. The only drawback is the lack of memory on the device compared to similar phones on the market, which can make some apps run a bit slow at times. However, it is a great phone for those craving a smartphone, but do not want to spend several hundred dollars. Overall, a great buy, good interface, and its compact size make it number four on the list. This phone can also be purchased at T-mobile stores nationwide.
3. HTC Google Nexus One
– HTC introduced this phone early 2010, and boasted its appeal with a large 3.7” display, which is larger than the Iphone’s 3.5″ display. What set this android phone apart from the rest is its massive 1 GHz processor via Qualcomm Snapdragon brand chip. Although it lacks some multi-touch features and Outlook calendar synching, this phone has a great media player. They only point preventing this from being higher on the list is the overall price. With a two-year T-mobile contract, it’s a reasonable $180, but the unlocked version will cost approximately $530.
2. Motorola Droid
– Verizon changed the game of Android phones by introducing the Droid. The Droid features a stylish and easily utilized physical keyboard, which many other similar phones lack in the current marketplace. The phone features a large 3.7″ display and offers great web browsing features. The only minor issue of the phone is the granny pictures from the camera at times. If taking pictures on your phone is not an issue, then this is a great Android phone. The phone is currently sold thru Verizon, and is priced at $200 with a two-year agreement.
1. Motorola Cliq
– This is the dream phone for any social-networking junkie. By far, this is the best overall Android phone in areas of interface, price, and features. The phone is offered thru T-mobile for approximately $200 with a two-year contract, and it features both a touch screen and physical keyboard. Although the phone weighs in at 5.7 ounces, the phone is not overwhelmingly heavy. It features a very compact design for its size, and feature Motoblur. This software allows users to receive constant updates from social-networking sites such as facebook, myspace, and twitter. This is the ideal phone for anybody on the go, but still wants to keep up on all aspects of social-networking. This phone is available at Verizon stores across the country.
“Nexus One Review,” Ginny Miles, PCworld 01/12/2010
I wanted to start video blogging or vlogging as they called it, to enhance my career as a writer. I’m a writer who is somewhat illiterate when it comes to using computer hardware and programming, but I needed to buy an easy but professional webcam.
I bought a relatively inexpensive webcam for twenty-five dollars. Logitech QuickCam IM Plus can be found at your local retail store, for example, in Sears, Wal-Mart or Radio Shack.
Logitech is a one click quick software camera. You can capture videos or photo images, e-mail videos and photo images, or upload your videos to, You Tube, after a free registration, all with one click.
Logitech QuickCam comes with a circular webcam unit that has a built in microphone at the base. It also comes with a stereo headphone with an attached microphone, CD disk installation software, and an instruction book in four languages. The languages are English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
To install the webcam you follow these simple instructions.
1-Turn your computer on.
2-Insert the installation CD into your CD-Rom or DVD-Rom drive.
3-Double click the, my computer icon, and the disk will automatically install.
4-A prompt will pop up on your screen telling you when to connect the camera to a USB port. (Don’t connect until you are prompted to do so.)
5-Position the camera in the center of your computer or on a desk top no more than three feet away for best audio sound.
6-Adjust the audio when prompted and you’re almost ready.
7-A QuickCam icon should now be on your desktop in the task bar.
8-Click on the icon and a sidebar will pop up with your selections.
9-Click on the feature you want and you’re ready to videotape or click a photo image.
You can also make video calls to friends or family, but an instant messaging application is required. Check your internet services for further information. Further simple instructions are available under the icon for online resource guide in the sidebar.
The ease of usage and the affordable price of this webcam is what impressed me. Within a few minutes I was able to make a video and place it on You Tube. The one click option isn’t complicated.
I highly recommend Logitech QuickCam IM Plus webcam for anyone looking to buy an easy, relatively in-expensive but proficient webcam.
Clash and clans is an empire building a mobile game in which player attacks on an opponent to destroy their town. If your team destroys more than 50% town, then you win the game. Else, you have to pay more gems to an opponent. On the other hand, the opponent also attacks you so that they build their empire. So it is right to say that it is empire building as well as a war game. About all the online or offline game requires coins, gold, diamond, or points. Every successful game activity provides hundreds of gems. Similarly, a player has to pay equal gems if lose the game.
