Angels in the Outfield Review


It’s time to look at a Baseball film from a long time ago. This one’s definitely a pretty solid film. It’s always nice to have a sports flick and in this one we get some quality character development and good writing. It’s a very pleasant film throughout. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Baseball as I find the game to move a little too slowly. That said, in film format it tends to work out pretty well because you’re cutting right to the action every time.

The movie starts with the Guffy’s Pirates losing yet another game. They’ve now dropped 10 games in a row with no end in sight. They’re dead last in the conference. Guffy’s upset but he still wants to go and enjoy his dinner as usual. He beats people up and has caused such a ruckus that a reporter named Jennifer has written a story on him. Guffy then receives a message from an Angel who has been watching him. Guffy needs to clean up his act and in exchange the Angel will start delivering his team some free wins. Guffy agrees to do this but it’s going to be difficult to break his old habits so easily. Additionally there is a little girl named Bridget who seems to be able to see the Angels somehow. This has started to cause quite a stir.

Guffy’s your classic gruff main character who definitely seems to enjoy picking fights with just about everyone. He never backs down and whenever someone has a problem with him Guffy just goes and beats the guy up. Of course this is all catching up to him though. People used to like hanging out with him and now he has no friends. Guffy just didn’t care so this kept on happening. Now he has a reason to care and he’s started to be nicer, but people aren’t so quick to forgive. It’s pretty realistic. How likely are you to be friends with someone again after they’ve been badmouthing you for so long? it’s definitely not very likely if you think about it. Still, he does really try to change which is the important thing. He’s certainly a much better character by the end than when he started morally. Guffy makes for an entertaining character either way though.

As for Bridget, as far as kids go I wouldn’t say she was bad. I tend to still not be a big fan of them in films but she was helpful and never got in the way. She would see the Angels and called it like she saw it. Bridget was also pretty quick to defend Guffy which was nice. She never got tricked by the media or anything like that. Finally you have Jennifer who is a fun heroine even if she seems a bit oblivious at times. She just walked right into Guffy’s place and made herself right at home. I suppose as a reporter you’ve got to have that level of confidence though so she did good. At first I actually thought she was going to be the main character of the film. Her role is pretty sizable and she seems like a nice person. She was a great help to Guffy in getting his life back on track.

Meanwhile the Angels certainly helped quite a lot as well. Their assistance in winning all those ballgames was invaluable and the Angel certainly helped Guffy to understand that he needed to change things around as well. The movie did a good job with the writing and the humor here. There are a lot of clever little gags in the script and the jokes work quite well. If someone got the better of a character with a joke you could expect another character to fire back later on. There were a lot of callbacks and such. As I mentioned, the film is just a lot of fun the whole time. It has a nice sense of humor and tight pacing.

At times the film may not be super realistic like with the Baseball association taking Guffy to court though. You really think they would have this much drama right before the World Series? I don’t see them stopping that game for just about anything. Particularly something like this which isn’t even a crime. Even if Guffy had finally cracked, that’s something that would be looked at during the off season. That’s why I liked how the NY teams took it as they were so confident they didn’t care if Angels were helping the Pirates. At the end of the day they were still ready to square off.

I enjoyed the court scene quite a lot near the end of the film. Even if as I mentioned, it’s hard to see the court happening, it was fun to see the 3 pastor figures they invited wreck everyone else. They did point out (in a polite way) that it’s rather crazy to claim to believe in the Bible but to not believe in Angels. I know there are a lot of factions out there but it’s like how I was reading that many don’t believe that the story of Noah is real. That’s something that could warrant its own article but you can’t just pick bits and pieces of it to be accurate. Either you believe in the whole package or none of it. You can’t go halfway on something like this. After setting the judge straight and the Angel also appearing a bit, that concluded the scene but it was a lot of fun. I was a little surprised that Guffy got in one more punch but I suppose he just couldn’t help it. Fortunately the Angels had mercy on him because things could have gotten messy otherwise.

