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Title: Baseball Stars II
Author:Romstar
Rom Player: nester
Reviewer: Mr. Gaijin

Synopsis: The original Baseball Stars NES cartridge was probably one of, if not the coolest baseball game made for the system. SNK gave you the ability to build a team from scratch and put it through its paces against "Ghastly Monsters", "Ninja Black Sox", and "Lovely Ladies", then use the cash to make the team even more powerful.

This sequel (not to be confused with Baseball Stars 2 for the Neo-Geo) has a different company name attached to it, and it just seems to be missing something. Namely, its identity.

Instead of the uniquely named teams with their equally bizarrely-handled players, you were stuck with a U.S. city and a group of nine that really didn't have the solidarity.

Graphics:
Nearly unchanged from the first game, except there are several new batter stances (gimp and mega-gimp), as well as a greater variety of fields (usually mostly one solid color, making half of them hard on the eyes.)What they kept, though, is very pretty.

Sound:
A mixed bag, as while some tunes try to keep the spirit of the first 'Stars, the rest are kinda tinny. The SFX were completely reused.

Originality:
1. It's baseball.
2. It's a sequel.
3. It didn't even keep much of the original's uniqueness.

Gameplay:
Choose a team. Are you batting? Try to hit hard enough to circumnavigate the diamond. Because the CPU fielders seem to have psychic abilities, catching any ball that doesn't touch the ground before it passes the pitcher's mound. On defense? Choose a pitch (slow, medium, or fast straight) and watch the computer hit every ball that enters the strike zone. Since they don't hit many homers, it all boils down to if you can field as well as the opposition does, and smack more balls out of the park in the process. In two-player mode, it does become more fair.

The team creation is still there, but much more generic. It, like the rest of the game, seems like a shadow of the original.

Final Words:
Just get the first Baseball Stars game. Not only does it outperform the sequel in all areas, but it's also much easier to find. Plus, its scoreboard doesn't advertise "Magic Darts" and "Cowboy Kid" every few innings.

Best Cheats: Choose the Chicago Fireballs as your team. Being power hitters, they'll supply the home runs you'll need to beat the computer.

Game Play: 6
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 7
Originality: 3
Overall Rating: 6

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