#2: Major League Baseball featuring Ken Griffey Jr.

“Hi this is Ken Griffey Jr. Let’s play Major League Baseball.”

Perhaps the most memorable line in video game history. This 1998 Nintendo 64 classic is the greatest baseball game of all-time…period. Like I’ve said before, the best sports games are the one’s with the arcade style of play. All-Star Baseball ’99 for N64, the game’s rival at the time, had much better graphics. But sometimes the games that are faster and less realistic are the ones that are more addicting. Just like our last two games on the countdown, the ballgames go by very fast. (Not as fast as NBA Jam and Blitz, but still fast enough). Also, everything in the game is exaggerated, which makes it even more fun to play. For example, Randy Johnson’s “Super Fastball” is consistently clocked at 106 mph in the game while Jamie Moyer’s “Super Change” is clocked at 46 mph. Plus, when you hit a homerun, the crack of the bat sounds like we’re in Hiroshima circa August 1945. And the best part of all, Derek Jeter is black.

Classic Matchup Between the Big Unit and Brian McRae

Ken Griffey Jr. Major League Baseball is also the first game to allow the user to have a home run derby. Up to four users can participate and one can choose any of the 700+ ballplayers for the derby. In the season mode, you can trade any players you want (the computer has to accept the deal). With the right trades, you can have the best team in the game. There are three types of hitters in this version – “small circles,” “medium circles” and “huge circles.” The small circle players are the ones who have a smallest hitter zones. The medium circles have an average size zone. Huge circles are the best in the game. When you stand up to the plate, you must locate the pitch and move the hitter’s circle to the right location. Then you must time the pitch to make contact. The bigger the circle, the easier it is to locate the pitch. There are only eight players who have huge circles – Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, Paul Molitor, Larry Walker, Mike Piazza, Tony Gwynn, and Barry Bonds. Play the right cards and you can have all of them on one team in season mode.

Pitching is a lot of fun in this game, only if you know how to pitch. If you serve up ball in the zone, you will get killed. The key is to start the pitch way out of the zone, then move the joystick to bring the pitch back in the strike zone. In my opinion, the most unhittable pitcher is Roger Clemens of the Toronto Blue Jays. His splitter would start above the umpire’s head, then suddenly move down to the outside corner on the black. The two pitchers I could never hit were Tim Wakefield and Steve Sparks. Their knuckleballs would float in the air at 53 mph and I could never locate it, no matter how big my circle was.

If you’re in my generation and you’re a baseball fan, you know about the greatness of this game. Hope everyone’s ready for #1 tomorrow.

Don’t know who “Brotherly Love” is, but he’s got some good input during this video:


2 Responses to “#2: Major League Baseball featuring Ken Griffey Jr.”

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    […]I do not typically suggest other websites but I will break my trend for this[…]…

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