I’m not a baseball fan. I’ve been to live games. I played Home Run on the Atari 2600. I played some goofy board game that my dad forced upon me in an effort to make me appreciate the sport. I even played in Little League when I was six (but I didn’t know that I was supposed to run after hitting the ball). The only time I ever enjoyed baseball was when I religiously watched the Princess Nine anime, and even as a non-fan I could tell that show was absolutely ridiculous. So when I received INTEC’s The Pro Yakyuu baseball game as a “freebie” with something else, I wasn’t particularly thrilled.
There’s no turnabout here — I played the game for a bit, and I’m still not a baseball fan. Pretending otherwise would be posing. But I can tell you that Pro Yakyuu is clearly better than Rom Rom Stadium, which was ANOTHER free baseball game I received.
INTEC’s The Pro Yakyuu (not to be confused with a bunch of other games called Pro Yakyuu) features real Japanese teams, and I was amused to see blatantly American names like “Giants” and “Braves” mixed in with team names like “Dragons” and “Carp”. I’m pretty sure there’s a rule in the West against naming your baseball team after fish (the Marlins don’t count, because they suck). Then again, the Japanese thought we were crazy to name a car “the Samurai”.
So, the game’s got a very excited Japanese announcer, it’s got nice graphics (the cinematic sequence that kicks in when you hit a grand slam rules), and it switches music up mid-game — sometimes even mid-inning — to keep everything fresh and exciting. There are also three distinct modes:
* action mode – dive, run, throw
* simulation mode – in between games, you get to make decisions to improve the team’s quality
* auto mode – just watch everything
If only The Pro Yakyuu had included scenes of a cute girl hurling cats through her television set, I might have been tempted to play a bit longer.