The Game: Batter up! We’re live from the baseball diamond with TV sports-style camera angles that switch to show you where the action is. (Absolute, 1988)
Memories: An extremely late entry for the 2600, I’d wager that this NES-era baseball game is actually one of the better attempts to bring the sport to Atari’s aging hardware. While I’m still not sure what Pete Rose has to do with this video game, you can bet it delivers a good baseball experience.
The control scheme takes a little bit of getting used to where the infield is concerned. If you’re not right on top of things, the other team will be more than happy to take advantage of you. Fortunately, while this game’s “enemy AI” is good (too good at times), it’s not prone to stealing bases while you’re figuring out the controls.
If there’s a problem with Pete Rose Baseball, however, it’s that familiar old phenomenon: the computer doesn’t have less-than-intuitive control schemes to figure out that let it govern the actions of one infielder at a time. In my experience, the player’s time up to bat in Pete Rose Baseball is brief and merciless. You’ll always spend more time playing defense than standing on the plate with a digital bat in your hands.
Overall, though, it’s a surprisingly good sports game for the 2600, and this may well be my favorite iteration of baseball on that machine. This game’s a good example of someone teaching new, NES-inspired tricks to some old hardware in its twilight years.