Sports games as a whole take a lot of heat from gamers due to their yearly releases that often times are simply roster updates. Sure, there are tweaks here and there that are accompanied by a minuscule amount of spit and polish, but ultimately the players end up playing the same game year after year. I tend to stray away from sports games for this very reason, but I do enjoy those titles that offer an “alternative” gameplay experience. I just get more out of a game that breaks the barriers of realism and gives me a reason to find different ways to win in unconventional ways. I want the ability to jump hundreds of feet in the air while on fire and descend upon my opponent, slamming a basketball and smashing the backboard to pieces in the process. I can play these kinds of alternative titles for years on end, even without an update, because I feel that there is just a whole lot more to get out of them. For this article I’m going to focus on 5 alternative sports titles that successfully cut their ties with their realistic counterparts.
Normally Mutant League Hockey would be my #1 title, but I’ve already reviewed that game and wanted to slide another hockey title on the list. Check out my review for Mutant League Hockey here.
5. Cyber Stadium Series: Base Wars (NES, Ultra Games 1991)
Nintendo’s NES had a surprising amount of solid baseball titles that offered gamers realistic baseball simulation along with a good amount of challenge. NES owners looking for a bit of a different baseball experience should look no further than Cyber Stadium Series: Base Wars. If you think player’s wages are insane today, imagine how exuberant they will be in the 24th century! That’s the time period that Base Wars is set in, and team owners are growing tired of paying human players ridiculous salaries. It’s gotten so bad that they have determined that replacing the players with cyborgs will stop the bleeding of their wallets and offer more entertainment to their fans.
Replacing human players with cyborgs offers owners more benefits than just saving a bit of dough. The cyborgs can be upgraded with new weaponry which will give them the advantage during the numerous fights they will be part of. Oh, yes, there are fights this game, and plenty of them! Fighting is one of the main components because each close play on the field will result in a battle. The winner (or loser) of the fight will determine if a baserunner is either safe or out. During the course of the game each cyborg’s life meter is depleted by fighting or being hit by a pitch and once the meter is empty, boom! The cyborg violently explodes while injuring other robots in close proximity in the process. Consisting of 4 different classes of robot playing on 14 total teams, 2 being teams that the player is able to edit, there is a whole lot of game here for an 8-bit sports title.