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Please Don't Take Me Out to the Ball Game

by Andrew Brown and J.P. Corbran - August 22, 2011, 2:42 pm
Total comments: 7

This week's Virtual Console Recommendations feature America's pastime and Picross.

The North American Virtual Console saw no releases this past week, so this installment of Virtual Console Recommendations goes back to a couple of titles we missed the releases of. 

First, Andrew Brown covers Mario's Picross. Is this old school Picross title still worth playing with much more recent DS versions available? Read on to find out. 

After that, J.P. Corbran takes on Baseball and tells you whether Nintendo's version of the sport hits it out of the park or just strikes out.

Mario's Picross

SystemVirtual Console - Game Boy

ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedJun 1994

Picross is a type of image puzzle where filling in numbered squares on a grid will reveal a secret picture. The only clues are numbers along the grid showing how many connecting cubes appear in each row and column and in what order they appear and are solved by finding the logical combinations. There is a time limit, and choosing the wrong squares will deduct time in increasing amounts. There are 256 puzzles in all, with varying difficulties, and the last 64 are in "Time Trial" mode, where there is no time limit, but the game does not tell you when a mistake has been made. This version of the game adds the notion that the images are ancient heiroglyphics that must be chiseled out of a stone wall, making for an interesting interface and premise. 

But now for the bad news: Puzzles are limited to 15x15 grids, making them relatively easy. Don't even think about playing the game in its true aspect mode if you want to see what's going on. The puzzle solutions are often fairly boring, but there are some unique pictures and Mario characters to discover. The game's translation is obscure at best. A little puppy is referred to as a "mutt" while a mushroom is called a "kinoko" (the Japanese word). You're limited to the D-pad and buttons to complete the puzzles, and the lack of color makes it a hard sell. PAL players would be better off getting Mario's Super Picross on the SNES Virtual Console, while everyone should look to Picross DS's more extensive features. Unless you've completed everything else and are desperate for more Picross action, there are far better options available, though despite its shortcomings, the game is still a blast to play and makes a great travel companion. 

Recommended for Fans

- Andrew Brown


SystemVirtual Console - Game Boy

ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedDec 1992

Baseball for Game Boy is a port of the NES version of the game. It offers a very bare-bones version of the sport, and features that it has aren’t done very well. 

The pitching doesn’t have much depth, with only limited speed and directional control. Fielding is very rough, with the D-Pad controlling every available fielder simultaneously. You have a very limited view of the field, which makes it difficult to get outfielders in place for fly balls. Batting is similarly simple, and while it’s not as bad as the fielding, its limitations prevent it from working too well.

Baseball for Game Boy is the worst video game version of the sport I’ve ever played. It should not be purchased by anyone, even those who are desperate for a handheld baseball game.

Not Recommended

- J.P. Corbran


Baseball's bad, but not that bad. Mechanically, it has a lot in common with Baseball on NES, which is a solid if extremely dated baseball game. Unfortunately, the mechanics got muddled a whole lot in the port to Game Boy. So the game sucks, but I've played worse baseball games.

ShyGuyAugust 22, 2011

Hello I'm Insanolord and I refer to myself in the third person.

I played a ton of NES baseball when I was a kid and loved it, and I don't even like baseball.

I stand by what I wrote. Game Boy Baseball is terrible, and I would rather play literally any other baseball game I've ever played (and that's a lot of games).

If you want baseball on 3DS, track down a used copy of MLB Power Pros 2008 for DS. It's pretty good, and though it has some flaws it looks like MVP '05 when compared to this game.

Mop it upAugust 22, 2011

Aren't the puzzles from Mario's Picross available for download in Picross DS?

Quote from: Mop

Aren't the puzzles from Mario's Picross available for download in Picross DS?

Yes they are. The only real advantage Mario's Picross has is it's downloadable, and thus always available, but for some people that's going to be very important, especially at that price.

Mario's Picross is probably my most played VC game on the 3DS, which I'm sure is true for quite few people. It really has me hyped for the release of the 3DSWare version.

I really shouldn't have bought Mario's Picross, with that 3DS-specific eShop Picross game coming soon, but you know me and the Virtual Console.

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