Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bases Loaded now available on Wii U Virtual Console

Two screenshots of the NES game Bases Loaded. The screenshot on the left shows the title screen, while the one on the right shows a Jersey player swinging and missing a ball thrown by a pitcher for Boston.
Screenshots courtesy of The Video Game Museum -

The classic baseball game Bases Loaded is now available on the North American Wii U Virtual Console. It is priced at $4.99 and has the usual features for all re-releases on the platform, including Off-TV Play, Restore Points, and a Miiverse community. It was published by Jaleco and originally released on the NES in 1988.

Bases Loaded has more realistic graphics than most baseball games from the era, digitized voices for the umpires, and an over-the-shoulder camera for the batting and pitching interface. These three features made it stand out in the crowded market. Of course, after the ball has been hit, the view switches to an overhead perspective like every other NES sports game, and the graphics for the fielding and base running sequences are pretty simplistic, another common trait for older ballgames.

Gamers can choose from twelve fictional American teams, each of which consists of fictional players. While some may be disappointed that there are no real teams or players, that was normal for the time period. Fortunately, this cult classic has very simple controls, making it accessible to a wide audience, and it also sports a two-player Versus Mode. The only real downside is that the action is a little slower than some gamers like, though it's still not as slow-paced as many of the realistic baseball sims released in recent years.

One more thing: some players will rush the mound if they are hit by a pitch, which results in them being ejected from the game. However, here's a secret that many people don't seem to know: you can actually keep an "ejected" player in the game by pressing "B" when prompted to choose a replacement. Pretty cool! Keep in mind that the actual names of the buttons will vary depending on which controller you use, so if you want to keep an "ejected" player, just press whichever button you normally use to bunt.

For those of you who are interested, you can watch a gameplay video after the break.

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