Overall, Angels in the Outfield is a very pleasant film. It’s pretty down to Earth and only focuses on a few characters so we could really see their character development. Quite a lot happens during the film and it’s never dull. While the Baseball players themselves don’t get the largest role here, I do like how one of them stuck up for Guffy when the others were calling him crazy. Additionally I was glad that the old pitcher got to have one last good game. It all makes for a pretty emotional film. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out. It’s aged very well over the years.

Overall 7/10

Baseball Review


It’s time for another classic NES game. This time we’re looking into the wide world of Baseball. It’s not a sport that I’m a huge fan of both in watching the real thing or playing the video game versions. For the game adaptions, it’s because a lot of the game seems to be RNG to an extent. When you hit the ball you just never know where it’ll go as opposed to something like Football where you deliver the ball where it needs to be. To that extent, I was pretty impressed as I would say this Baseball game beats a lot of the newer ones. The simplistic controls and style actually worked out really well and made the game more enjoyable. I was getting blown out initially but by the end of the game I started getting pretty close. I narrowly lost 15-13 and one more Homer could have done the trick. I probably should have tried for it, but I don’t tend to use the rewind feature in sport titles so I just ate my loss.

The goal of the game is to hit the ball somewhere where the opponents can’t reach it and you score points once you run around the diamond and make it back home. The more points you score the better as the team with the most points at the end ends up winning the match. You throw the ball when the other team is set to hit it and then you shift sides after knocking 3 of their guys out. When hitting the ball you can hold the hit button to keep the bat out instead of swinging it. That way you lay out a bunt and then run for first base. It seems really handy for getting that opening move but after that usually there just isn’t enough time to get to further bases. It’s still a tactic I recommend though.

As for hitting the ball, well that’s where the timing will come into play. Make sure you hit the ball really carefully or you may end up hitting out of bounds or into someone’s mitt. That’s definitely the last thing you want to happen here since a single wrong hit can really make things not go very well for you. The opposing team won’t hold back with their hits after all. Careful when you’re fielding the ball though because missing it once or predicting the bounce the wrong way can end up costing you 1-3 points. Those make a huge difference when it comes to the final total. For all you know that may be the difference between victory and defeat.

There’s not a lot to say about the graphics because it’s basically the same as most of the other NES games. You’ve got some crispy sprite artwork to look at and it’s all pretty easy to see. The menus are clear which is always important. Between that and the solid gameplay you’re set up pretty well. This is the kind of game without a whole lot of extra content so you’ll probably play a game or two and then call it a day.

Overall, Baseball is definitely a fun title. It’s easy to pick up and play and just seems a lot more fun than some of the others like Tennis. As someone who usually doesn’t care for Baseball all that much I was pretty impressed. I’m nearing the end of the sport games on the NES so soon it’ll be time for more of the Arcade thrillers and games of that nature. I’m definitely expecting big things coming up. If you have the Switch Online then there is no reason not to check out this one. Whenever a game is free I feel like you’re obligated to at least give it a quick whirl even if you don’t ultimately stick around. What’s the harm in a quick check right?

Overall 6/10

Major League Baseball 2K7 Review


It’s time for another Baseball game! This one could actually be the last one I review for a while which is pretty crazy. I have two more MLB games, but they haven’t been working. If they don’t start working soon then it’ll be time to cut my losses with them. Baseball is one of the few series where I actually tend to prefer 2K to the main line games. 2K7 is no exception and actually has the best batting mechanics I’ve seen yet. If you really like Baseball then this is the title for you. It’s still not really my sport when it comes to video games because I feel like there is too much RNG, but at least now I can hit the ball back.

There are a lot of modes as always here but the one you will want is the exhibition mode right off the bat. I just wanted to test my skills against another Baseball team and so I dashed over. Much to my surprise I actually put up a pretty good fight here. It started out badly as I was down 3-0 after a few innings. I just couldn’t manage to hit the ball. I checked the settings and the reason for this was that the game was using motion controls. You were supposed to tilt your controller in order to swing. This is all well and good except for the fact that my PS3 controller has no such feature. I switched the controls to what they listed as “Classic” which allowed me to hit the ball normally. It went back to a classic “Press X” control scheme which is way more my speed.