Once the player’s clash and clans account are empty, then the player no more accesses the game. In this case, a player needs to buy gems through real money. If someone cannot afford the required amount, then it is easy to get free gems. The player needs to access the gems generator where he/she can get free gems within few minutes. The gems generator is an online website that required some promotional activities from players and provides free gems. It does not demand real money to sell gems or game points.
How to find the right gems generator?
Hundreds of gems generators are available in the internet world, but some of them are not trusted. They guarantee to get the gems in free of cost but demands small amount. Also, they include virus that impacts badly on devices. So, you should have to analyze some factors before choosing the site-
Find the out the gems generator relevant clash of clans.
Must have help and support option
Easy to navigate
Do not require much time to generate gems
Includes few promotional activities
No human verification required
It takes 5-10 minutes to generate free virtual money
Provide proper guidelines to new user
These are common factors that you should analyze before accessing the gems generator.
Gems hacking are legal or not
To generate a free clash of clan’s gems, you need to visit the particular site then generate free coins. This process is also known as a clash of clans hack. Actually, it is not complete hacking, but it is a legal process to get free gems. The gems generator contracts with a business owner and provides advertisements on their site and earns some profit. Similarly, they buy genuine gems from a game platform. There is nothing illegal on gems hacking.
In last, each player can get free gems for clash of clans and add extra fun to the game.
Researchers working out of the University of Washington and Aalto University in Finland have developed a proof of concept contact lens that displays computerized data for the wearer, much like the cyborg in the Terminator movies. In the initial study, a single pixel was displayed and then seen by a volunteer wearing the lens. The team describes their results in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.
The idea is that information such as text or graphics can be displayed on a contact lens instead of a computer screen, freeing the user from having to look at a separate device. Such a lens would also allow interactions to between the real world and the images on the lens, such as an arrow leading the way towards a destination, or pertinent facts about the immediate environment, such as the names of the stores in a mall. All of this could come about as the lens is connected to a device and then to the Internet, allowing it to become just another display device connected to electronic gadget such as a Smartphone. In such a scenario, apps developers could write apps just for the lens, and the user could choose among them for the best fit.
The lens works by means of a small antennae attached to the person’s body to harvest power from another source. It’s connected to a device with an integrated circuit that creates the data to display on the lens. The chip then transfers the information across the surface of the lens to a very tiny sapphire transparent chip containing an LED. When the LED is activated, the user can see it. To get around the problem of having to focus on the LED on the lens, the team directed the focus of the LED directly to the cornea, thus there are no problems with blurring. Such a system can be easily expanded to include several hundred, or even thousands of LEDs to allow for a rich diversity of imagery, bounded only by the imagination.
With a finished product, the antennae would become moot as the power source would lie within an electronic device such as a Smartphone, which would mean the lens would work with nothing but the lens and the phone.
The lens was first tested with rabbits before human volunteers tried them on. All reports thus far indicate that no side effects from the lens have occurred, meaning that the team can set to work on a lens that displays both images and graphics. If all goes well, we might expect to see a product on the market with a year or so.
Playing a game is easy if it is interesting but when it becomes irritating then it the worst game. Well, this is the same issue with the game clash royale. It is a game of normal graphics but good strategy. Most of the people who have played Clash of Clans can see their favorite character of it in clash royale. The aim of the game is to building a powerful deck of cards and destroying the enemy castle. Cards can be earned through playing but this game doesn’t offer many resources for playing that is why clash royale hack came in trend. This is the powerful tool which helps in generating coins and gems. The method of generating is:
Here you will see many options as well as instruction and precautions.
The username which you are using for playing the game will be entered here with mobile device platform.
You can use PC web browser as well as Smartphone.
The no. of coins and gems will be entered here and try to choose unlimited so that you don’t have to wonder for earning again.
Click on generate button and wait for the next screen to appear.
Many people have to complete a verification test and the reason is not a secure internet connection so in this condition complete an easy task.
After completing a task you will see pop up screen for verification complete and now the open game in your device and enjoy these generated resources.
Those people who still don’t know much about generator tools need to be selective in approach if you are searching for one. The good thing is Clash Royale Hack is best and exclusive tool so use this for the better experience.
