R.B.I. Baseball, the classic Namco video game launched decades ago on Nintendo and Atari, is returning with a 21st century makeover–and, for once, that’s not a reference to steroids.
Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) has announced plans for R.B.I. Baseball 14, a modern version that will run on “current and next generation consoles and smartphones and tablets.” Part of us, of course, really hopes they don’t mess with the original’s 8-bit graphics. That original release was “game-changer” in a very real sense, with R.B.I. Baseball serving as the first video game licensed by the MLB player’s union. That revolutionized the industry with the game’s use of real names of actual players.
Back in 1988, this development was out-of-the-park mind-blowing.The last version was R.B.I. Baseball 95, created for the Sega 32X during the season that ended with the Atlanta Braves beating the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. So much has changed in sixteen years, huh?
R.B.I. Baseball 14 is nicely sliding into home just as 2K Sports recently announced that it would discontinue its own MLB 2K series, leaving PlayStation’s MLB: The Show as the baseball title currently in play—until now. So what other classic sports games should be revived? Double Dribble? Space Jam? That Atari boxing game with the overhead view of the black and white fighters? Coleco Football?