A while ago, I wrote about what I thought was my favorite baseball video game of all time, Sega World Series Baseball 1999. It still is, without question, but there is now a close contender that came to my attention via a tweet from Crashburn Alley: 98 Koshien.
98 Koshien was a Japanese Playstation game that came out (I assume) in 1998 and did not ever make it state-side. As we all know, Japan loves baseball and Japan loves video games. Therefore, the transitive property dictates that Japan should love baseball video games and make well-crafted ones. However, this logic ignores one very important factor: Japan is still Japan.
Put it this way: Have you ever seen the insane Nintendo game Muscle March? 98 Koshien is a prehistoric version of that. For baseball.
The first footage I saw of this game comes from cr1tikal, who’s made something of a career (?) in busting on video games with MST3K-ish commentary on YouTube. The video starts with him showing some of the game’s odd batting/baserunning gameplay. Things don’t get really bonkers until the 3 minute mark, when he shows us some of the “pitching” moves that can be pulled off in this game. Feel free to skip ahead to that point, but only if your helmet is securely fastened enough to keep your brain from flying out of your head. (Commentary NSFW at times, so wear headphones, please.)
If you’re still with the living and can stand to watch more, here’s a musical montage of some fantastic mound moves originally posted at Awesome Robo!
Japan, please don’t ever stop being Japan.