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Friday, January 03, 2014

Giant Bomb: Encyclopedia Bombastica: R.B.I. Baseball

Some days you just have to roll out of bed and play a little RBI. Today was such a day.

Encyclopedia Bombastica is Giant Bomb’s version of a quick play for retro games. Today’s entry is about RBI Baseball. Watch Jeff Gerstmann(Former editor in chief of Gamespot and founder of Giant Bomb) give out some history of RBI baseball, Tengen’s sordid past, and why RBI baseball is still great to play today.

 

Tripon Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:18 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, video games

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Esoteric Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4628993)
God bless RBI Baseball. One of my childhood stalwarts.
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4629000)
Dennis Anderson, a former minor league catcher in the Marlins' system, was addicted to RBI Baseball. When he was with the Mudcats in 2004, the scoreboard operators played the music from RBI Baseball as his walkup music and created an RBI Baseball Dennis Anderson icon which they displayed on the scoreboard. We all got a kick out of it. Anderson did some color on the radio broadcasts for a while after he was released.

-- MWE
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4629006)
I was never an RBI Baseball guy. Microleague was my baseball game of choice.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4629010)
When he was with the Mudcats in 2004, the scoreboard operators played the music from RBI Baseball as his walkup


For the last two years, Chris Getz has had the RBI Baseball theme as his walk up music.

I owned "Bases Loaded" but "RBI Baseball" was my favorite game. I can't access the link right now, but why did they not make another version like Tecmo Bowl did with expanded rosters?
   5. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4629015)
There's a version on the internet with every team and 2013 rosters.
   6. Dan Evensen Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4629017)
As is the case for many my age, RBI Baseball was the first baseball game I ever played. It's a true classic, though it's not exactly the best NES baseball title out there (Baseball Stars is much more addictive, in my mind). Though I enjoyed playing with the expanded teams, in retrospect, it's kind of a shame that we got the completely different RBI 2 and 3 rather than conversions of the rest of the FamiSta series. It's worth pulling out the old emulator and dusting off the ROMs to experience those games if you haven't already.

I had Bases Loaded, and have played Bases Loaded II as well. The camera angles were creative, but RBI is just more fun. There were some other lesser baseball games that I owned (back when I was 13 and the NES had been completely discontinued, I used to browse through stacks of games at thrift stores looking for any baseball ones), such as Legends of the Diamond, Bo Jackson Baseball, Little League Baseball and so on. One I remember well was Bad News Baseball, which also featured girl's teams, if you could ever remember the code.

Of course, you can't talk about NES sports games without mentioning Dusty Diamond's All Star Softball. That's clearly one of the greatest games of all time, and never grows old.

Without a doubt, Tecmo Super Bowl was the best sports game for the NES. In fact, one could argue that it is one of the best sports games of all time, especially with two players. I used to rent that game for a week at a time from the grocery store (yes, there was a video game section in the small video rental part of our local grocery store) when I was 11 or so. That usually gave me enough time to play through a complete season. I'm still amazed that they figured out how to save statistics and present such a good simulation on the NES, and the two player mode remains extremely popular to this day.

I never really got into the SNES and Genesis versions of Tecmo Super Bowl, however. I'm not sure I can explain why. Maybe it's because I grew older.

EDIT: I love the fact that people are still hacking the RBI Baseball ROM to keep the game updated and alive. There are those who do the same thing for NHL '94, another timeless classic.
   7. Greg K Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4629023)
I was never an RBI Baseball guy. Microleague was my baseball game of choice.

I did enjoy RBI Baseball, but Baseball Stars has to be the baseball game for me.
   8. OsunaSakata Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4629025)
Has anybody played History Maker Baseball? It doesn't seem to be any more accurate than other games out there, but it seems to incorporate more drama. It looks the sort of game I might play once every few months, but not regularly every day or every week.
   9. Xander Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4629090)
Giant Bomb on BTF? My two internets are colliding.
   10. tfbg9 Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4629102)
NHL '94 was truly great. They flow was beautiful. I took the B's to the Cup.

