Create the baseball team of your dreams! It's great baseball action with the backyard kids and real pro players as kids. Pick your team, choose logos and playing fields. Play single games, an entire season or Home Run Derby. It's the chance of a lifetime to play with the pros right in your own backyard. Play single Games or a whole season, choose from all 30 Major League Baseball teams, create, save and trade custom players, practice your swing in the Home Run Derby, and track player and team stats in Season play. Also features a two-player multiplayer mode when linking up two Game Boy Advance units via a link cable.
--From the GBA Backyard Baseball instruction manual.
In "Backyard Baseball", players get the chance to manage and control their own baseball team. In this sport title, the kids are the stars, and the stars are kids. "Backyard Baseball" is MLB licensed, which I found very surprising. Typically, sports games that are MLB licensed are huge franchise sport simulators, such as the Madden and FIFA series. MLB stars such as Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez play next to neighborhood kids like Annie Frazier and Pablo Sanchez. Again, very surprising that a game that has MLB licensing would mix game characters with professional players (I would assume if you had the licensing you would use all the MLB name recognition you could get). My shock and awe of the game's features persisted throughout my play of the game.
"Backyard Baseball" seems geared towards children. The cartoony graphics, the way that character's speech sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher, the option to hit the ball off of a tee, all suggested that this game was going to be another title lacking depth aimed at a younger audience. I couldn't have been more wrong in my assumptions. "Backyard Baseball" provides an INCREDIBLE amount of depth. There are several game modes available to players including the Season mode. In Season mode, players have to act as team manager and put together their own baseball team to compete over the summer. The player can choose a professional team, or construct their own. The player can also select MLB stars, choose neighborhood kids, or construct their own players. After the player gets a few games into the season, they can view stats like batter averages, and ERA. There are also a huge number of managerial duties for players to fulfill (if they want), like setting the batting and pitching order. The season culminates in a playoff and World Series event.
"Backyard Baseball" has very simple, easy to use controls. In terms of actual gameplay, "Backyard Baseball is almost reminiscent of "NBA Jam", simple, effective, and fun. The only hiccup is the delay the player experiences when up to bat (which can be negated by playing on easy). Player's have to time their swing a second or two after the ball is thrown. The graphics are outstanding, and the music is decent. This is a light hearted game, and humor is sprinkled intermittently throughout the gameplay. The fields look awesome, and there are quite a few to choose from. "Backyard Baseball" might have been made with a younger audience in mind, but the depth of content, ease of play, and real MLB players enable players of all ages to have a blast with this title. "Backyard Baseball" is undoubtedly one of the best sports games in the Console Classix catalogue.
"Backyard Baseball" features five different modes of play. Players can choose a QUICK PLAY, putting the player in a random single game. Players can compete in the HOME RUN DERBY, allowing players to compete to see who can hit the most homeruns in a given time frame. Players can choose a SINGLE GAME, which allows the player to pick where and who they will play. Players can choose SEASON PLAY in which the player takes on the role of team manager and must construct a team to play through the summer season. Players can choose MULTIPLAYER mode, which allows a player to play against a friend.
"Backyard Baseball" allows players to construct their own teams, and players, including appearance and uniforms. Each character is assigned a set number of attribute points in four different categories including: batting, running, pitching, and fielding. "Backyard Baseball" grants characters power-ups depending on who and where they are playing.
"Backyard Baseball" allows players to adjust the difficulty from Tee ball to Hard.
"Backyard Baseball" features a save feature to record progress.
|Up||Select pitch type / Select bat|
|Down||Select pitch type / Select bat|
|Left||Move pitch locator / Select Batting Stance / Change runner direction|
|Right||Move pitch locator / Select Batting Stance / Change runner direction|
|A Button||Select pitch / Swing bat / Throw ball to fielder / Advance runner|
|B Button||Cancel pitch / Retreat Runner|
|R Button||Hold to steal base|