Apr 12, 2007

yes, I do prefer the Super Nintendo

Reason to feel old: this afternoon, I heard someone on the radio point out that the Dodgers haven't won a playoff game in 19 years. I was nine then.

Reason to feel young: Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball for the Super Nintendo is still the greatest baseball game ever made. I love it not only because of its outstanding gameplay, but because of its idiosyncracies and flaws. Some examples:
  • Try as you might, you cannot commit an error.
  • Pitchers all bat .200 by default.
  • Only pitchers can pitch.
  • The stats track batting average, home runs, and RBIs for batters; wins, losses, and ERA for pitchers--that's it.
  • Big sluggers sometimes break their bat when they strike out. Measly infielders either shake their fist in fury, or hang their head in humiliation.
  • Each game features a newspaper recap, with a random headline on the second page, something like "Ump caught playing GameBoy during 7th inning stretch."
Because Nintendo didn't pay for licensing rights, the players have bizarre, sometimes thematic names. The California Angels, for example, are movie stars, including one Greta Garbo. The Oakland A's are poets, Charles Bukowski among them. Jello Biafra pitches for the Dodgers. Cartoonist Peter Bagge replaces Greg Swindell for the Houston Astros.

Sneakily, the game has a workaround. My brother and I once spent a summer rearranging the names based on stats found on baseball cards. This was all before they were posted on the internet, so we had to arrange everything by hand.

You kids don't know how good you have it.

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