When playing this game, I put aside the facts that the graphics are outdated. There is a great difference between the original Final Fantasy I for Nintendo to the Playstation. However, it still is not fulfilling enough to be considered even closely to one of my favorites. I am a big fan of the Final Fantasy series, but this one doesn’t make the cut as one of my favorites.
I am impressed by the change in the graphics from the Nintendo version to the Playstation. Still, the graphics look more like a great Super Nintendo game, I don’t think that much different could’ve happened, unless the game actually changed all together. The characters now have more detail as well as the backgrounds. During battle, instead of a black screen with a tiny square backdrop, the entire screen is now filled with the new and improved graphics. Overall, done well for what they had to work with.
Music and Sounds
Another improvement was definitely the music and sound. Still, I felt sort of ripped off when all the music stays consistent. There is no change in music from town to town. Overall, it’s repetitive. While the quality improved, the quantity of sounds did not.
Everything here is plain and simple. You can equip your weapon and items you use during battle. The menu is well organized. It’s extremely easy to get the hang of. And now on the Playstation your hits can be redirected. This is a new change to be happy about. A new feature is added in the menu control where you can keep track of all the monsters fought and items accumulated in the dungeons. Special features unlock when completing 100%.
Basically, I didn’t get a sense of a strong story in this game. The game is about four warriors of light out to save the world, just like any typical fantasy story. Your characters, picked by you, do not have a story, personality, or special dialog to make them unique from one another. This is probably due to the inability to make cutscenes back in the day. So if you’re looking for a game with a story…look elsewhere. Final Fantasy I has only a little bit of a story, but it’s nothing to get excited over.
Okay, this what I have to say….mazes and random battles! I would get lost, and have to fight so many random battles. This got so tedious to me. And with no story to drive me further, it almost became a chore for me to play. There wasn’t much to this other than battles and making your way through annoying dungeons.
Overall this game wasn’t that bad, but does not sit on my top favorites. I feel like the only people who could truly appreciate this game are those who enjoy retro games, or people who played the original on the Nintendo. I probably would’ve loved the game more if I had played the original, but I was spoiled. I started my Final Fantasy days with VII.
This game is still recommended though for those who want to see where Final Fantasy began its roots.
Injustice 2 is the game designed for teenagers who love the fighting game. This game is made with using all the designed characters of DC. Game starts with batman’s storyline. The first thing which is awesome about this game is the entire DC fan will love this and playing it with its easy interface made it so cool. All the designs and graphics used in this game look so real and exciting. When you start playing this game you will feel easy to because all the starting missions are to teach you interface and gaming style. When you will reach to the middle of this game then you will know that how hard it is to complete this game. You have coins and gems for purchasing new characters and upgrading them. If you are having trouble earning these coins then you can use injustice 2 hack for getting everything in unlimited numbers. You can also use some tips and tricks for earning coins and gems.
Tips And Tricks For Earning Coins And Gems
There are many things in this game which allow you to get coins easily.
Login your account on WB through this game. This will help you to get daily bonus and achievements.
Open first bonus level and then complete it. This level is easy to complete and you will earn 5000 points. You will get these points for completing it every time.
If you are a beginner then you will earn gems for completing every easy task so doesn’t miss it.
If you are still not getting many coins then must try injustice 2 hack. There are many reasons that you can use this for a better gameplay.
Using Injustice 2 Hack
Anyone can use this tool because this is so easy and every device supports this. Open the website for injustice 2 hack. All the column are there for you to enter the value of coins and gems you want. Actually, you will see 3 options there. First one is for coins; the second one is for gems and the last one for SIM. This is something new developed in this game. Fill the entire column with your desired value. You cannot get more than 10M in single time so keep on doing if you want more. Click on generate button after you have filled the entire column. Meanwhile don’t play this game otherwise your account can be caught using this tool. After few seconds you will get the message on screen saying “done”. Now open the game and use your coins for upgrading players and buying gears. Use all the gems for buying new characters. Every character has its own fighting style so try each and every player.
Well, you have used a tool which gets inside your gaming account through gaming server so if you use this tool then use this with some safety features like a firewall. You can also try some application which can hide your IP address.