So I started to make my comeback. I was hitting balls left and right. A lot of them went foul but others would actually be home runs. Eventually the game ended with a score of 9-6. I may have lost, but I got really close compared to most games where I lose 18-0 or something like that. At least this one made me feel like I was in the game at several points. It still doesn’t really take away from my main issue with these Baseball games though. My problem is that none of it feels like it’s in my control.

When pitching, the guy will just hit the ball sometimes. It doesn’t matter if you hit the perfect pitch, sometimes the guy will simply be ready for it. Likewise when you’re batting you can be in just the right spot and still not hit the ball. Perhaps it was outside and it just looked like it was in. Even worse is when you hit the ball and it goes out of bounds or straight into someone’s mitt. I know there are ways to angle your hit better and if you don’t want to go out of bounds then you’ve got to work on timing but there is too much that is out of my control for me to enjoy it as much as the others.

Basketball, Football, and Tennis are my three favorite sports to play in video game format and that’s because RNG is kept to a minimum there. What you see is what you get. If you mess up then it’s all on you. Sure, there is RNG present in every game and those are not exceptions, but they don’t feel nearly as frequent as they do in Baseball. No matter how refined the controls get, I feel as though that will always be holding the series back to an extent.

As always the graphics are good though. The players all look lifelike and the Baseball field is very clear. A lot of effort went into this even if it’s not quite up to Madden level. The presentation is also nice with a lot of quick cutscenes showing up between plays or after the game. Even seeing everyone heading into the stadium was a lot of fun. Slowly but surely the games are all starting to have big presentations like this and I think it’s definitely a good thing. It makes the whole thing look and feel even more realistic.

There’s a lot of replay value to be had here so you don’t have to worry about running out of content. That’s never really been a concern in Baseball games though so I would have been surprised if there was a lack of content. You can play endless matches against all of the teams and there are a lot of modes to try out. Considering that the game is only about a dollar or two nowadays it’s really a great deal for sure.

Overall, Major League Baseball 2K7 is probably one of the best Baseball games I’ve played. It’s quite solid for a Baseball game, but still doesn’t solve the things that were issues for me. I think the games need to take a bit of inspiration from the Mario Baseball game for Gamecube. Of course they wouldn’t grab the special abilities or anything like that, but the batting mechanics were quite solid. There you felt like every ball went exactly where you wanted it to go and that’s a really good thing. I’m confident it will happen in a main Baseball game someday.

Overall 5/10

Major League Baseball 2K8 Review


It’s time for yet another Baseball game. I haven’t exactly been tearing the place up in the MLB games, but even I was surprised at how badly I got beat here. I ended up losing 23-0 by the sixth inning which is where I had to pull the plug. In that time I only managed two hits and never got even close to a run. Hitting the ball in this game is insanely difficult, but 2K titles usually do ramp things up. I’ll be trying to do a little better in the next one since I do have one more 2K title in the vault. If all goes well in my next review you’ll see me winning 10-6 but lets not get ahead of ourselves. It’s time for the review.

So right away you’ve got your usual assortment of Baseball modes. You can jump in and have some quick games or you can throw yourself into a season. Either way will give you a lot of fun for sure and having options is a good thing. I naturally went into the quick play mode ready for some action. I probably should have went into practice mode, but the MLB games barely even have one so I made the dangerous assumption that 2K’s wouldn’t work all that well either.

Hitting the ball sounds easier because it’s all about going through the motions. You flick the joy stick down to get prepped and then back up to whack the ball. However, while I was hitting the ball pretty cleanly each time it would always just pop right up and the other team would catch it for a quick out. There must be some kind of tactic to this which the practice mode may have shown me. It didn’t feel right though because hitting the ball should at least give you a chance. At the very least it did make the game more entertaining than MLB though since there I would rarely be able to make any kind of contact with the ball.

As for pitching, that part seemed to be about as difficult as MLB. I just couldn’t get the ball to go where I wanted. I pitched a few balls where the area turned green so I suppose it was a “successful” pitch, but even then the guy would just whack it away for a home run. That’s how the score would quickly get out of hand for me. Landing an out was mostly about luck as I would hope they would pop the ball up in the air and then I’d catch it. Even fielding the ball wasn’t easy though as my guys would randomly drop the ball and then the opponents would get another base. In a game that is already filled with so much RNG I thought this was a bit much, but I suppose in real life people make mistakes at time so they were trying to emulate that.

