Tommy Lasorda Baseball

Tommy Lasorda Baseball[a] is a 1989 baseball video game developed and published by Sega as one of the six launch titles for the Sega Genesis in the North America and for the Sega Mega-Tech arcade system. It is a follow-up to the arcade game Super League (1987).[1][2] It prominently features former MLB player Tommy Lasorda, who was manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time. In the game, players compete with either AI-controlled opponents or against other players across single exhibitions, open matches or a 30-game season.

Tommy Lasorda Baseball
Tommy Lasorda Baseball.jpg
Developer(s)Sega
Publisher(s)Sega
Designer(s)Naoto Ohshima
Programmer(s)Keiichi Yamamoto
SeriesSuper League
Platform(s)Arcade, Sega Genesis
ReleaseGenesis
  • JP: April 22, 1989
  • NA: August 14, 1989
  • EU: 1990
Arcade
  • EU: April 1989
Genre(s)Sports
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemSega Mega-Tech

Tommy Lasorda Baseball formed part of a marketing campaign to build a library of titles using recognizable names and likenesses of celebrities and athletes to emphasize the more arcade-like experience available on Sega Genesis. The game garnered mixed to positive reception from critics since its release on the Genesis; praise was given to the addition of season play, use of multiple perspectives, sound, two-player component and gameplay but criticism was geared towards this aspect being luck-based and difficult AI, while others felt mixed in regards to the graphical quality and recommended similar titles instead.

GameplayEdit

 
Genesis version screenshot.

Tommy Lasorda Baseball is a baseball game where players compete in matches against AI-controlled opponents or other players in single exhibitions, open matches or a 30-game season.[3][4][5] A password system enables players to take their team through a season in the World Series and keeps tracks of other teams in the league.[3][4][5] The 26 teams featured in the game uses all their real-life city names but statistics and player names are fictional.[3][4][5]

Although it follows the same gameplay as with other baseball titles at the time and most of the rules are present as well, the game opts for a more arcade-styled approach of the sport instead of being full simulation.[4][6][7][8] During gameplay, players must hit a pitch, reach any base safely, pitch a strike, getting an AI player out or retiring the AI's side to end an inning.[4] The game ends when a team has scored more runs than the other at any time.

Outside of gameplay, players must manage the abilities of batters and pitchers;[4][5] Batters are rated based on batting average, home runs, running speed, fielding and throwing. Pitchers are rated based on earned run average (ERA), curve-throwing ability, stamina, top throwing speed, and the distance a hit pitch will travel.[4][5] A pre-game difficulty setting makes the game biased either towards the pitcher, batter, or an equal game of skill between pitcher and batter.[3][4][9] Players can also decide if there will be fielding errors or how environmental hazards such as wind will affect the ball.[3][4][5]

ReleaseEdit

Tommy Lasorda Baseball was first published in Japan by Sega on April 22, 1989 for the Mega Drive under the title Super League and later that year in North America on August 14 as one of the six launch titles for the Genesis.[10][11] It was also released in Europe under its original title.[12][9] Sega signed former MLB player Tommy Lasorda, who was manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time, to endorse the game as part of a marketing campaign to build a library of titles using recognizable names and likenesses of celebrities and athletes emphasizing the more arcade-like experience available on the Genesis.[5][11][13] An arcade version using the Sega Mega-Tech system was also released in April 1989.[14] The original Japanese release features teams that bear resemblance to the 1989 NPB roster.[3] The Genesis version was later re-released as a budget title in 1992 as part of the "Sega Classic" line.[15]

ReceptionEdit

Tommy Lasorda Baseball garnered mixed to positive reception from critics since its release but was tied with World Class Baseball and Baseball Simulator 1.000 for Electronic Gaming Monthly's "Best Sports-Themed Video Game" award in 1989.[18][25] However, public response in Japan was mixed; while readers of Mega Drive Fan voted to give the game a 22.0 out of 30 score in a poll, readers of the Japanese Sega Saturn Magazine voted to give the title a 6.1858 out of 10 score in another poll, ranking at the number 4 and 380 spots respectively, indicating a popular but middling following.[26][27]

Electronic Gaming Monthly's reviewers praised the realistic-looking graphics, sound, gameplay and addition of season play and password but others found Tommy Lasorda Baseball to be a standard baseball game similar to others on the market.[17] Aktueller Software Markt's Torsten Blum gave the game a mixed outlook, noting the difficult AI and stating that both visual design and sprite animations ranged from mediocre to good but commended its realism and sound.[16] Joystick's Jean-Marc Demoly gave positive remarks to the title's graphics, animations, sound and realism.[19][28] Tilt's Alain Huyghues-Lacour noted that the game may turn off novice players due to its difficulty but commented that the graphical quality is stimulating.[20] Sega Power's Andy Smith and Steve Jarratt regarded it as a decent rendition of the sport, commending the use of multiple perspectives, music, number of leagues, two-player mode and smooth gameplay but criticized said gameplay for being luck-based, as well as the lack of visual variety and crowd noise, recommending HardBall! instead.[9][29] Likewise, Computer and Video Games' Julian Rignall and Robert Swan noted that the AI was tough but felt that the game had a more arcade-style approach of baseball.[6][7][8]

