Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey, Jr. Review

For Nintendo 64

Rating: Average
    Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey, Jr. is a 
game that showed promise of rising above the current glut of
boring baseball games, but didn't quite realize that promise.
First of all, what's the deal with that title?  Why the heck
wouldn't they just call it Griffey 64?  Second of all, and 
this probably shouldn't even be mentioned, but why does it 
say "Only For Nintendo Sports" in the corner of the game 
box?  What, is Nintendo Sports a separate system that I have
to pay extra money for?  Will the game also run on my 
regular N64, or do I have to buy a "Nintendo Sports"?  Maybe
they meant "Made By Nintendo Sports," and even that is 
questionable since Nintendo didn't develop the game (Angel 
Studios did).  Well, enough ranting about that, on with the 
review.  The sound is annoying from the very first moment 
you turn the game on.  Griffey's annoying chants of "Call, 
Call, Call Me Junior" at the title screen are just plain 
pathetic.  Is that supposed to be cool or something?  Also, 
the in-game commentator does nothing but call out the 
batters' names as they approach home base (or this game's 
case, magically teleport to it).  Even this becomes annoying
and there's no way to turn the commentator off.  Also, the 
things the umpires say are ridiculous at times.  When's the 
last time you heard an umpire repeatedly say "He's in 
there!" instead of "Safe"?  And why is it that when a ball 
just hits the corner of the plate for a strike, the crowd 
gasps and boos even if the play was to the home team's 
favor?  Moving on to gameplay, the game only lets you choose
from 162 and 81-game seasons if  you want the full set of 
features.  You can play a shorter season with 20-some games,
but for some reason the game insists that there be no trades,
free agent dealings, or even injuries in the shorter seasons.
The 81-game seasons would be bearable if you could simulate 
meanginless mid-season games, but you can't.  It's standard 
fare in every other sports game, but for some reason this 
game doesn't let you sim games and makes you play every 
single game in the long, painful season.  And where the heck
is the Create A Player feature?  This is so standard in 
sports game these days that there is simply no excuse that 
it is not in this game.  The gameplay itself is extremely 
fast-paced, arcade-style action that holds the potential to 
be very entertaining.  The fielding control is great 
compared to such horribly-controlling games as Triple Play 
'98 (or Triple Play '99, same thing), but I found the 
batting interface to be very frustrating after extensive 
play.  You have to quickly line up your batting cursor with 
the pitching cursor, then move your eyes to the incoming 
ball and swing at just the right moment.  This would be 
awesome if it weren't for one little thing.  The pitcher can
move the pitching cursor as the ball is on its way to home 
plate, which creates a frustrating situation for the batter.
You can't concentrate on lining up the moving cursors or 
you'll mess up on the timing of the swing, but you can't 
keep your eye on the ball the whole time or the pitching 
cursor will move out of range and it will be a strike.  
As promising as it initially appeared, Major League Baseball
Featuring Ken Griffey, Jr. is a very flawed game that will 
leave gamers across the country wondering why on earth it 
took Angel Studios over two and a half years to develop.

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