It's a hot day in the ballpark--you can see the hot dog and soda pop vendors making their way up and down the bleachers. The crowd roars after each pitch, and filling the stadium is the sound of "STEERIKE! YOU'RE OUT!" Down on the field it's a different story--just you and the pitcher facing each other in an enormous diamond of brown and green.
The roar of the spectators fades into the distance as the pitcher winds up. His arm arches back, his leg goes up, and...THUNK! The ball flashes by and hits the catcher's glove at 90 miles an hour. "STEERIKE!" Another windup, another 90 mile an hour fastball, and "STEERIKE TWO!" Gripping the bat tightly, you stare down at the pitcher, see him wind up, and watch as the ball seems to float in slow motion down the field toward you. Everything falls into place as you swing with perfect timing, feel the contact, and see the ball sail over the right fielder's outstretched glove and over the wall. HOME RUN!
--From the Atari 2600 RealSports Baseball instruction manual.
Real Sports Baseball on the Atari 2600 was the company's best adaptation of America's pastime. The game's graphics are not good by today's standards, but gameplay is decent and there are nine players per team, unlike the first Atari Baseball game. The crowd cheers as you take the field for a nine inning contest. The sounds of hitting and catching the ball are fair, but when a strike or an out occurs, an ominous buzz sounds in an annoying fashion.
Control response is good and the players throw and catch the ball well. Hitting the ball is a slight challenge, but it is not impossible. All in all, RealSports Baseball is an alright game, best enjoyed by nostalgics.
For Atari RealSports Baseball, baseball rules apply. 3 strikes is an out. 4 balls is a walk. 3 outs and your turn at bat is over and you pitch to the opposing team.
At the plate, swing the bat using directional joystick movement combined with the fire button. The direction of the joystick determines the flight of the ball. Left= Left Field. Right= Right Field. Down= Pop Fly. Up= Bunt. When the player hits the ball into the field of play, Right+Fire will make him run to first base and additional bases, if you can get to the next base safely. Left+Fire will make your player retreat to the nearest base. You may also use the same controls to steal a base when the pitcher has the ball.
When pitching, throw the ball toward home plate to pitch to the opposing batter. Select your pitch using the joystick. Up= Fastball. Left= Sinker. Right= Riser. Down= Ball. After the pitch has been selected, Push Fire+Down to deliver the pitch. When the ball has been hit into the field of play, the nearest fielder will be activated to get the ball. Once you have fielded the ball, the joystick direction held while pressing the Fire button determines which base to throw to. Right= 1st Base. Up= 2nd. Left= 3rd. Down= Home Plate. Beat the base runner by throwing the ball to the corresponding base, or tag him before he gets there for an out.
Pitch to Batter
|Fire+Right||Throw to 1st|
|Fire+Up||Throw to 2nd|
|Fire+Left||Throw to 3rd|
|Fire+Right||Advance to next Base|
|Fire+Left||Run Back to
|Keep Your Eye on the Ball|
|Have patience while waiting on a pitch. Swing late, rather than early, for the best chance to make contact on the ball.|