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Accolade, Amiga 24.99

Hardball 2 Sports games are always difficult to simulate, look at all the rubbish footy sims, but Accolade got baseball just about right in the C64 original. Now a couple of years on, they've come back for another whack at the sport, surrounding the basic Hardball game with a wealth of options. Most, such as the league, are designed to increase realism and lastability, with such management challenges as making substitutions and changing fielding positions. But there's also plenty of TV glitz, such as instant replays and different views of the action.

The main part of the game is the pitcher-batter confrontation with both players choosing from five types of pitch/swing and aiming on a grid of nine squares. If the ball is hit, the view switches to the fielding screen with tiny animated players.

Zzap, Issue 65, September 1990, p.76

Phil King I remember playing the original on the Spectrum years ago, So I was surprised that, even on the Amiga, the sequel isn't that different. It plays very much like its predecessor it's still just as difficult to hit the damn ball! The graphics aren't much cop either, very bland and PC-ish with a lack of detail. The game's playable enough, while the new tactical options, action replays and league offer extra realism.

Scorelord While I haven't played the original, the principles of baseball are fairly straightforward. Success in batting rests as much on knowing when the ball's 'no good' as actually hitting the thing. It's certainly tough, and can be frustrating getting the timing just right. To begin with the joystick control is a little odd, illuminating your choice of pitch/shot for all to see. But rapidly pressing fire hides your decision well enough. In a match with Phil (which I won, of course), I found it fun, if a bit sluggish and crudely presented. Masses of options, including comprehensive substitutions, provide lastability for baseball fans. But I'm waiting for Cinemaware's effort to provide the visual spectacle this lacks.

PRESENTATION 80%
Loads of options including league and action replay.
GRAPHICS 42%
Sluggish and bland.
SOUND 46%
Poor rendition of American national anthem, basic spot FX and muffled speech.
HOOKABILITY 63%
Takes a while to set all the options, while hitting the ball takes practice.
LASTABILITY 67%
Masses of management options to rival even Player Manager.
OVERALL
65%
A sophisticated baseball sim let down by poor graphics.