As expected the graphics do look pretty good here. Sport games tend to age well which makes sense since at the end of the day there aren’t a lot of crazy effects at play here. As long as I can see the field and identify all of the players I feel pretty good about my odds and am satisfied with the game. There isn’t really much of a soundtrack though so you won’t be able to count on that. In all fairness, I wouldn’t really expect much of a soundtrack here either. It’s not something you really look for in a sport game.

There’s a lot of replay value even without online options. The game is difficult as you could guess from how I got beat down so you could play a lot of games just to try and get used to the controls and how the opponents play. Then you can work on full seasons and baseball seasons have a ton of games so this will buy you a lot of time as well. Considering that you can buy this game for a dollar or two that’s already reason enough to pick this game up. I think the only point against it would be that the other games are just as cheap and newer so there isn’t a real reason to go this far back into the past.

Overall, If you don’t have this game and you like Baseball then you should pick it up. If you are new to the sport and looking for a title though this would not be the game for you. I would recommend picking up MLB instead because the controls just make more sense to a newbie. Unfortunately for me Baseball is not a sport that translates well into electronic form. I have to get more control over the game to have fun and Baseball feels like a whole lot of RNG to me. That always kept it from being more of an enjoyable experience. My final word of advice is if this is your first Baseball manga, definitely be sure to play the practice mode. You won’t regret it.

Overall 5/10

MLB 09: The Show Review


It’s time to look at another Baseball game. This one’s a little newer than the last one and you can actually see how the gameplay has improved. I can actually pitch without every ball going out. There’s still a lot here that I just don’t get, but at least I had a little more fun. It’s hard to see myself going for more Baseball games in the near future unless I see them for under $5 but at least this is helping me wrap up the ones I do have. This review’s probably going to seem pretty similar to my last one since the games are basically identical.

Usually I jump right into the quickplay mode, but this time I really wanted to try out the Practice Mode to see if I could get a little better at this sport. After all, any skills I pick up now will be quite valuable down the road. Unfortunately the practice mode really isn’t very helpful. It’s just free reign as opposed to actual tutorials so that bit was a little disappointing. I got to practice my batting but without direction it really didn’t do me a lot of good. Ah well, I tried right? That was enough for me to go back into quick play.

I didn’t get destroyed quite as badly as last time so that is a bit of a start. For one thing my pitching was okay. I can’t angle the pitches or anything so they were all right down the middle, but the real important thing here is the fact that the ball was getting over the plate. The batter would land a lot of hits but I caught a good chunk of them. In the end the team scored about 6 runs so I always felt like I was right in the thick of it. Unfortunately I couldn’t score any runs so realistically I wasn’t going to be making any comebacks. I only got 1 solid hit as everything else got caught.

My bat couldn’t even reach most of the pitches which I thought was a bit sketchy. That shouldn’t have been the case and yet…it was. I couldn’t figure out how to move but I’m sure there is a way to move your bat a bit. That or those balls were simply out of range and I wasn’t supposed to be swinging at them. It can be really tough at times because sometimes the ball just looks really good when I’m pitching but they’ll call it a “ball” anyway. There’s something that never clicks for me in these games.

As for the graphics, those look pretty good as you’d expect. The character models are on point and the field looks good. It does feel significantly lower budget than the NBA or Madden games but maybe that’s because those just have a lot more to look at. In comparison you’re basically on the same field all the time here so maybe it makes sense that it looks bland. There is less of a presentation or soundtrack as well so you can feel awfully lonely here at times.

There is a lot of content though. You can jump into a season or keep on having fun with normal games. Since you can buy this title for about a dollar or so you really can’t go wrong here. You just have to actually like the gameplay enough to pick this title up now and again. Also you can probably just buy a newer version of the game and then you’ll be all set. There is little reason to pick up this game, but if you do then I expect you’ll enjoy it. At the very least I do think it is a big improvement over MLB 08. That’s for sure!

