Format reviewed: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
Developer: Blue Sky Software
Submitted by: Mr. Retro Sports
World Series Baseball ’95 set the standard in 2D baseball games and is fun and enjoyable to play still today. The cart for the Genesis was ramped up to 24 meg to allow for more saving and the graphics built upon the original with full stadium details and was the pinnacle of pixel baseball graphics (the animations of diving for balls was unsurpassed). You had tons of modes – multiple season length options, playoffs, a home run derby and a classic home run derby (where you play three outs in each half an inning and continue to switch sides). On top of this you could play as AL/NL and MLB Legends teams also. This was really big for the mid-90s.
While the game is easy to pick up and play, there are a lot of strategic options that set the game apart from more arcade-like fast-paced baseball games. Between each batter the game goes to the pause screen to show the next batter’s splits and gives the player the option to adjust fielders or address the bullpen or lineup. This can slow the game down a bit, but the extra step of hitting the “c” button to resume isn’t too daunting. The process of selecting a pitch or getting ready to swing, however, is very deliberate. Before each pitch, you select the pitch type and then the pitch speed (slow/medium/fast) before fiddling with the location. Very similarly, when hitting you are selecting contact/normal/power before each pitch (strategizing depending on the hitter and count). Needless to say, today’s games have these options streamlined a lot more efficiently.
Overall, with a bevy of game modes, detailed stadiums and great game play, World Series Baseball ’95 stands on its own as one of the best Genesis games ever.