Who doesn’t love a big stack of syrupy pancakes for breakfast? I know I sure do. Unfortunately, it’s not always practical (or healthy!) to eat pancakes for breakfast everyday. Luckily, there’s a way to enjoy the buttermilk goodness of a stack of flapjacks without the calories or messy kitchen – play a pancake-themed video game. Surprisingly, there is an array of video games out there for pancake fans of all ages.
Pancake Day is a free, flash-based video game. The goal of the game is to follow the recipe on the screen. For example, if the recipe calls for a ½ cup of milk, two eggs, and three cups of flour, you must click your mouse on each ingredient and add it to the bowl. After adding all the ingredients, turn on the mixing bowl to mix it up. The game moves your player to the stove, where you must cook the pancakes. You’ll be given a pancake goal-cook enough pancakes within the allotted time to pass the level. “Pancake Day” features realistic graphics and an easy-to-control interface.
Pancake Master is another free flash video game you can play within your Internet browser. You play a pancake-serving street vendor. Customers come up to your stand to order pancakes. Fulfill their order according to the bubble above their head. The game starts you off in the ghetto, but as you progress through the game, you can move up to more profitable locations.
Available from Y3 as a free flash game, Pinky’s Pancake throws you into the role of a short order cook in a pancake restaurant. To play, look at the order on the top left side of the screen. You must recreate this order using the tools in the kitchen. The order always includes pancakes, but you also must make any other items in the customer’s order, including sausages, eggs and drinks. You must meet each levels monetary goals in order to pass the level. If you mess up the order, you can toss it in the trash, but be warned; throwing food away deducts money from your daily totals. The graphics on this game are cartoony and amateurish – if graphics are a concern for you, you might want to avoid Pinky’s Pancake.
Happy Pancake is another flash-based video game playable within your web browser. Game play involves recreating the plate of pancakes located on the right of the screen. You must get all of the toppings correct within the specified time in order to pass the level. The game has three levels of difficulty.
The game which you are playing would be interesting based on the character which you choose for promoting your game to the next level. The yu gi oh duel link is an entirely different game where you can able to travel to the many adventurous places. When you begin your game you can able to select one of them from the yami yugi and the seto kaiba.
The yami yugi is best for collecting all the rewards and the cards fast in the game.
The seto kaibas moneter card would create a high status for you in the game.
When you are playing the game you have to find the deck that is available and by using that you have to pick an appropriate booster packs and this would provide you the gems and you can also notice the free gems and collect them. You have to use the light monster to activate your trap cards the resources which you collect in the game or more important through that gems only you can able to move to the further levels and the yu gi oh duel link hack helps you to generate all your expected resources within a short span of time.
Hack the gems to upgrade your levels
The gems which you gain in the game would help you to move on to the various other different levels easily but if you want to collect them through the game by clearing all the levels it would take lot of time for you to complete the game. But there is another quick magical way available in the game for generating your gems and that is yu gi oh duel link hack and you can able to generate all the gems without fighting with your enemies.
When you use this hack no one can able to find that you had used the hack inside the game.
You can able to use the hack tool many times and generate unlimited gems.
You can able to generate the unlimited gems within a single minute.
You can able to access this hack tool anytime it may be a day or a night it does not matter.
For getting those resources you no need to pay any real money just your user name is enough for hacking all the gems for your game.
Due to societal and cultural factors, on the web there is a dearth of consumer copy for the sports gamer in general and the baseball fan in particular. And that shortage extends from popular review mags to trade shows. Due to the interactive immersion and non-linear replay value of role playing games, it would seem that violence and mayhem take precedence over ball games. Add to that steroid controversy surrounding the national pastime as well as new age sports game firm monopolies, and baseball gaming is in a serious slump.
But that doesn’t mean serious diehard fans can’t resort to window shopping the universe of E store and auction listings as a retro old school candy store for nostalgic consumers. Back in the 90s, it’s safe to say baseball gaming was at its zenith and the choices and multitude of titles reflected that. This goldmine guide is a throwback to the good old days, a salute to the evolution of the baseball video game and a boon to collectors. It is meant to reevaluate A listers, weed out pretenders, celebrate jewels, and separate wheat from chaffe.