Raze's Les Ellis praised the character animations, detailed graphics, music, voice samples and addictive two-player mode.[12] Sega Pro regarded it as one of the best baseball games on the Mega Drive, commending features such as full control of both batters and pitchers.[24][30] Play Time's Oliver Menne felt that the title's visuals left little to be desired and criticized the character animations but was fascinated by the clear voice samples and commended its gameplay, recommending it to baseball fans and people interested in the sport.[22] Mega Drive Advanced Gaming stated that Super League was an adequate and reasonable baseball simulator but not as good as R.B.I. Baseball 4.[21] Jiří Frkal of Czech magazine Score gave positive remarks to the graphics and smooth character animations, while commenting that both music and sound complemented its atmosphere.[23]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Also known as Super League (Japanese: スーパーリーグ, Hepburn: Sūpā Rīgu) in Japan and Europe.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Way to the Sega Fan: Sega Arcade History (1987) - スーパーリーグ". Mega Drive Fan [ja] (in Japanese). No. 28. Tokuma Shoten. May 1992. p. 103.
  2. ^ Famitsu DC (15 February 2002). "Chapter 3". H, Y board & SYSTEM 16, 18, 24, 31: 1985 - スーパーリーグ. セガ・アーケード・ヒストリー (Sega Arcade History). Famitsu Books (in Japanese). Enterbrain. p. 90. ISBN 9784757707900.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Mega Paradise: スーパーリーグ". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 72. ASCII Corporation. April 14, 1989. p. 132-133.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Tommy Lasorda Baseball instruction manual (Sega Genesis, US)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g T. Aslan, Charlie (February 1990). "Genesis ProView - Tommy Lasorda Baseball". GamePro. No. 7. IDG. pp. 48–49.
  6. ^ a b c Swan, Robert (May 1991). "Bytesize - Megadrive: Super League Baseball". Computer and Video Games. No. 114. EMAP. p. 76.
  7. ^ a b Rignall, Julian (November 1990). "Complete Guide to Consoles – The Complete Games Guide: Megadrive – Super League Baseball". Computer and Video Games Mean Machines. No. 4. EMAP. pp. 26–39.
  8. ^ a b Rignall, Julian (May 1991). "Sega 16-bit –Megadrive: Super League Baseball". Computer and Video Games (The Complete Guide to Sega). No. 1. EMAP. p. 49.
  9. ^ a b c d Smith, Andy (April 1991). "Mega Drive - Super League Baseball". Sega Power. No. 17. Future plc. pp. 20–21.
  10. ^ "ソフトウェア一覧(セガ発売)| メガドライブ". SEGA HARD Encyclopedia (in Japanese). Sega. 2021. Archived from the original on 2019-11-29. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  11. ^ a b Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokémon and Beyond : the Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. Prima. pp. 404–408. ISBN 0-7615-3643-4.
  12. ^ a b c Ellis, Les (April 1991). "Reviews - Super League". Raze. No. 6. Newsfield. p. 53.
  13. ^ Fahs, Travis (April 21, 2009). "IGN Presents the History of Sega". IGN. Ziff Davis. p. 4. Archived from the original on 2014-02-12. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  14. ^ Bousiges, Alexis; Kukulcan, Bruno; Oliver, Paige (2021). "Tommy Lasorda Baseball [Model 35]". Gaming-History. Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  15. ^ "Sega Classics - Lots of Megs, fornot a Lot of Bucks". Sega Visions. No. 9. IDG. August–September 1992. p. 18.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  16. ^ a b Blum, Torsten (January 1990). "Konsolen: Good Great American Stuff - Tommy Lasorda Baseball". Aktueller Software Markt (in German). No. 38. Tronic Verlag. p. 57.
  17. ^ a b Harris, Steve; Semrad, Ed; Nauert, Donn; Stockhausen, Jim (November 1989). "Review Crew - T. Lasorda Baseball". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 4. Sendai Publishing. p. 13.
  18. ^ a b "NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: スーパーリーグ". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 76. ASCII Corporation. June 9, 1989. p. 14.
  19. ^ a b Demoly, Jean-Marc (February 1991). "Console News: Super League (Megadrive)". Joystick (in French). No. 13. Sipress. p. 115.
  20. ^ a b Huyghues-Lacour, Alain (March 1991). "Rolling Softs - Super League (Megadrive)". Tilt (in French). No. 88. Editions Mondiales S.A. pp. 80–81.
  21. ^ a b "The Incredibly Complete Mega File: Super League Baseball". Mega Drive Advanced Gaming. No. 5. Maverick Magazines. January 1993. p. 91.
  22. ^ a b Menne, Oliver (June 1992). "Konsolen: Super League (Mega Drive)". Play Time (in German). No. 13. Computec. p. 94.
  23. ^ a b Frkal, Jiří (April 1994). "Sega - Super League". Score [cs] (in Czech). No. 8. Omega Publishing Group. p. 58.
  24. ^ a b "The A-Z of Sega Games – Super League (Mega Drive)". Sega Pro. No. 6. Paragon Publishing. April 1992. p. 30.
  25. ^ a b "Best And Worst Of 1989 - Best Sports-Themed Video Game". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 5. Sendai Publishing. December 1989. p. 18.
  26. ^ "Weekly Hit Chart: MD Game Meter". Mega Drive Fan [ja] (in Japanese). No. 2. Tokuma Shoten. November 1989. p. 49.
  27. ^ "メガドラ読者レース". Sega Saturn Magazine (in Japanese). No. 9. SoftBank Creative. September 1995. p. 85.
  28. ^ "Console News - Megadrive: Super League". Joystick (Hors-Serie) (in French). No. 3. Sipress. July–August 1991. p. 131.
  29. ^ Jarratt, Steve (October 1991). "The Hard Line - Super League Baseball". Sega Power. No. 23. Future plc. p. 54.
  30. ^ "The ProFile - Mega Drive: Super League Baseball". Sega Pro. No. 18. Paragon Publishing. April 1993. p. 68.

External linksEdit