Baseball Stars Professional Review

Baseball Stars Professional (Available on PlayStation 3 & PSP)
ESRB Rating: E
Number of Players: 1 to 2
Genre: Sports
Publisher: SNK Playmore
Developer: SNK
Release Date: December 21st, 2010

Parent Talk: Baseball Stars Professional is rated E for everyone, and given this is a cartoony baseball game; I think the rating fits perfectly.

Plays Like: Any early baseball game released on the NES or arcades.

Review Basis: Played through the arcade mode on the PS3, and tried some online multiplayer.

Details: PS3 version is $8.99 and PSP version is $6.99.

What’s This About: Not many people know this, but Baseball Stars Professional is actually the sequel to the NES game Baseball Stars.  It may not be quite as innovative as the original game, but it remains an extremely fun arcade baseball game.

What It’s Remembered For:

  • Sadly Baseball Stars Professional is remembered for what it didn’t do, over what it did.  The NES original featured all kinds of unique features such as being able to create your own team, leveling your team up over time, etc.  All of this was cut to make way for a much more streamlined arcade experience.
  • What it lacked in originality, it made up for in spirit.  There were a lot of interesting features players could mess around with like moving around the batter’s box, angling a pitch, etc.  This game’s development went with the idea that less is more and for the most part it worked.
  • Very few baseball games looked this good in 1990, and it has aged tremendously well.  In fact now that it’s in HD, it looks and sounds better than ever.

Anything Else We Need To Know?

(Note that all Neo Geo Station games feature online play, PSP versions, region-selecting options for blood and added bounciness, visual smoothers, save states, bug editors, and command lists.)

  • I only managed to play one online match and that worked well.  There just aren’t many people playing Baseball Stars Professional when the much-improved sequel is available.

Bottom Line: Who Should Download This?

This one is a hard game to recommend when the vastly superior sequel is available for download.  Baseball Stars 2 is my favorite Neo Geo baseball game and worth your time and money.  This one is interesting for historians, but for true gamers there’s little incentive.

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