For sake of space, clarity and a sense of exclusive coverage, I cannot include in these listings any and every baseball video game ever made on all media formats. Moreover, my compilation does not extend to stat sims and I am more of an eye candy enthusiast than a data realist. If I want the real thing I’ll take in a pick up game or reserve a ticket to a MLB contest.
Also, I can only cover the best of the major franchise players, the rank pretenders and eccentric standouts that still might be available online at various cyberspace outlets or web toy malls.
1. A dozen popular PC/console game series will get collective reviews with significant others singled out in separate categories.
2. Reviews will rank in chronological order or historical context descending from time past to present day.
3. Take special note. Rare, hard to find titles may make the grade, so mind your search engine skills.
4. Only 1 pic is to be featured up front with this list – – that of my pick for the greatest baseball video game of all time.
5. Ratings from 1-5 will be in asterisks, symbolic of this the baseball era of juiced bats, bodies and balls.
1 Asterisk * This game is on fruit juice. It’s a lime lush or bitter lemon.
2 Asterisks ** You been slipped a coolaid mickey. Almost as dull as the aftertaste.
3 Asterisks *** Wine cooler buzz. Pick-me-up potential. Just add more slice and less ice.
4 Asterisks **** Power aid energy drink. Spirited front runner. Get jazzed on the fizz, whiz!
5 Asterisks***** Hire Bonkin’ Barry, Slammin’ Sammy or Marky Mac as video game cover boys!
And now without any further adieu…
I. Franchise Series Vets
In the beginning, the baseball video game Gods said, let there be stats. But other than 80s stat based board games and dinosaur home console arcade generation entrants not meriting mention herein, the first noteworthy video simulation variety to add visual graphics to a comprehensive gameplay database was…
The Earl Weaver Baseball series.
** With 2 asterisks this dated pioneer gets minimal points for the early effort. If you could put up with the stick figure graphics, this was an early game that gave you a competitive gameplay outcome for your baseball sim dollar. EW 3, the late great closer volume was the best of the lot. The rest were but a pet pastime for an easily amused and pleased 80s contingent of fans
endurable for their nostalgia if nothing else. Old Earl Weaver was no young Tony La Russa.
Not to be outdone, the console had its share of contenders. Simplicity minus tweeking interactivity lead to relaxed gameplay for casual fans. As long as you could lay in bed and play a console while PC play was like home office video gaming, there would always be room for multiple media formats like…
The Sega World Series Baseball series
*** Mechanical yet colorful, this was the first game to merge an intuitive batting interface with daunting pitch speeds. Heavily digitized sound was a weak point, but evolving graphics and finger friendly joystick buttons were enough of a boon to make this a crowd favorite. WSB 98 was the Genesis yardstick before series made the jump to Saturn and Dreamcast. By the time it
sold out to the dual console heavyweights, it wasn’t quite the same game in name or fame.
Somewhere in between the quest for stat data realism and eye candy balance gaming powers that be decided to upgrade both graphics and audio on an even scale. Flat 2D was still the visual palate of the day but there were too many announcing legends not to dabble in sound. Add perrenial sports vocalist Al Michaels into the brew and you had…
The Accolade Hardball series
*** Balanced for stat junkies and seeing eye enthusiasts, there were so many edit features in this game that the replay value alone vaulted it above the competition. You could create your own logos, leagues and what not. And what the visuals lacked in geometry and depth of field they gained in neon color. The series hit its stride with Hardball 5, with the remainer 3D
pretenders thereafter victims of poor AI physics and a deadpan sleeping pill of an announcer.
By the time the 90s came around, a MLB strategy whiz skipper would turn the baseball video game world upside down with an award winning series that pushed the graphical envelope yet maintained a semblance of statistical reliability. This was the last gasp of the 2D set but it proved to catapult the baseball sim to the sports gaming A list in…
The Tony La Russa Baseball series
****1/2 If my bias shows on this one, it’s well deserved. For this personal teeth cutting baseball sim intro, graphic artists captured the soul of the national pastime paired up with a small ball managerial brain who made the video game big time. So many volumes spawned from this series that it was a PC franchise without peer, the console retreads of which were juvenile at best. TLRB 3 took the cake as numero uno while Oldtime was memorable for a one of a kind historical database.