The first NES game I played was Bases Loaded. Thought it was the best thing I ever saw. Was Paste from Bases Loaded II or I? Can't remember...don't have the game anymore.
   11. Ace of Kevin Bass Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4629108)
I spent a looooot of hours playing Microleague. Great game.
   12. BFFB Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4629112)
Giant Bomb on BTF? My two internets are colliding.


There's even an OT video game thread!.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4629117)
Was Paste from Bases Loaded II or I? Can't remember...don't have the game anymore.


Yea, he was the best hitter for Jersey. I remember Bacon for LA being my favorite player, although I usually played with Kansas (even though they kinda stunk) Patson had a 100 mph fastball, but you could time him pretty well and the lineup was awful.

YUK
DUM
BOO
BUM
   14. tfbg9 Posted: January 03, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4629122)
Edit-RDP
   15. PreservedFish Posted: January 03, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4629123)
Baseball Stars was the best of these games. You could create your own team, improve their skills gradually, and if you played a long series with a friend it kept track of the statistics. Also the game action was high quality.

But RBI Baseball was very fun.
   16. Davo Dozier Posted: January 03, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4629130)
My favorite of these types was Ken Griffey Jr Presents Major League Baseball of the Super Nintendo. Fantastic game, and you could play an entire season (it saved stats).

It didn't have the names of any players, but it did have their 1993 stats. So whichever team I used (usually the Rangers--loved that tiny ballpark!), I'd just grab my copy of the Baseball Encyclopedia and edit all their names to make it "accurate."

Really good times. I bought an SNES and that game a couple years ago at a pawn shop just so I could relive it.
   17. tfbg9 Posted: January 03, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4629154)
I played 2 entire seasons with BL for NES. Won the title with Jersey and Hawaii.

Does anyone else remember an odd "syndrome" that occurred when you caused your starting pitcher to become tired enough, and then just threw change ups, he'd K like 15 guys in a row if the computer was batting?
   18. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4629264)
My favorite of these types was Ken Griffey Jr Presents Major League Baseball of the Super Nintendo. Fantastic game, and you could play an entire season (it saved stats).


That's funny, just a few days ago I was playing that game. I'd already played as the Jays so I randomly chose to play as the Mets. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw who was in their lineup.

My usual games of choice were Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 (odd combination of being able to play a full season with saved stats and fully customizable rosters... and being able to have the pitcher turn the baseball into a ball of lightning) and Super Baseball 2020 (shorter season, but the robot baseball gameplay is a bit better).

My only real experience with NES baseball was a friend's copy of Base Wars, the game that found the best possible solution to resolving plays that might require instant replay to get right.
   19. Davo Dozier Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4629283)
I imagine it's a lot harder to cheat at the sports video games on the newer systems. But that just makes them so much more boring!

ALSO: The last system I owned was a playstation 2, back in college, 7 years ago (I'm 28). I still find it really odd how little video games appeal to me now--I played them CONSTANTLY when I was younger, and never would have believed you if you'd told me that at age 28 I wouldn't own a single video game.
   20. Jose Molina wants a nickname like "A-Rod" Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4629287)
I love the fact that people are still hacking the RBI Baseball ROM to keep the game updated and alive. There are those who do the same thing for NHL '94, another timeless classic.


I just downloaded NHL '94 last week updated to the current rosters. One timers feel just as good as they did twenty years ago.

Baseball Stars was awesome. What sucked was having the memory wiped if your asshat childhood friend Kevin put the cartridge in wrong.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4629289)
I imagine it's a lot harder to cheat at the sports video games on the newer systems.


I seem to remember in college with an Sega NHL game there was an angle where Mats Sundin could never NOT score a goal.

I remember Charlie Kerfeld being surprisingly hard to hit in RBI Baseball.
   22. Davo Dozier Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4629298)
In that Ken Griffey Jr Baseball game for the SNES, after a leadoff double, you could do this play every single time:

1) Next batter up bunts it. The runner on second takes a few steps to third.