Overall, MLB 09 picks up where the last one left off, but improves in every way. Baseball still isn’t the sport for me and is certainly the weakest one I’ve played next to Golf. I feel like too much of the game is left up to chance and so naturally that ends up hurting my enjoyment factor. Still, it does feel really nice to land a hit. I’m sure landing a home run would feel even better. Train up a bit and perhaps you can get really good at this game. I was unable to accomplish this and I don’t expect I would return to the game since I don’t even think it has PS3 trophies. I haven’t personally checked though so hopefully I’m wrong. I still have a few more Baseball games on the backlog so this isn’t the last you’ll see of them. This sport will return!

Overall 5/10

MLB 08: The Show Review


It’s time to jump into the next MLB title. Baseball is next to Golf as my least favorite sport to play in a video game format. Neither one is all that exciting for me because I don’t really feel like I’m in control. In something like Basketball or Tennis, win or lose you know that you did everything you could. I feel like these games don’t give me the same amount of power. That may just be because I am not too used to these controls though. After all in Baseball I can barely pitch to save my life. The amount of balls I threw in this game was totally crazy. Then with Batting I could only manage a hit or two. Somehow I don’t think y skills will be ready for real opponents anytime soon. They’re all just too powerful.

There are a bunch of modes here of course, but I opted to start with a quick game. Little did I know there wouldn’t be anything quick about it. The other team quickly began running up the score. Before I knew it I was down 15-0 and I knew that I was doomed. The toughest part of the game for me is pitching. I was just trying to throw the ball straight across the base and yet each time the ref would say that the ball was out. A lot of the time I even felt like it was on target and somehow it wouldn’t go there. I’m thinking there is something I have to do with the directions, but it wasn’t too clear. In 09 I’ve decided that the first thing I’m going to do is look for a tutorial to try and at least get some fundamentals at the ready. Without those I really don’t stand a chance here.

As for batting, that is naturally all about reaction speed and being at the right place at the right time. There’s no magic trick here, you just got to be ready. The problem for me with this one is the fact that I end up taking swings at balls that are way out. As a result I can’t make the hit even if I time it perfectly. It’s just hard not to take the shot because then you run the risk of letting a perfectly good ball get right past you. I never want to lose that way so i just swing and hope for the best. Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll land a good homer.

Now, while I’m not a big fan of the MLB titles it’s not that all Baseball is low for me. I really liked the Mario Baseball series. Those games were done extremely well. I don’t know why the real ones are so much more difficult for me. I just can’t seem to find my rhythm here and without timing what else do I have? Trust me, it’s no fun to be pitching for 20 minutes as they hit everything or you keep throwing out of bounds. After I hit one player I even ran an experiment to see how many I could knock down. I took down almost half the team and they were still playing and that’s when I realized that I was truly doomed. Ultimately, I did a few more innings but by the 7th I had to retire gracefully. It’s not like I could somehow get 14 more runs in.

The graphics are good. The character models are on point and the game is pretty clear. I have no real issues there and while there isn’t much of a soundtrack the sound effects are real good as well. On a technical level I have no complaints. Even the gameplay while a little confusing doesn’t seem bad. I didn’t notice any glitches and I’m sure there is a trick to playing the game a little better. It wouldn’t be so popular if there wasn’t. Unlike the other sport games this one still feels like getting good is a very far off dream. Never say never though.

In terms of replay value there is definitely a lot for Baseball fans here. You can play a lot of quick games or even get ready to launch a franchise. Each game is unique so you never have to run out of content. The presentation may not be as exciting as some of the other sport games, but it gets the job done and you do feel like you’re in a real game. Batting is the offense of Baseball and so I’d be cool with the game giving us an option to automatically skip the pitching. It’s actually an option in the game so even if it’s not automatic, you can still do that if you really can’t get the hang of throwing the ball like me. I may exercise that feature a bit in the future.

Overall, MLB: 08 The Show may not be for me, but I’m sure fans of the sport will get a real kick out of it. How can you not have fun playing the sport you watch on TV? I have quite a few other Baseball games on the backburner so you can expect more reviews soon.. My personal goal for the next game is to make the score a lot closer than this one was. That shouldn’t be too hard since I got blown out here. We’ll find out one way or the other very soon.

Overall 5/10