Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rom Rom Stadium


Rom Rom is plagued by problems that occur in many other old-school baseball games: there are way too many infield hits, as balls in play usually roll slowly and the players make very weak throws; the stupid computer-controlled infielders have the ridiculous tendency to throw to bases that are uncovered; and said infielders often chase slow ground balls into the outfield instead of just letting the outfielders charge and put an end to all the dashing about.

Again, these are issues that pop up in plenty of old baseball games, but Rom Rom sometimes takes them to extremes, leading to some really ridiculous happenings. Say the computer's first baseman and second baseman both go after a ground ball. The former picks it up and tosses it towards the first-base bag, where there's no one to catch it.

The throw sails right past the bag and bounces off the wall. The second baseman runs over and scoops up the ball while the first baseman runs towards the bag. The second baseman finally makes the throw to first, which somehow beats the runner there and produces an out. This absolutely absurd chain of events actually happens quite frequently.

Rom Rom's contests aren't particularly enjoyable even when such nonsense isn't going on. They play out in slow, dull fashion, unlike World Class Baseball's exhilarating arcade-style affairs. RR is a little more challenging than WCB, however: I've won my share of 7-1 blowouts, but there have been none of the 29-0 massacres that often occur when I power up WCB, and it's actually possible to experience games during which neither team scores many runs. (Take that with a grain of salt, though, as I've been playing WCB regularly for many years, while RR isn't interesting or enjoyable enough to receive much play time from me.)

In any event, Rom Rom is an okay-but-not-great game of baseball that doesn't come close to WCB. Here are some of the (mostly insignificant) things that separate RR from most other members of the old-school-baseball-game crowd:

- Pitch counts are shown, and working the count to wear down the opposing team's pitcher can really pay off in some of the tougher Pennant mode games.

- The action occasionally switches over to scenes of some strange girl watching the games on TV. She puts on various weird outfits and cheers you on or bemoans your lack of success. Sometimes, she dons a baseball uniform of her own and jumps up and down; other times, she hurls her cat through her television monitor in frustration.

- Win enough games in Pennant mode and you'll get to face the mighty Masaya team in "Meka Stadium," an abominable ballpark with ridiculously bright colors that make witnessing the action an excruciating experience. Obviously, I'm not too fond of this F-Zero-style depiction of baseball.

- I didn't mess with it at all, but there's a Team Edit mode where you apparently can create and save your own club. This is about the only somewhat-decent reason for the game being on CD.

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