At the height of the Tony ball domination, other baseball titles still co-existed with whimsical character of their own if they could not compete on a level budget plane. Gaming firms that couldn’t afford a crack team of graphic artists, full MLB license and ballpark inclusion had to make due with an offbeat interface and oddball gameplay like…
The MicroSports Pro League Baseball series
*** More than any other game series, this is the one that spanned the chasm between kiddie arcade cuteness and stat data simulation. Whereas it lacked serious graphical polish, a windowed multiplex gameplay interface set it apart. The ’97 version was the leader of the pack with a rare baseball century player database only equaled by La Russa’s Oldtime Baseball spinoff. If you happen to find this title online in a virtual bargain bin, bid on or buy it now ASAP.
By the mid the 90s, athletic video gaming would mind meld with the sports steroid zeitgeist. If the show was juiced, was it that much of a stretch for the ultimate arcade game to have homeruns come easy as a sign of the times? To mirror a show fast becoming a victim of the surreal, the wisdom of stat data realism took a back seat to wired play action in…
The EA Sports Triple Play series
*** The games that serious baseballers love to hate, these nonetheless served a purpose in catering to casual fans with a mix of visual fluff and audio grandstanding. The obnoxious announcing team of Buck Martinez and Co. got on your nerves, but the long ball sound effects were a saving grace. Critics and laymen agree the 99 and 2000 games rank best due to interactive options and camera angle cheats. But even without more settings options and less stat inflation, EA Sports TP was a video game monolith.
While the PC enjoyed a baseball gaming renaissance not seen since the age of the handheld toys and home computer hybrids, the console market was flooded by a numeric competitor fit with a superior ad campaign and seasoned by the best baseball voice in broadcasting history. It was a long series a long way in coming, yet every diehard fan was a sucker for…
The MLB 989 series
***1/2 A higher batting camera angle affording depth of perception and down to earthiness of Vin Scully’s announcing skills gave this series staying power across gaming generations. For almost too long, they just threw in extra animation and camera angles and skimped on upgrading the graphics. But by the time 989 had decided to overhaul the visuals and drop Scully, MLB’s greatest hits and evolutionary rebirth thererafter from ’04 to ’06 proved to be the final competition when baseball gaming fell prey to a mediocre monopoly.
While advanced consoles got by on lackluster annual entries, a jewel in the rough made for an oldie but goodie console seized a moment in time to gain widespread credibility as the new age baseball video “it” game. It would outdo contemporaries in almost every statistical and graphic visual category. Regardless of loyalties, you couldn’t deny that vitually everybody liked…
Nintendo 64’s All Star Baseball series
**** There was a buzz about these games with dim night game lighting, fluid animation, unintruding announcing and sabermetric stat tracking. All Star was a step ahead of nearly every baseball video game of its time. Via a 99/200/2001 power trio lineup, Nintendo scored a sports coup winning over critics and consumers alike with a dated console flagship game. But once it went to PX2 and Xbox, failure to upgrade eye candy didn’t do ASB justice. Collectors who still buy old N64s for ASB are a testament to its greatness.
In the late 90 entrepreneurial gaming hinterlands, an also-ran console maker realized a game designer dream quest in cooking up a most ambitious if not auspicious baseball sim. Stat data fans would lick their chops given his rare respect for AI and gameplay. And for the first time a baseball video game would make serious strides toward big league realism in…
3DO’s High Heat Baseball series
***1/2 This game was the one that was supposed to win the creative grand prize for all around consumer satisfaction. Developer even went so far as to offer a money back guarantee at one point. But the revolutionary gameplay was never enough to offset unsightly graphics. Code tweeking options added to interactive replay value. And HH almost realized visual art parity with the 03/04 volumes. But by then it was too late. The graphically challenged HH franchise was sold to MS and 3DO went out of business.
In bandwagon limbo or out of step, fledgling drummer beat gaming companies used other mad methods to breathe life into sports gaming. This was done at the expense of obnoxious, wreckless, diamond dream depictions that didn’t translate well to the national pastime. But the result was that you got stunning artwork eye candy as displayed in…
Midway’s MLB Slugfest series
*** An expansion series with no one trick pony, Slugfest was the no holds barred, in-your-face baseball version of the NFL Blitz games. A best seller included in the big fanchise ranks despite its aberration of gameplay and kiddie target market, it stakes its niche due to stunning graphics so much of a blast that it was as if the MLB show had been transported into a Marvel superhero landscape. The downside was limited trade options and only in later volumes could serious fans turn off the high octane wrestling gameplay.
