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Baseball is a simple baseball video game made by Nintendo in 1983 for the Nintendo Family Computer, making it one of the first games released for the Famicom. It was later one of the NES's 18 launch titles when it was released in 1985 in the United States. As in real baseball, the object of the game is to score the most runs. Up to two players are supported. Each player can select from one of six teams. Although there is no difference between them other than uniform color, they are meant to represent the six members of the Japanese Central League. For the American version, the letters of the teams were renamed to more closely resemble several of the Major League Baseball teams:
The title screen tune of this NES title was also used as the title screen tune of some of Nintendo's NES Sports titles such as Pro Wrestling. A slightly altered version of it was used at the title screen of the NES title, Volleyball, also by Nintendo. The home run tune was later used as the victory tune in both Punch-Out!! and Super Punch-Out!! arcade games.
Despite its simplistic graphics, Baseball had fairly sophisticated control of pitching and batting. Though entirely 2-D, the system of curving and varying the speed of the ball allowed for a handful of tricky pitches, and too many fastballs will wear out the pitcher's arm. To change pitchers pause the game and press A and B at the same time. For such an early game, the success with which it exhibited intuitive controls is outstanding. In Batting, for example, the player can vary where in the box the batter is standing simply by using the arrows before the pitch, and stopping the swing early attempts a bunt. Timing (and the placement of the ball) determines the path of the ball in a logical, and even consistent way. The fielding aspects of the game are less impressive, with the player only controlling the actions of the outfielders after they've stumbled along to retrieve it. The infielders have slightly better instincts, and it is a challenge to steal a base against a pitcher who can see the whole field. Overall, the skill most crucial in the game is making the right decisions, rather than mastering a complex control scheme.
- Arcade - vs. Baseball was slightly different than its NES counterpart. The game featured additional graphics as well as some speech.
- PlayChoice-10 - Baseball was one of the games available for play in PlayChoice-10 arcade machines, released in 1986.
- Game Boy - Baseball was one of the first games to launch with the Game Boy, along with Super Mario Land and Tetris. The background music is different compared to the ones in the NES version.
- e-Reader - Baseball was one of the NES games ported to the Game Boy Advance e-Reader in 2002.
- Baseball is also a bonus NES game in the GameCube game, Animal Crossing.
- Wii - The NES version was released for the Wii's Virtual Console on January 1, 2007.