Baseball, APF, 1978
Is there a system anywhere in the universe of programmable game consoles that doesn't have Baseball on it? I guess I'll find out sooner or later.
Another "green"-ish game. The controls are similar to other Baseball games. The outfielders are moved with the joystick, though you can't move them after the ball is pitched. They're spaced a little oddly, so there's usually a gap in right field that the computer player manages to hit to more often than not. To pitch, you send the ball with the fire button and control its path with the joystick. To bat you simply press the fire button.
All players accounted for. To me, they each look like the letter "A" with a head.
The Bally's players are animated better, so if I had to rank this one by graphics, I'd place it as better than the Fairchild's version but not as good as the Bally's, based on overall look and player animations. Control-wise the Bally outfielders had a better range of motion, without the gap that the APF players can't seem to fill. At bat, it seems harder to get a hit on the APF than it does on the Bally and I don't feel I have the same control over where the ball is hit. Pitching is pretty similar in that you've got a lot of control over the ball after you "throw" it and it is fun to try to fake out the person at bat with wildly curving balls that they swing at anyway.
It was hard to get, but this is a screenshot of the players running on (or off) of the field. It's only a two frame, lockstep animation, but I appreciate any effort on the part of the programmers to give the illusion of life.
Again, lacking from this is any music. There are sound effects, but they are forgettable. I only say that, because I really don't remember them, myself.
EDIT: I forgot to point out: Look! There's people in the stands!!! It's the first time I've seen characters used as a decoration to give the impression of stadium play. Just thought I'd mention it.
Forgive me if I'm repeating myself, but to date, the first Baseball game, Odyssey Baseball, is the one with the most interesting rules set. That's primarily because it wasn't a "pure" videogame and used a gameboard, cards and dice to generate events. That still provided more of a "simulation" experience than the "arcade" experience that "pure" videogame systems are able to provide. Which is better? I personally prefer the simulation, but your mileage may vary.
Okay, that's all I got on the APF. Again, if you've got carts that I don't have for the APF, I'm open to buying, renting or borrowing them. I'm also open to anyone writing a little entry about the gameplay, graphics etc for any of the carts I haven't done already. Please, Please, Please get in touch with me if you're willing to do so.
Next entry we finally start on the Odyssey^2, something to which I've been looking forward.