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Super Stadium Baseball: Funner than real Phillies!

For Christmas, my wife bought my son a baseball game. So. Much. Fun.

Super Stadium Baseball - shift
Super Stadium baseball is available here. This is not a paid product placement or anything like that. It's just a really fun game that has helped my son and I pass the time until there is real baseball. My wife was a genius for getting this for me him for Christmas. Also, I am 4 - 1 against him so far. I totally OWN YOU, boy!

This is a two player game. There are 5 metal balls that go into a chute and which the pitcher will "throw" using the spring-loaded ball launcher. You can adjust the speed so as to Moyer-ize the opponent, but there is enough giddyup to blow the ball past the batter, too.  Still, there is nothing more satisfying than putting an ultra slow change up right down the middle for a called strike.

The pitching feature in this game also allows for breaking balls. There is a magnet about 2/3 of the way to home plate and the pitcher can throw the hapless batter breaking ball off the plate after breaking ball off the plate and my son Ryan Howard the hitter just flails at it helplessly as I cackle at him.

Sportsmanship has taken a day off lately with this game around our house.

The final pitching weapon is the trap door breaking ball. The pitcher can literally cause the floor to drop out from underneath the ball just as it gets to home plate for  a devastating sinker. Combined with a tempting slow, straight ball, this is just lethal.

If you can get it all going, as I did several times today, you can get inside the head of the hitter and just throw three straight fastballs right down the middle while the batter keeps sitting on your offspeed stuff. Then you just laugh, laugh, laugh as the last called strike ends the inning and you turn the field around.

I could just pitch with this game all day -- it is amazingly fun.

The defense is configurable as well. The defensive players all can be moved around with three possible positions at each fielding position. If you turn the players around (only their right leg inserts into the place holder on the field) you can extend their "range".  Also, with the pitcher blocking everything up the middle, the center fielder is reduced to "Tit on Bull" styling, and we have started playing with that layer shifted into the pull side hole, effectively plugging the infield up. If the ball hits a defender, usually it will roll into a hole in front of the defender and make an out.

Super stadium baseball

The batting is essentially "pull the lever back and let it go" when you want to swing. With our shifts, it pays to try to hit it the opposite way. The "batter" function lets you move the bat so it can swing as a lefty or a righty. If a ball hits the outfield wall and ends up in a hole in front of the wall it is usually a hit, and often extra bases. Homers are possible, but rare, as the ball has to leave the field.

It is sometimes tricky to see if a ball went out or if it just bounced off the wall.  None of us has lost an eye, though I have tried to use the sinkerball trap door to launch a pitch up behind homeplate into the broadcast booth my son's nose.

Baserunning is basically "ghost runner" rules, going station to station. A man on second with a single gets you second and third. There is no base stealing. You can walk, but it is fairly rare.  It is an action -packed game.

I have two criticisms of the game.  First, the bat sometimes comes loose, and I am guessing that is the failure point that will eventually end the game's life at our house.  The second criticism is that all the players are white. It would be really neat if there were a few skin tone options on the players so I could pretend that they are my favorite Phillies players instead of being a pre-integration team.

Super Stadium Player

Overall, I give this a 8 out of 10. It is a fun, action-packed game that is not a video game. Now that my son is crushing me at Tecmo Super Bowl, it is the only sports game I can still beat him at. I highly recommend it for a birthday or a holiday at your house.