DaDa Baseball

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DaDa Baseball introduces a fun, carefree style of baseball that pays homage to the old arcade baseball greats on vintage systems (8-bit consoles, C64, Atari, etc.). It doesn't surprise me that this title harkens back to games of yesteryear considering the developer's previous involvement in publishing for various console platforms including the PSX. Being a Japanese developer, who better to know about America's favorite past-time than the rabid baseball fans of Japan itself?

This baseball game features a different approach than previous baseball titles I've encountered on the PDA platform. For one, on the PalmOS platform, where graphics are not its strong suit, I am surprised to see a fully graphical treatment of the game. A title I recently reviewed, Pocket Baseball for the Pocket PC, took the other approach by entirely relying on stats-driven games. Almost all early baseball games share the same common trait of fictitious teams and players. This version is no exception to that rule. Like the Major League, the teams are split between East and West. In regular season play, you compete in a shortened league play until you enter the World Championship (read: World Series).

There are a total of thirty fictitious teams. Each possesses varied strengths and weaknesses, some based on the stats of individual players. Much of the action though, is based in the arcade mode. You get to handle pitching and batting yourself. Pitching comprises of throwing various styles of balls and moving your pitcher to pitch into or right outside of the strike zone. If you are the player at bat, the AI adjusts to your batting style. For example, if you are a constant hitter who chases balls outside of the strike zone, the pitcher will be more than happy to throw a few way out of the box to entice you to swing.

One of the quirky things about batting is the way you swing the bat. There's only one button to swing the bat and if you don't press the button to swing all the way through, you could find yourself in a mid-swing / bunt position. DaDa Baseball is played entirely with the buttons on your PalmOS device. Even the menu selection is done like that, rather than using the stylus. Styli action is reserved only for in-game pauses. I thought it reflected heavily on the developer's console roots. Overall, the control scheme is not too frustrating, although it may be a bit hard to field (no pun intended) your PDA in one-hand use.

Fielding has always been a tough problem to tackle for baseball games in general. Who should the player control? How do you avoid instances where the ball is trapped and the players run around in infinite loops trying to get to it? Can the camera switch fast enough so the user can actually predict the action? The developers here have opted to use a single mechanism to control fielding action. Any movement you press during the fielding screen will move all the fielders to that general direction. Unfortunately, the AI is a complete pro at catching fly balls with this technique while the hapless human player has to employ copious amounts of estimation in order to catch what are essentially easy outs.

Simplicity, thus, is the order of the day. DaDa Baseball seems to have that in mind first and foremost. I'm not an avid baseball player but the layout is not intimidating at all. The gameplay was easy to pick up, albeit with some of the aforementioned quirks. DaDa Baseball is fairly small in the monochrome version. The color version weighs in at almost half a megabyte but is vastly better in color, particularly the actual gameplay screens themselves. The visuals almost remind me of the fun unadulterated games we had with Ice Hockey for the NES or the various baseball games I tried for the C64. The audio effects are a bit sparse. Other than the obligatory cues for a hit or pitch, there isn't much in the way of sound effects. I was hoping for at least some simple baseball rally tunes like "take me out to the ballgame" or something. Games are automatically saved when you leave, although you are unable to maintain multiple leagues. All in all, DaDa Baseball is a fairly compact package geared towards PDA mobility. Without a doubt, color users will be persuaded to try this title out more than their monochrome brethren. Its premium pricing may scare away some buyers but any casual baseball fan will be able to find a charming game underneath, provided you are one of those people who do not fall asleep during nine innings. If so, the 'pitch-bat, pitch-bat' repetition will eventually bore you and you are better off sticking with the shortened demo.


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1.0 DaDa_Baseball.zip168K

Submitted on September 26, 2023 by

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