Astride the frey operating from a budget windfall, the mega Microsoft label bullied its way into the sports gaming arena with some stellar stylistic PC sports titles. Their MO was to play to eye candy fans. So while a chorus of stat studs sang the praises of baseball simulation without player interaction, MS window dressed the competition with…
The Microsoft Baseball series
**1/2 Athough the new millenniun run of this listing was brief, a photo realistic debut before its time almost bridged the gap between the camps of pretty video and gameplay realism. But not quite. Static gameplay stopped the hooplah in its tracks. Not willing to leave well enough alone, the fave MSB 3D title version was followed by 2 more shown the wear and tear of framerate skipping bugs. If MS settled for a one shot wonder, the 3D one and only would have stood in a class all its own.
If the market was saturated by gaming mover shakers upping the gameplay realizism ante, this made room for low budget rank ventures that couldn’t match graphic media standards but would find a way to co-exist amidst the genre by appealing to half the fan base. With a busy interface, physics based AI plus inventive camera angle options, interactive fans had a ball with…
The Front Page Sports Baseball Pro series
*** With so many immersive, intricate GM settings, you could look past the fact that after you hit the ball, field graphics turned to line drawing mush with these games. Indeed, multi cam views through this video looking glass were outdated at best. And the Sierra Baseball Pro lineup didn’t advance far in its mid to late 90s run. Upgrades along the way concerned only AI bugs. While you expected Sierra to reinvent the baseball sim wheel like with its inventive golf series, from 94 to 98, it was not to be. But this game was still a stat data stud’s dream.
II. Expansion Game Contenders
Since not every baseball title in existence can be part of a gaming firm conglomerate, specialized production or a popular media series, here’s to the wannabe also-rans, fledgling flies in the ointment, proud pretenders and various individual lone wolf releases that fall under the label umbrella of “other games”, be they good, bad, controversial or mediocre like…
Aaron Vs. Ruth
** With a title like this as well as the artwork on the CD cover, you expect a powerhouse gaming experience.Instead all this game offers is comic book gameplay and low octane graphics. Mindscape Sports Advantage’s “Battle Of The Big Bats” is a video game preschool portrait of the national pastime that takes advantage of the trademark of two all time classics and mails in the AI and eye candy effort. It’s a shame because no other sports game I know of matches such a promising marketing coup with such lackluster final product results.
ESPN Baseball Tonight
**1/2 Back, back, back, back, back…GONE! Chris “Boomer” Berman’s famous homerun call is the default sound bite from the booth and takes what would have been a console toy of the month choice and lets its ESPN charm grow on you. But of course, there are some other features that make it worth a purchase. Pitch speeds and trajectories as well as batting timing are tricky enough to afford replay value and depth perception in the outfield is in perfect sync with play calling. And no video game with “Booming” audio could ever be a bomb.
Acclaim All Star ’97
*** As either the genesis of the ASB series or a stand alone title, this one shines as a rare arcade oldie. Whatever you wanna call it, the combination of play-by-play by Jon Miller and the action rush of the zoom ball cams strutted its stride when the Triple Play series was in the midst of redefining the genre. Acclaim can be accused of having a tinker toy template or temperament to the gameplay action, but if taken within the scope of its retro competition, this console All Star was an earlybird contender 2nd only to franchise behemoths.
Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball
*1/2 It’s a coincidence that both this game and latter review feature Thomas as the baseball cover boy. But where the similarity ends is in the complete package. It’s almost as if this evil twisted sister was an afterthought spinoff. But if it was, then too much was left out except the player sponsor and nothing was done to upgrade the product to hide the inferior quality. Don’t let the star power of the Big Hurt fool you. Indeed, this game is so bad, that it’s not even worth buying so you have to worry about PC compatibility. Pass on all counts.