2) Defense fields the bunt and throws it to the third baseman.

3) Third baseman starts running up the third base line back at the baserunner on second.

4) Baserunner finally decides to step back on second base.

5) By this time, the batter has made it to first. You now have runners on first and second.

Yeah. I cheated. I have no shame.
   23. Davo Dozier Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4629303)
Also, echo #6's love of Dusty Diamond's All Star Softball. When our family gets together for holidays, my little brother and I always make time to play each other in that one. It's a really great game.
   24. Josh1 Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4629310)
Did anyone play the NES game Major League Baseball? I liked it and played it a lot, but it was incredibly buggy being impossible to throw out runners at first on grounders to third, and balls that hit the wall on the fly went through the wall for home runs. I also liked baseball simulator 1.000 quite a bit playing without the superpowers.
   25. Manny Coon Posted: January 03, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4629439)
Not a console game, but did anyone else play Hardball! much on the C64 or other primitive computers? I didn't have an NES so didn't get to play RBI as much as I wanted until I was grown up, but played the hell out of Hardball!.
   26. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: January 03, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4629480)
God bless RBI Baseball. One of my childhood stalwarts.


I read this as "childhood sweethearts", which for a lot of guys would be just as accurate.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 03, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4629558)
Was there any technological reason the RBI programmers couldn't make the nonwhite players, you know...not white?
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 03, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4629562)
@ 25,

Was Hardball the one where the cheerleaders came out and danced on the field (or, I guess, stacks of about 7 pixels that kind of maybe could be cheerleaders)? Or was it the one where there were only two teams, the only way to score runs was via home run and one team had Pepi Perez, a lefthander with the most ridiculous curveball in video game history? The other team's 3/4/5 hitters were named Contos, Barnes and Nyden if I remember correctly.

Yes, I remember useless things.
   29. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: January 03, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4629576)
Was there any technological reason the RBI programmers couldn't make the nonwhite players, you know...not white?

There's an arcade version of RBI baseball that features all-time teams of 10 different clubs (9 teams that make sense, plus the Astros). It's a ton of fun playing as the Dodgers and batting as white Jackie Robinson.
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 03, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4629581)
There's an arcade version of RBI baseball that features all-time teams of 10 different clubs (9 teams that make sense, plus the Astros). It's a ton of fun playing as the Dodgers and batting as white Jackie Robinson.


Probably a good thing they made Jackie white, too, or you'd put your quarter in, only to find it wasted when most of the all-time Cardinals or Red Sox refused to take the field.
   31. Manny Coon Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4629643)
Or was it the one where there were only two teams, the only way to score runs was via home run and one team had Pepi Perez, a lefthander with the most ridiculous curveball in video game history? The other team's 3/4/5 hitters were named Contos, Barnes and Nyden if I remember correctly.


This one. There were other ways to score though, they were just less obvious and more difficult. You could get infield hits with your fast players (often by hitting high a really high pop up and the defender not being allowed to control anyone who could reach it), have them steal second and third, and either make a productive out or infield hit to score them. I actually liked the blue team, I liked Euler as a pitcher, he had good control and nasty screwball. I thought the game had really good graphics for the time and it was neat to have pitchers with 4 pitches.
   32. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: January 04, 2014 at 01:18 AM (#4629723)
Also, echo #6's love of Dusty Diamond's All Star Softball. When our family gets together for holidays, my little brother and I always make time to play each other in that one. It's a really great game.


It must have been a computer or two ago, but I had a NES emulator with a ton of ROMs. I probably spent more time playing that Dusty Diamond game than anything else.

As a kid, I played the heck out of RBI and Bases Loaded. Bases Loaded was cool on our block because everyonce and a while, a player would charge the mound after being hit. I think that RBI was still more popular (and fun) than any other baseball game.

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