Format reviewed: Sega Master System
Submitted by: Mr. Retro Sports
Sega’s last baseball bullet on the Master System was the color-clashing and somewhat novel Reggie Jackson Baseball. At the time, there were no baseball titles that had the luxury of both Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Player’s Association licenses. Unfortunately, Reggie Jackson Baseballhad neither.
Every game is a random infield color, which contrasts with the outfield wall and stadium to differing degrees. It doesn’t matter if you play multiple home games as the same team in the same gaming session either. While you may get the industry standard green grass once, there’s a good chance one game will be on a blood-red infield to simulate what games would look like in purgatory. These gaudy schemes aside, the actual player sprites are decent for the time.
Reggie Jackson Baseballplays like most baseball games when it comes to controls, but throws in a few wrinkles also. When pitching, pressing up is a “special pitch”, which the manual notes the pitcher may or may not execute correctly. That’s a pretty cool element for 1988. The game also gives you the option for auto or manual fielding.
There are a number of unique features to Reggie Jackson Baseball that caught me by surprise. Sega offers a Home Run Derby where you can pick your player and opponent to face. If you lose control of a curveball and plunk someone, both benches clear and 8-BITMANIA RUNS WILD ON YOU. They even bring out a stretcher and Reggie Jackson Baseball also busts out the bullpen cart for any mid-inning pitching changes.
I love parts of the music of this game, namely some of the pieces during at-bats that sound like you’re trying to storm the alien stronghold in Contra. Conversely, the “music” when the ball is in play is horrific and the crowd sounds like a grenade exploded every time they cheer.
It is not a stretch by any means to say Reggie Jackson Baseball is the best baseball game on the Sega Master System. It’s probably the best sports game overall on the system.