MLB Pennant Race
***1/2 A popular favorite regarded as one of the better early titles for the PSX, this game featured reverse angle mound or plate gameplay at a time when most baseball video gaming was limited to behind the catcher backstops. Joystick button maps were multi press saving also. There was just nothing about this game that was lacking except for that fact that it could only play by the graphic pixel limitations of its time. Colorful with its interface, field POV and other extras, Pennant Race made the grade when MLB old school was still in.
* A Virgin Interactive entry that was little more than a barebones, elementary begrudging add-on to the sports gaming universe that just sought to latch onto and cash in on a time when video baseball was so hot that you could release anything and collector enthusiasts would bite. Everything about this game, childish graphics, chainlink interface and what have you was at least a decade behind the times and almost as cheezy as shoestring pioneers of yesteryear. It’s a marketing wonder that it was made for the PC and console alike.
VR Interplay Sports Baseball
*1/2 Despite a new Messiah tech standard for graphic resolution stalwarts, the interface and artwork of this game set baseball video gaming back some 5 years. Batting animation didn’t sync with plate or pitch location, fielders looked like crouched hunchback crustaceans with osteoporosis and the overall gameplay had a tin cup audio visual feel to it. Critics say this was a console cheapie that was poorly ported to the PC or vice verse. Consumer consensus? It was the big little baseball video game series that couldn’t.
Home Run King
*** An unforgiving port from an unwieldly Dreamcast WSB predecessor victim of a poor controller, the Gamecube incarnation didn’t deserve all the bad press. Detractors panned it because the difficulty level was too hard for casual fans unwilling to put in the time to turn the learning curve. HRK played like a middle of the road game whose A1 graphics couldn’t make up for lax button reaction time. But given time to master controller map idiosyncracies, good fun could be had by unflappable gaming diehards with patience, determination and guile.
**1/2 With XBox’s exclusive entrant into the baseball gaming fracas, you couldn’t make up your mind whether this game came up short due to poor visuals or static gameplay. Be that as it may, way dim lightbulb graphics and a somewhat mechanical pitching/batting interface gave IP a rushed feel. Almost as if the developers forgot to turn on the lights for the graphics or the AI for the stat data crowd. There was damage control hearsay that MS’s purchase of the High Heat source code was meant to bring this up to snuff. But old rumors die hard.
Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball
**** In short, Baseball Mogul for arcade fans. Big Papi was the long over due Gamecube cover boy while a trade show teased us into a frenzy of anticipation. How could I review a game that was never released? There was enough buzz about it to go ga-ga. It was said to include a quick sim interface, hands-on play and other interactive extras. That it never saw the light of day was the biggest blooper in the history of gaming. Now and then you see it pop up for sale online. Are there bootleggers, ghosts out there or is there a blackmarket for it? We may never know, folks.
2K Sports Major League Baseball
**1/2 Best described as the evil empire of baseball video gaming, this was the game and the series that was supposed to unite the genre under one label, one roof and one monopoly. So much for wishful thinking. For the record, this used to be ESPN Baseball which in turn also used to be World Series Baseball. Needless to say, with the loss of Giambi as cover boy and the ESPN logo, style and substance, the market was cornered to remove competitors. Bad move. Such power plays explain why gaming is in a slump. Less competition is not more fun.
MVP NCAA Baseball
*** I’m being kind with the rating here. This kneejerk release was MVP’s last gasp in the baseball video game wars. That it made use of an unrepresented sports milieu to extend what was once a stellar series is no marketing crime. But the effort was too understated to merit the shortcoming. Especially since loyal fans have supported online modding communities that have given away upgrades that EA Sports could not sell. Plans for the future are as of yet unknown. But if EA Sports would only go generic, they would save baseball video gaming as we know it.
The Greatest Baseball Video Game (Of All Time)
MVP Baseball 2004
***** I left out inclusion of the MVP series for a reason. Spurred on by a Triple Play fan base that encouraged and inspired it to new heights, EA Sports took the lead and brought PC/console baseball into the 21st century. While ’03 had minor buggs and ’05 was rushed given sad news of the 2K Sports market grab, ’04 was the big bang of sweet science gaming. The first MLB game to blend awesome graphics with evolved AI and gameplay. The fact that the code could be tweeked a la the old High Heat series was icing on the cake. Mission Accomplished, EA Sports!